Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blessings in Odd Places

I absolutely love when a plan comes together. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction. I take the time to plan something and then I watch as all the pieces slowly come together. It’s such a rush.

I find it even more fascinating when something wonderful happens and I had nothing at all to do with it. No plan, no execution, nothing. Just BOOM! There it is.

Let me tell you a story.

Back in the summer of 2008 I began writing restaurant reviews for this magazine . I am a writer after all but I hadn’t really written anything significant for a while and I felt that this was a good opportunity. My former S/O hooked me up with the editor of the mag and we developed a list of places to review. I had no idea what I was doing but I figured it out and finally fell into a groove.

I really enjoyed it at first. I didn’t mind that I wasn’t being paid or that I had to pay for my own meals, gas and mileage. What I did mind, was that my reviews needed to be slanted in a positive way. You see, the editor’s goal was for me to write something good about these places so they would in turn buy advertising from him. Also, if you flip through some of the pages of the magazine and look at some of the pictures … well, if you know me, you’d know that the places he wanted me to go were not places that I would generally frequent. It wasn't even really about the food, it was more about the party. The magazine is geared to a younger audience and let’s face it, I’m over 40. And the editor was older me.

Anyway, I pressed on because it was a writing opportunity.

After about a year I decided it was time to move on. The assignments were becoming more demanding and the byline just wasn’t worth it to me anymore. But I still wanted to write the reviews. My love for writing about food had increased significantly. I played with the idea of soliciting other magazines or newspapers to try and get a paying gig but then it hit me: it’s not about money, it’s about eating and writing. That was when I decided that I could just do this on my own and Delicious! was born.

I could go where I want. I could be completely honest about my experience. I could write or not write whenever the spirit moved me. I wrote my first review on July 8, 2009 and I haven’t looked back. I get real pleasure out of eating and describing puttanesca sauce or a vitello saltimbocca. Some of the places are fancy and some are just dives and I’m having a ball doing this. There is no pressure and it is truly something that I love to do.

Fast forward to Monday, December 13, 2010 and I receive an email from a local sous chef and culinary professor. In her email she tells me that my former S/O gave her the link to my food blog and she asked me if it would be okay if she used it in her culinary classes as a teaching aide.

She says:

I would use your blog for:
1. Plate presentations from local area chefs
2. How you describe the entrees, apps and desserts
3. Flavor profiles that local area chefs use

Students do not have the money to try all these restaurants so it is good that you take them there.

How sweet is that? She has also invited me to visit her classroom to taste her student’s assignments and provide feedback. I mentioned to her that my daughter was very interested in the culinary arts and would it be okay if I brought her along. She agreed.

I never thought my little food blog would help anyone in this way. Kinda gives me a warm and fuzzy. Especially, since one of my prayers is that God will put me in a position where I can be of service. I certainly did not expect this. I’m just eating and writing and trying not to get fat and look what happened? There are about 40 reviews on the site right now and yesterday I made a list of restaurants to visit in 2011 and I can’t wait to hit the first one.

I love when a non-plan comes together.


TJ said...

Congratulations! I've read Delicious! before and it is really good.

Remnants of U said...

Isn't it amazing, and you are doing what you love!

Congratulations! I'll be looking forward to eating at those restaurants "with" you by reading your reviews & seeing the pictures. All the way here in Atlanta. :-)

singlema said...

Congrats! Thanks for linking to your other blog. I'm not a foodie because I'm allergic to so much stuff, but I like to live vicariously through others. I hope your interests lead to even bigger and better things in the future.

LadyLee said...

Hooooraaaay! *backflips*

ShellyShell said...

Congratulations! I've read Delicious a few times and some of the food looks great. One of the good things about living is NYC is all the different cuisines. I'm a foodie so I love it! Can't wait to read more of your blog! said...


Tarsha R said...

Chele I am dying! Congratulations! I am so happy for you. I have linked Delicious to my food blog and will do a proper feature as well!

Congrats again!