…with gratitude. It’s been quite a summer. A whirlwind of activity. Between television appearances and judging barbecue and pie, I’m starting to feel slightly like Sally Field at the Oscars. Sorry to use such a worn phrase but you guys really DO seem to like me. And for that I am grateful.
As I embark on Round 3 of Project Food Blog (more on that below), I feel a strong need to pause, take a breath, look around, and say a big THANK YOU to everyone for your votes, support, encouragement, suggestions, critiques, and good old-fashioned cheerleading. You are half of what makes this blog work. As Sandra Bernhard said a while back, “Without you, I’m nothing.”
I started this blog as an experiment almost 3 years ago when my husband and I moved to Charlottesville. I’d been toying with food writing in Pittsburgh, getting my feet wet with a restaurant reviews, so continuing that work here felt like a natural fit. Imagine my surprise when folks here met my little experiment with open arms. Then I happened to read “Soul of A Chef” by Michael Ruhlman. Sitting there in the Fine Arts Library of UVA, I knew nothing would be the same. I had discovered a new passion – food writing. I dove into the genre headfirst, expanding my horizons beyond restaurant reviews. I discovered a well-written food story is its own reward. Without that initial support, I may not have headed down that road and so I thank you for that as well.
I also need to thank my friend Melissa Brown. She’s the one who really put a boot in my ass. She held up a mirror, forced me to look at my reflection, and said, “You can do this.” Until that moment edible cville... had been a hobby, an experiment. She’s the one who showed me it could be something more. Maybe even a career. Most of all, although he knows how grateful I am, I want to publicly thank the Hubby. He’s an integral part of this blog, accompanying me to restaurants, providing feedback, a sounding board, and all around general cheering up when I’m convinced I suck rocks. He’s pretty freaking awesome, and the guy who gave me “Soul of a Chef” to read in the first place.
Without this support I never would’ve considered entering Project Food Blog – a “Top-Chef” style competition where each week bloggers are eliminated. They started out with 1800. Now there are 200, of which I am one. Bloggers progress based on judges’ criteria and blogger votes. One of the judges? None other than Dana Corwin of Food and Wine magazine. That alone gives me shivers! I mean, how cool is that? Dana effing Corwin? Are you kidding?
ONE BLOGGER each week proceeds to the next round solely based on reader votes. Click here to vote. If I win, big party at my house! Also, I intend to give half the prize money to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, and The PB&J Fund, two non-profits whose purposes I strongly support. End hunger. Teach children how to cook. Teach kids how to eat nutritiously. I was fortunate enough to have a mother who did this for me. I want to pass that on. It’s the very least I can do to give back to the community that welcomed my little experiment with open minds and arms.
On Friday, I’ll find out whether or not I’ve made it. Even if I haven’t, I’m grateful I tried. Grateful for the encouragement, that boot in the butt to finally JUST DO IT. Get over that wall. Now that I’m on the other side the view is pretty great. Someone just the other day asked me what I did for a living. I replied, “I’m a food writer.” It felt pretty damn good.