This past weekend the world (of food bloggers) came to Portland for the International Food Blogger Conference. Now that my hometown is a well-known foodie destination, it re-raises the question of where is the best place in the food world? But while it pains me to say it, Portland is not it, and I’ll tell you why.
You can also cross off New Orleans, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Rome, and San Francisco. Actually I haven’t been to Tokyo, so I can’t be absolutely sure. But my strong belief is that you can’t find it on a map at all. The International Food Blogger’s Conference (IFBC) convinced me that the best place in the food world is wherever interaction is happening.
We all know that food possibilities are essentially infinite, an endless permutation combining all the varied ingredients, methods, regions, traditions…which are being constantly pondered by chefs, writers, readers, publishers, growers, home cooks, brands, thoughtful eaters, and so on. Our interaction, and the internet of course, accelerate this exponentially.
Blogging is so incredibly interactive by nature. And as I wrap up my first year of The Spinning Cook I can tell you that’s the best part about it, as compared to newspaper food writing in my past. I do miss having oversight from a professional editor, and city-wide readership. But my own readers and other bloggers are always there with feedback, ideas, questions, appreciation, and a lot of brilliance really, all of which contributes to a better world of food. Being there when those sparks of inspiration fly is a real thrill:
“My kid’s actually eating broccoli. Thank you!”
“What if we angled the light differently in this shot?”
“You should try using brown butter in that.”
“Your workshop really inspired me. This might be the breakthrough I needed.”
You Are Here: The Best Place in the Food World
And you are part of it all, which I know because you’re still here reading. So as year one comes to a close, I’m sending out a big broad thank you, because I love being in this place where interaction happens. It’s the best, don’t you agree? Just one request: anybody been to Tokyo? Please chime in, as I’d love to know for sure.
Nice hook! I came here expecting a debate and you landed me like a fish, lol.
I also think that food, at it’s best, has always been a relational, communal experience, of which the food itself is only one part of the equation. What we’re seeing (creating?) now, because technology allows it, is that those experiences of communion aren’t dependent on proximity. In other words we can share the experiences of the meal, as they occur, without sharing the same table.
You’re absolutely right Perry – the walls are coming down, on collaboration. And even beyond the internet factor, brick-and-mortar concepts like the Kitchen Cru “culinary incubator” (http://kitchencru.biz/) are allowing collaboration like never before. Fun time to be alive…and in the kitchen!
As your writing workshop teacher, I commend you on doing an excellent job on hooking your readers!
I’ve been to Tokyo. You’ve got to see the fish market.
Thanks Kathleen, that means a lot, especially coming from you! Your workshop was brilliant, and heartfelt. It felt like a solid hook, I just hope I didn’t overdo it! Great weekend!