“Foodies of the true calling, dear friends, are forever. They are not groupies. They are true eaters and experimenters who have a passion for food. They tend to carry around mental lists of the best places to find not just foie gras, but pork skins, Spanish cheese and tikka masala. They know where to find fish roe at 8am. They tend to congregate and talk a lot about food and drink--yes, maybe sometimes to a fault. “
I am a warm, intelligent and normal person who just happens to have lost my mind at the end of last year when I decided to take a break from my successful career in retail and restaurant marketing to take a year-long sabbatical in 2007 (with support from my family and friends) to fulfill my fantasy of becoming a professional FOODIE. I am on a quest to find out how one can officially hold a job with the title of FOODIE and make money at it. By the end of this year, I want to have catapulted myself from FOODIE in my own mind to FOODIE on a local or national level. If I can figure out how to make that happen this year then I will have successfully turned my passion into my career. If I fail, I am considering enrolling myself in culinary school to give myself the professional skills to back-up my culinary dream, and try, try again. What follows is a list of the various experiences that I either currently have or I am working towards to achieve my goal (just like me, these are a definite works in progress):
o Owned a successful Brazilian grocery store in Kansas City for 5 years.
o Taught cooking classes at the Culinary Center of Kansas City.
o Worked as the Marketing Director for a casual dining Italian restaurant chain, and served as the lead selected to develop a 30 bottle wine list for our restaurants thus growing our percentage of liquor sales in each restaurant. Responsible for training our staff in all 15 of our restaurants on our wine list and conducted staff wine tastings to build knowledge and enthusiasm for selling great wines to our guests.
o Invited to attend Vinitaly in Verona, Italy, which is the largest Italian wine show in the world. Invited to travel to Chile, hosted by Valdivieso Winery, to come and visit their facilities, tour the vineyards, taste their wine and enjoy their hospitality while learning about their award winning selections.
o Was appointed the Chef and Food Stylist for all restaurant photos shoots, working side by side with the best food photographers in the business.
o Currently, writing a local restaurant recommendation column called Table Hopping for Tastebud magazine in Kansas City.
o Regular contributor to Chowhound.com, online FOODIE boards.
o Teach private cooking classes to hone my abilities and earn money for my quest.
o Take on catering jobs to raise awareness of my abilities and earn money for my quest.
o Created calling cards with the title FOODIE on them and three questions on the back: Where did you eat? What did you make? Would you recommend it?
o Secured a personalized tag on my car that says FOODIE as a form of self-promotion and actualization.
o I plan to attend as many restaurant-based food festivals I can this summer to write about those experiences. I will be looking to taste the best of what each city has to offer and is famous for and to see the differences and similarities in each event. I can’t afford to go to Aspen or South Beach this year, but next year, who knows.
o I will be attending: Taste of KC, Taste of Chicago, Taste of Dallas, Seattle Bites, Taste of Colorado and Taste of St. Louis.
o I have started a blog, http://firstname.lastname@example.org, that will be the foundation for my journey and give me a place to record my efforts towards achieving this goal.
o I am in contact with local radio and TV stations trying to drum up interest in my quest or using my expertise to add content to their shows in exchange for PR for myself.
o See myself as a local FOODIE expert who writes about restaurants, blogs about food, cooks for food for family and friends and wants the opportunity to use my talent and skills to share my passion for food with others.
o A podcast perhaps would be next … then the world. I can dream, can’t I?
o Being on Food Network would definitely be the pinnacle for me.
You can contact me at: