The Amateur Gourmet’s 2nd Anniversary Party

This Saturday was the 2nd year anniversary of this here website and we celebrated in style with readers from around the world–well country–gathered to nosh and kibbitz at The City Bakery. Let the record show that this was my first official meeting with New York readers and it was a ton of fun. I arrived at 3:30 and awkwardly sat on the 2nd floor working to stake out the side area with a couch and a counter. Soon Lisa arrived, then Diana and Ricky and some more friends. Then the first total stranger reader came and the party got started. Here’s a group of us gathered for a photo, though more came later:


I’d say all together we had 20 people show up which was totally awesome considering it was raining out and I only posted the party info a few days before. We even had some surprise guests, including a much beloved food blogger from Seattle…

That’s right, it’s Orangette!


It’s funny, because apparently at the beginning of the conversation she’d mentioned she was Orangette but I missed it. I only heard “Molly” (her name) and “Seattle” where she was from. She came with her boyfriend, Brandon, who espoused for me the glories of Di Fara pizza.

“Imagine the best bread you’ve ever eaten in your life,” he said. “Then imagine the best sauce you’ve ever had. Then imagine the best combination of cheese ever and that’s Di Fara’s pizza.”

On a recommendation like that, I can’t put off a visit to Di Fara’s much longer. (Though this weather isn’t helping.)

Here’s an action shot of people talking and getting to know each other better:


Over on the very right you can see Jessica of Su Good Sweets. She was kind enough to bring macaroons for everyone and then to take pictures with her SLR which she just sent me over e-mail. Here’s a picture of me showering people with my famous good humor, charm and looks—you can see how won over they are:


This is a picture I took of Rebecca who came with her boyfriend from Chicago. (Check out the French toast and chocolate tart on her tray. After only knowing her for 5 seconds, I greedily accepted a taste.)


Rebecca’s boyfriend from Chicago represented a particular subset of party visitors. These were people who had no idea who I was who were dragged by their loved ones, friends and/or roommates to meet me. The funniest example of this is Gerald of Foodite who brought his roommate.


She literally had no idea who I was or why she was there. “So what is this?” she asked. “You have a website?”

I promptly asked her to leave my sight; such insolence can hardly be tolerated. Luckily, the guy in the golden shirt on the left of that picture was there with two others, one of whom is an internet celebrity in his own right. The Anonymous Lawyer of Anonymous Lawyer. It was great meeting him–we got to talk about hating law school and landing book deals. His comes out soon, you should buy it!

Rounding out his trio was Stacey of Just Braise who presented me with a vanilla bean wrapped in plastic. I placed it in my pocket and jokingly said, “This’ll make my pocket smell good.” But funny enough when I got home and took my pants off (ooh, how scintillating!) my pocket DID smell good. I wasn’t just happy to see you.

Among the other goodies I received were a couple of cookbooks from Anne who works for Houghton Mifflin. She was one of two people who work in publishing who came; the other works for Penguin. I have a huge following in the publishing world.

Actually, if there’s one thing to be said about my readership having met them in person, they’re clearly mostly female, mostly smart and mostly fun to talk to. That is except Jessica “Su Good” who commandeered the autumn tart I had Diana buy for me downstairs:


Not an attractive picture, I know. But I’m only joking–Jessica didn’t commandeer it. I ate most of it and offered the rest to others. I’m giving like that. And Jessica commandeered it.

Much thanks to everyone who came to help me celebrate the second anniversary of my website. I had some doubts going in, but coming out I was superglad I did it. I plan to do many more things like this in the future, so stay tuned! Thanks again.

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