Entries tagged with “Food Writing”.


I wrote about our old friends the Mangalitsa pigs in the new issue of Cooking Light, as part of the magazine’s list of ten ways to eat right in 2010. Yes, those pigs — the ones that inevitably draw the words “fatty, lardy, rich” in any word association game — in Cooking Light. The logic is that the porkers fall under the heading of “Indulge Adventurously,” meaning that “a healthy approach to eating includes permission to satisfy that part of the soul that craves truffles, butter, chocolate, or cheese –in modest proportions.”  (A small serving of Mangalitsa is rich enough to be more satiating than a less modest plate of a lot of other chops, for that matter.) Mag editor Scott Mowbray wrote that he knew the idea “may provoke a few double takes” alongside more typical health-conscious rules like “Eat More Whole Foods” and “Choose Healthy Fats”. However, “What we believe is simply this: The revival of farmers markets, the awareness of the environment, the national excitement about chefs, the relaxing of black-and-white ideas about fat, carbs, and fiber, the reaffirming of food’s role in healthy social interaction — it’s all good. It can be knit together in a positive, nurturing, cook-centered, and fun approach to healthy eating…”

A few excerpts from the print story are over here, though I don’t see the full version online. Other writers contributed nifty pieces on topics like cooking at home (if Grant Achatz can do it, so can you).

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I’ve been impressed with the events food-lover Keren Brown organizes around town, from the Foodportunity networking nights to meetups with visiting authors. I’m glad to be part of her first “Foodportunity Expression” seminar, a food writing class that I’ll lead at Andaluca restaurant from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Jan. 16.  We’ll cover a range of topics, including effective writing and meaningful restaurant criticism, hands-on exercises and critiques, standing out in a crowded field, and finding inspiration.We’ll also enjoy lunch together, with pintxos cooked up by  Andaluca’s Wayne Johnson.

Here’s a link to the full details. Want to join us? Sign up here. (Cost: $99, including lunch). I may be the official speaker for the day, but I can already see that some wonderful writers will be part of the group, and I’m looking forward to a great day of conversations and questions and constructive criticism.

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This is one of the saddest pieces of Seattle restaurant news I’ve heard since the Beeliner Diner and the Dog House closed: Jonathan Kauffman, restaurant critic for Seattle Weekly, is heading back to his old Bay Area eating grounds. Starting Jan. 1, he’ll take the critic’s job at SF Weekly.

Kauffman’s background as a cook, his knowledge, and his voracious curiosity for exploring all kinds of cuisine made him a must-read when he came to Seattle three years ago. He’s not just a must-read, he is a joy to read — perceptive, honest, and marvelously skilled.  (On top of all that, not only has he kept his relevance in this Internet age, he’s even retained his anonymity.) When I saw in 2007 that a food critic had won the Pulitzer Prize, and that his name was Jonathan, I more than half expected to hear Kauffman’s name follow. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading his work, check out his takes on teriyaki, on what he saw at the pig slaughter, and Number One New York Pizza

Treat him well, SF, and feed him well.

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When I was invited to a casual meal with Patricia Wells a few years back, I expected the highlight to be, well, meeting Patricia Wells. As enjoyable as that was, though, it couldn’t compare to my delight at being introduced to another woman I had only known through her words: “You’re Viv? “Seattle Bon Vivant“? That Viv?” 

Bon Vivant, a Francophile and Seattlephile, was one of the group I think of as the original food bloggers (Accidental Hedonist was another), and her honesty, her striking photos, and delight in food and beauty made her a favorite. Along with many other readers, I was sad and even worried when she stopped posting for several months. Her mother, as it turned out, had been diagnosed with cancer — and even after “Viv” returned from helping her, she decided to put her energy into living instead of chronicling.

Twitter, as I’ve written before, brought her back to us, as did Flickr. She was deeply involved in the Canvolution. Now that I know where to look, I’ve had the pleasure of running into her at several places where good food was to be found.

And now, Viv is back at the blog. Lorna Yee has an interview over at Seattle magazine on her return. Me, I can’t say it better than Tea did: “It’s your lucky day Seattle, charming and savvy gal about town @bonnevivante writes again.”

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Seattle Metropolitan’s “Best Restaurants” list is heavy on tradition this year, with few surprises - the only one I see is that Serious Pie made the grade, rather than a more formal Tom Douglas restaurant. It’s still an issue worth sending any out-of-towner asking “Where should I eat on my trip to Seattle?”  Canlis made the 10 Best list, though it’s had a few subpar reviews elsewhere this year. Kathryn Robinson writes that Canlis is “the best it’s been in years.” (Nancy Leson also tweeted earlier this year that she’d just had the best meal she’d ever been served there. It isn’t often you get such stark disagreements among critics; I’d like to get them all in a room and hash it out.) Robinson also said Jerry Traunfeld is currently “the best chef in Seattle,” and also gave props to his Poppy pastry chef, Dana Cree. Boat Street Cafe sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of hot new restaurants, but Robinson is a longtime fan, and I was glad to see it still, deservingly, is on her 10-best radar. Check out the whole Seattle Met list here.

Those of us who keep calling Jonathan Kauffman of Seattle Weekly the best restaurant critic in the country were feeling good over the weekend when the national Association of Food Journalists agreed, awarding him first prize in that category in its 2009 contest. (Among his competitors was the also excellent Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post, who took second place.) I was also feeling good myself when AFJ awarded me the first and second place prizes in the category of Best Online Food Writing. (I call it a real victory for Kate McDermott, who taught me to make an apple pie, the subject of the first-prize post.) 

Want to do some voting yourself? You have a chance over at Foodbuzz, where the finalists for the 2009 best food blogs are up, and some super writers from Seattle are among them. Anticiplate is there under “Which Blogger(s) Would You Most Like To See Open Their Own Restaurant,” Cakespy is a finalist in both “Most Humorous Blog” and “Best Baking Blog,” Gluten-Free Girl for “Best Healthy Living Blog,” Lorna Yee (The Cookbook Chronicles) for “What Blogger(s) Should Have Their ‘Foodie Life’ Made Into A Movie” and “Best New Blog,” Orangette for “Best Visual Blog” and “Best Writing Voice,” Tea and Cookies for “Best Writing Voice”.  I’m glad to see so many talented local favorites on the list; you can vote for your choices here, through Oct. 29. If you have a favorite blogger who wasn’t among this year’s finalists, feel free to share your picks below.

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When people ask me where to go for advice on food writing, I often tell them to talk to Kathleen Flinn, author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry,
who is both a fine writer and remarkably good at helping others figure out the publishing world. When I spoke in her class at Hugo House earlier this year, I only wished I’d gotten there earlier to write down more tips for myself.

Kathleen is teaching another Introduction to Food Writing class Nov. 14-15. Details are here. The cost is $192 for Hugo House members; $213.50 for non-members, but you still have time to snag a chance at a free reserved spot. Just send your name and phone number to bumbershoot@kathleenflinn.com by 12:01 a.m. Sept. 9. One lucky winner gets a free spot in the class plus a signed copy of her book.

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I do understand why some people roll their eyes at Twitter. But if you’re reading this, chances are good that you’re interested in food. And I would bet a pint of homemade jam that you would find Twitter worthwhile. I have an article in this month’s Seattle Magazine on just that topic.

One of my oldest friends continues to resist, saying that it’s better to spend time with actual human beings than to engage them online. No argument. The funny thing about Twitter, for me, is how much it does spill over into real life. It led to the impromptu canning party I attended this afternoon with Jeanne Sauvage at Kathy Casey Studios, and this lovely afternoon of cherry picking on Vashon Island. As I told people at Keren Brown’s Foodportunity last week, I was recently walking to the Lake City Farmers Market, and ran into Alice of Savory Sweet Life in person for the first time. We ran and embraced like the friends we clearly kinda are.

Want to know where to begin? Here are just a few of the most active Seattle-centric tweeters on my own follow list, for a starter sampler. It’s heavy on local food writers, but that’s my tribe.  I could easily make the list five times as long, but hey — those of you already on Twitter, feel free to let people know how to find you, or to add your suggestions for other places to start. You can also add your suggestions on the article, over here: (more…)

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Finalists for the 2009 James Beard awards, the Oscars of the industry, were announced today. Finalists for Best Chef: Northwest are a noteworthy and familiar group: Seattle dominated the field, with Maria Hines of Tilth, Joseba Jiminez de Jiminez of Harvest Vine and Txori, Ethan Stowell of Union, Tavolata, How To Cook A Wolf, and Anchovies & Olives, and Jason Wilson of Crush. Cathy Whims of Nostrana in Portland also made the list here.

For national awards, Tom Douglas is on the list for outstanding restaurateur.

And, to my honest shock and delight, I seem to be on the list for Newspaper Feature Writing With Recipes.

Here is a link to the PI article that was nominated (edited to add link on March 24): 
Super-succulent imports are everything U.S. pork isn’t

I’ll update once I pick my jaw up off the floor. Congratulations to everyone. The winners will be announced May 4 at Lincoln Center in New York. The full list of nominees, including cookbook picks, is here as well.

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Just a couple hours until the finalists for the 2009 James Beard Awards are announced. I’ll post them here when we get the news.

In the meantime, whet your appetite by checking out Nancy Leson’s roundup of this year’s semifinalists, who were announced in February.

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Cakespy art courtesy of www.jessieoleson.etsy.com

Cakespy art courtesy of www.jessieoleson.etsy.com

 

Gourmet.com has listed nearly 100 of its favorite food blogs online, not long after the Times of London made a splash with its top 50. A bunch of my favorites are on the Gourmet page, including a bunch of locals — I’m especially glad to see Cakespy, a long-time favorite, get such a prominent national nod. For locals, the alphabetical list also includes The Accidental Hedonist, Cook and Eat, Gluten-Free Girl, A Mighty Appetite, and Orangette.

Of course, you’re asking, how could they forget Hogwash? Where’s Tea and Cookies?” (Fill in your own favorites in the comments.) But even as I write that, I know I’m leaving out some of my own other must-reads too.

Here’s the full list from Gourmet.

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