Last week, Martha Stewart caused something of an uproar in the blogger community when she said, in an interview with Bloomberg TV: “Who are these bloggers? They’re not editors at Vogue magazine…I mean, there are bloggers writing recipes that aren’t tested, that aren’t necessarily very good, or are copies of everything that really good editors have created and done. So bloggers create kind of a popularity, but they are not the experts.”
She’s since backtracked; a wise move considering that her empire includes an entire network of bloggers with MARTHA STEWART plastered prominently on their pages. At first I was offended by her off-the-cuff remarks, now I’m mostly amused. This was a telling, unguarded moment for Martha and one that reflects the vintage, bespoke bubble she’s living in with her dogs in Connecticut.
As the 300th season of Top Chef looms, a few predictions: in the first episode, there will be an arrogant know-it-all who claims a superior set of kitchen skills, only, when asked to debone a chicken, he’ll crumple into a heap and cry, “My mother never loved me!” A duo of lesbian sashimi experts, formerly inseparable, will have their loyalties tested when one is told to pack her knives and go and the other is told that her knife skills surpass Morimoto’s. A down-and-out hard-on-his-luck dishwasher, who hosts supper clubs in his spare time, will bring tears to Emeril’s eyes when he recreates his grandmother’s gumbo, beating out a chef from a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Napa for the final slot on the show.
Dear Restaurant Owners,
The jig is up! Do you think I’m a chump? Do you think I don’t see through you and your small plate menus?
You’re trying to get me to spend more money than I want to! Instead of offering up an individual-sized appetizer for $12 to $15 and an entree in the $20 to $30 range, you’re asking me and my tablemates to each order several $12 to $15 dishes—at several restaurants, recently, we were instructed to order “six to seven” of these small plates per person. It’s been years since I got a 1 on my A.P. Calculus exam, but I’m pretty sure that adds up to at least $80 a pop before drinks, dessert, tax and tip. Why don’t you just put a pistol to our heads and demand that we empty our wallets on the table before allowing us to see a menu?
[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.”