As part of my assignments for the food blogging class that provoked this new endeavor, I have been reading other blogs and online media for what feels like every waking moment – unless of course I’m writing or trying to squeeze in some “real” work!
There’s a lot of food writing out there! Despite the huge crop of talented writers out there, my favorite contemporary food writer remains Mimi Sheraton. Born in Brooklyn (what’s not to love about Brooklyn?), residing in Greenwich Village (Ditto.), she has dedicated the majority of her illustrious journalism career to traveling around the world devouring the foods and related stories from each culture then sharing it all with her faithful readers since the early 1970s. She is one of my biggest inspirations as a writer, a traveler, and certainly as an eater!
Recently (26 April 2009, to be exact) she published an article in the New York Times titled “Personal Journeys: Meals Worth a Flight (or a Cab Ride)” Admittedly, reading this piece nearly gave me a severe case of inadequacy-induced writer’s block, but I am choosing to use it as inspiration instead.
In this article, Sheraton reminisces about a traditional French bistro in Paris that, even after a 20-year absence, remains worth a plane ride across the ocean in her eyes. As it turns out, there are many food experiences that would inspire her to grab her passport and catch the next flight; not just bistros in Paris, but also markets in Vienna, a steakhouse in Madrid, an “offal” restaurant in London, and a Michelin-starred ristorante in a less-traveled region of Italy. She even throws in a Roman-style favorite much closer to home!
My inner gypsy is a hopeless romantic when it comes to the thought flying off to far-away-places just to taste something particularly special in its home environment. This wanderlust and accompanying hunger has been fueled by food writing such as this from a time long before I even had a passport or the means to fly off anywhere, much less to hop a taxi to the Upper East Side! This is a big part of why I became a chef in the first place… I reasoned that a chef can go anywhere in the world, taste the best foods, drink amazing wines, and always find work that would bring those things one step closer.
I was right.