If you write or read food blogs or food-news-driven sites, Josh Ozersky’s article “Blog-Tied: How a Hunger for Clicks Drives New York’s Brutally Fickle Food Scene” is a must read. Ozersky did time as a writer on Grub Street and he lived to write about it. Here’s the money pull quote:
“I was the first editor of Grub Street, and those two years were, for all the excitement, a life radically wretched. I’ve been in a bad marriage, survived a doctoral program, suffered obsessive episodes requiring medication, lived with a girlfriend who worked as an escort, struggled to keep a business afloat, been in tax trouble and written nine books—and I have never felt the kind of pressure I did when I was helming Grub Street.”
Ozersky details the problems blogs restaurants and writers face in the nasty blogosphere.
“The blog ecology forces any potential restaurant to stress novel dishes and weird concepts because it needs to break through the noise.”
“The blogs give their blessings freely but withdraw them soon after: they’re like children who shower a puppy with adoration and then quickly regret its existence.”
I’m not asking you to cue the violins and feel sorry for anyone. I choose to swim in these shark invested waters but, honestly, it’s not always fun. Speaking from where I type, the behind-the-scenes world of the Dallas restaurant news business is wicked and full of back stabbers, liars, and cheaters who don’t “play” fair. Read Ozersky’s piece. And if you have a thought, I’d love to hear it.
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I have just completed D Magazine‘s June cover story: The 100 Best Restaurants in Dallas. Yes, I wrote 100 restaurant reviews and ranked the top 100 restaurants in Dallas. To complete the task, I had to toss out Fort Worth, Grapevine, and the mid-cities. Maybe next time. (Which will not be in my life time.) I’m so tired I thought it would be a great idea to throw a party and celebrate the 100 best restaurants in Dallas. The marketing people agreed.
Join me and many of the 100 best restaurants in Dallas for a giant soiree on May 22 from 6-8PM at Sharon Van Meter’s 3015 Trinity Groves. The festivities will feature food from the top chefs in Dallas and the fare will feature an eclectic mix of haute cuisine, off-the-beaten-path barbecue, and a variety of dishes from ethnic restaurants. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to mingle with an unprecedented gathering of chefs and restaurateurs from the top restaurants in Dallas. Along with the food tastings, there will be cocktails by Brugal Rum, beer by Trumer Pilsner, DJ Jose Guevara, Land Rovers on display and a See’s Candy buffet. Additional sponsors include Express Working Capital and Poggenpohl.
I’m thinking about doing a “Throw a Cream Pie in Nancy’s Face” booth to raise money for my favorite charity. Could happen. Buy your tickets here.1 Comment »
Not to brag or anything, but I may have been the one to convince Chef Ryan Barnett to make his fourth and last pop-up dinner on August 24 completely vegan. It all began when I cornered Barnett for a photo in the kitchen during his second pop-up dinner. (See photo to the right.) As he told me his plans to make his last pop-up completely vegetarian, I asked, “Why not make it vegan?” Vegan cooking for a French-trained chef like Barnett is quite a challenge, you see, but I’m sure he’ll make it look like a piece of cake. This young fella first started his culinary training at L & M Kitchen & Salumeria in Oxford, MS, and then went on to work at Neighborhood Services, Bistro 31, and Ormsby Catering.
Jump to the bottom of this post for reservation info or continue reading an interview with Ryan Barnett, where we discuss bonsai trees, Alice Waters, and all things random under the sun.
Carol: What made you actually listen to me?
Ryan: I looked at it as a challenge. I hate when people come in, especially when I worked at a steakhouse, and we had no other options other than sides. Vegans want to eat a full start-to-finish meal just like everyone else. It became more of a challenge. How do I pair all these ideas down? How do I make this into a flowing meal? Finally I sat down and tied it all together.4 Comments »
Chef Ryan Barnett (who used to cook for Neighborhood Services, Bistro 31, and Ormsby Catering) is going all hermit-y and underground, just like the great Chef DAT. This pop-up dinner is happening on Thursday, July 26, at My Private Chef in Deep Ellum for $50 buckaroos per person. Not a bad deal for all that you’re getting. Read the press release below:
Courses include Bordeaux Picnic Plate; Texas Pea Cassoulet, Caramelized Navarro Shallots, Duck Confit; Slow Roasted Quail en Crouté, mixed field mushrooms, Chefs Garden herbs and finally a Toasted Pecan Pot de Crème. Cost is $50 per person and guests can BYOB (bottle service provided).
Ingredients will be sourced both from Ryan’s personal garden as well as from local Texas farmers
A Dallas native, Ryan is a classically trained chef whose passion and focus is the French Culinary technique. His career began at L & M Kitchen & Salumeria in Oxford, MS. With its strong focus on farm to table cooking, its traditional in-house meat curing operation, and a daily Chef’s Tasting, Ryan was constantly challenged and exposed to new things. Most recently Ryan honed his skills in Dallas at Neighborhood Services, Bistro 31and Ormsby Catering.
Check-in begins at 6:30 p.m. with dinner served at 7:00 p.m. Cost is $50 per person, exclusive of gratuity. For reservations email ChefRB@me.com or call 214-707-6986. My Private Chef is located at 2901 Elm Street, self-parking available.
The other day I reported news about the transition on Frontburner. We’ve all known for a long time that the data on GuideLive, especially the online restaurant listings have been anemic for years. Go to GuideLive.com and search for the directory listing for The Porch. What you find, dear readers, is a paragraph copied from The Porch’s website and pasted as editorial on the site. Now, according to the press release:
Rich Alfano, General Manager of The Dallas Morning News’ Arts and Entertainment business, said, “Pegasus News allows us to reach more consumers and strengthens our ability to provide the latest and most relevant information about places to visit, events, music and restaurants. Pegasus News’ hyperlocal data provides consumers with information on approximately 225,000 places, 5,000 events, 4,200 restaurants, 2,500 bands and Friday Night specials.”
Poof! They don’t have to bother their busy editors, they just bought the content of PegNews and will paste it in their online content and web apps. (Pop-Up Media?)
So what, you ask? So what about the staff at Pegasus News? Most of them are now employees of DMN. But where in the creme brulee is dining reporter Teresa Gubbshoe Gubbins? She’s gone underground (not dat DAT underground, like REALLY, REALLY deep under the surface of the earth.) She ain’t talking to me. Hmm, little Ms. Skinny B where art thou? Shall we bring her to SideDish? Oh, that would be so peachy!!!! Find her…First one to spot her wins a prize.35 Comments »