[Last week, Christopher Kimball of Cook’s Illustrated wrote a rather nasty Op-Ed in the NYT, linking the closing of Gourmet Magazine to the proliferation of food blogs. Obviously, this hit a nerve with me, so I penned my own Op-Ed in response. I share it with you below, but recommend you read his first (click here), so you get the context.]
A few years ago, as my relatively new food blog began to gain in popularity, I turned to a mentor, John Kessler of The Atlanta Journal Constitution and asked him how I might break into mainstream food media. “Should I pitch stories to the Times? To Gourmet? Where do I start?”
Mr. Kessler’s response was surprising. “Adam,” he said, “What you’re already doing is what every newspaper and magazine is desperately trying to do, unsuccessfully. So just keep doing it and you’ll be ok.”
If Gourmet Magazine ever invites you to a party–and I’m still not convinced Gourmet Magazine’s ever invited ME to a party, they must think I’m someone else–three words of advice: go go go!
First comes the fancy cardboard invitation in an envelope with erotic Chinese drawings; then there’s the event itself at the new Lower East Side restaurant Shang with a velvet rope and a walkie-talkie crew with clipboards checking for your name on a list. Then there’s the crowd–where to begin? In one corner, Tom Colicchio, in another corner, Calvin Trillin. Last night alone I spotted: David Chang, Daniel Boulud, Marco Canora, Rocco DiSpirit. Then I had a few celebrity chef encounters of my own, which I’ll tell you about after the jump.
[Here’s my attempt at Reichl’s almond tart. Looking back, I think I’d do a better job with it now–the biggest problem was my inability to roll out the pastry. But I also remember the filling being unpleasantly grainy from all those ground up almonds.]
Here are the people we saw last night at the Gourmet.com launch party at Bar Boulud:
– Calvin Trillin
– Mark Bittman
– Eric Ripert
– David Chang
– Jonathan Waxman
– Aaron Sanchez
– Michael Psilakis
– Rebecca Charles
– April Bloomfield
– Alfred Portale
– Joey Campanaro
– Daniel Boulud (it was his place, after all)
and, of course
– Ruth Reichl (it was her party).
To say the room was choc full of food celebs would be a profound understatement. I spent most of the party wandering around with Craig saying, “Whoah–do you know who that is? He’s/she’s a legend.” I also had fun chatting with all my food blogging cohorts–Ed Levine & The Serious Eats Team (Adam and Alaina), the Eater crew, Josh Ozersky. I befriended the managers of The Little Owl and Market Table (the latter of whom was freshman roommates with one of my college friends). I shook hands with Daniel and told him that one of his close friends was one of my favorite teachers in grad school (a true fact!); I kibitzed with Rebecca Charles who told me how she cooks a rib-eye at home (no oil, extremely hot pan, render the fat from the side of the meat first, then finish in the oven—oh and lots of coarse salt and pepper). It was a whirlwind of glitz and glamour, but mostly it was just passionate food people talking about food. And speaking of food, wait ’til you see the spread.