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What We Do

Tostada Magazine is a Detroit-based independent digital media company that was founded on the premise that food journalism has the power to unify communities & preserve culture. Since its launch in 2017, Tostada has published the work of dozens of journalists of color who uplift stories in their own communities and is part of a growing movement redefining how media approaches food journalism.

Empowering & inclusive, our storytelling reaches a diverse audience that legacy media cannot. We produce original editorial content, including:

  • An inside view of Detroit’s vast food offerings from across the globe
  • Analytical critiques that challenge stereotypes
  • Essays around food and identity from diverse voices
  • Inclusive dining guides
  • Solutions-based journalism that explores equitable foodways
  • Illuminating photography

Who We Are

serena profile pic sara baustSerena Maria Daniels is an award-winning Chicana journalist who brings with her more than a decade of award-winning reporting. A recovering daily newspaper reporter, she is the founder and chingona-in-chief of Tostada Magazine. As a freelance food journalist, her stories about halal burgers, Ramadan IHOP, chapulín pizza, and other topics at the intersection of food, culture, and migration have appeared in Forbes, NPR, Thrillist, Eater, Roads & Kingdoms, Latino USA, Remezcla, and others. Her favorite tacos come from back home in LA, she does not believe in ketchup on hot dogs, and she prefers her pizza square. Find Serena on Twitter and Instagram @serenamaria36

shahid 2Shahid Syed is a founding partner of Tostada Magazine, responsible for business, concept, and fundraising development in the inception of the site.  He is an established entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in start-ups, sales & marketing, and fundraising with initiatives in health care, coffee, film production, and food media.  In 2009, Shahid joined Michigan-based Exxodus Pictures to produce the motion picture Jinn and in 2019 to promote the company’s feature My Soul to Keep.  Shahid holds a Bachelor’s of Psychology from the University of Michigan at Dearborn. Find him on Instagram @roaming_shasy

Advisory Board Coming Soon!

Our Funders

Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund, a project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan through a partnership between the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Ford Foundation.


Tostada Magazine believes that cooperation, not competition is the key to a healthy sustainable journalism ecosystem. GRACIAS to all of our media collaborators for your teamwork!


Editorial Independence Policy

We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services, or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants, and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

Our organization will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s Membership Standards.

Donor & Financial Transparency

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization.

Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services, or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants, and sponsorships from individuals, organizations, and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics, and special projects.

Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors or any revenue source. We do not give supporters the right to assign, review or edit content.

We make public all revenue sources and donors who give $5,000 or more per year. As a news nonprofit, we avoid accepting charitable donations from anonymous sources, government entities, political parties, elected officials, or candidates seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.