Monday, March 9, 2009

Public Radio Kitchen: Food Bloggers Eat-Up

I have previously mentioned several times that I did not feel the local food blogger community was as organized as the local wine bloggers. Yet that is changing, and it pleases me. The community of local food bloggers is growing and becoming more unified. This was quite evident at a recent "eat-up" sponsored by 90.9 WBUR's Public Radio Kitchen.

Public Radio Kitchen is "A public media listener/user & WBUR collaboration showcasing all things food related–recipes, tips, reviews, editorials, you name it. From locavores to omnivores, professional chefs to local food bloggers, all are welcome!" In general, it is an aggregate site, containing foodie contributions from many different bloggers and writers. It also contains some of its own unique content. It sees much value in social media. Ken George spearheads this effort and it was a pleasure to meet him at the recent eat-up.

I also recommend that you check out Ken's summary post about the event as well as see a comprehensive list of those who attended the event, plus information about the food and wine that was brought.

There were probably close to 40 people at this event, mostly food bloggers and writers. There were also several people who were interested in starting up their own food blogs. It was a diverse and interesting mix of foodies, though there were far more women than men present. The diversity of bloggers at this event was similar to what I have seen at other local food blogger events.

The eat-up was a rather informal event, more of a meet-and-greet than any formalized matter. There was little scheduled itinerary. We began by introducing ourselves, talking briefly about our blogs and writings. I already had met a couple of the attendees, including Jackie of The Leather District Gourmet and Pam of Cave Cibum, but met plenty of new people too. I am sure I will see some of these new people at future foodie events.

After the introductions, we ate and drank, mingling with each other, talking to those we did not know. It was an excellent networking opportunity and there was plenty of delicious food and wine. Several of the bloggers brought the food and I brought some wine. My personal favorite item was Jackie's Lemon-Blueberry Bundt Cake. The lemon flavor was more subtle, and did not overpower the rest of the flavors.

After the food and mingling, we spent some time in a free form discussion on food blogging and writing. We ranged over various topics and there were plenty of opinions from many people, some voices louder than others. Part of the discussion concerned whether bloggers are journalists or not, and comparisons of blogs to traditional print media. As expected, the contributions indicated a wide range of thoughts about blogging. Bloggers are an eclectic crowd and I expected no less than what I heard.

There will likely be future events held by Public Radio Kitchen and I will try to attend them. If you are a food blogger or writer, I recommend that you attend as well. They are good networking opportunities as well as just plain fun. And it is an excellent way for the local food blogger/writer community to grow closer.

I would suggest that maybe future events concentrate on a more specific topic. Though free form discussions have their uses, if we limit the discussions to specific topics, they might be more useful. And if the topic is set beforehand, people can also prepare.

See you at the next Public Radio Kitchen event!


Dale Cruse said...

Though I don't write about food quite as often as you do, Rich, I would like to start attending more of these food events.

I also think that the local wine community should learn whatever it can from the local food community and vice versa. It will make each stronger in the long run.

Richard A. said...

Hey Dale:
You definitely should start coming to more of the food events. Food and wine go so well together and both communities can definitely benefit from each other.

Ken George said...

Hey Richard.

Great seeing you again at Tazo. And my very belated thanks for the generous write-up of 90.9's first food blogger get-together, the first I hope of many.

Just read the Sake-MLB post. Terrific! A great public radio story.

See you around!