My life revolves around the term: “Foodie”.
I have been involved with food and cooking since I was nine. Getting up early on Sunday morning to cook brunch for my parents, I would organize my two brothers: David – 7 years old, Brian- 5 years old. My first kitchen brigade would compose a meal fit for royalty. Actually I thought I was cooking for royalty. Eggs, toasted bread and drip coffee was the most we could muster. Everyone had a job and a mission. Mine was not to burn the eggs. This was my earliest training about cooking. This is where I found what the importance of properly clarified butter was and how it should be used.
My Grandfather and Dad were in the restaurant business in Fort Lauderdale. Because it was deemed such a great talent to make the perfect omelet, I thought being able to cook breakfast was something special, that only a select few could do. So my brothers and I did this regularly for a few years, until I actually walked into my Grandfather’s restaurant to see what he really meant by WORKING the egg station. This enlightenment burst my bubble about how well my brigade was doing at home.
Since you mentioned it, yes I live to cook and love to write about it.
Ever since the later half of the 1990’s I have been writing about restaurants, chefs and foodies. I started out writing for the American Culinary Federation – the Miami Chapter – as their newsletter writer/publisher. After three years, I began writing for the everyday enthusiast and contributed my restaurant/chef reviews to the James Beard Foundation in New York City. This turned into a gig where I actually was remunerated. My position as restaurant reviewer for all of South Florida (with “Cuisinenet” – a.k.a., now known as – Dinesite.com) also burst with the tech-bubble of the year 2000.
My territory was from West Palm Beach, down to the Keys, over to Naples and up to the burgeoning Foodie upstart: Sarasota. I wrote more than 270 blurbs for Cuisinenet.com. I was totally immersed in the new Internet thing. Before blogs were popular, I was blogging and being read – on paper and on monitors across the world. I placed myself at the top of everyone’s Press Release submission channel because I was able to get nifty local and national by-lines for south Florida chefs.
As I grew to love writing about Food and Foodies, so I started to write my own cookbooks. I now have three published works, all are available on my website <http://www.foodbrats.com>, my Blog, Amazon.com and in B&N retail stores (and online) – if you care to purchase them. lol!
The past few years my writing has concentrated more on writing cookbooks and doing some PR for other chefs, all-the-while I continued writing foodie articles and blogs about the places where I was the Chef. I am now the National Fusion Foods (and Tampa Bay Restaurant) writer for Examiner.
Besides my Blogs and, other peoples Blogs, I have several profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Patch, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Digg, Flickr, Tumblr, Pinterest and Digital Journal. I love my Internet addictions, all of them!!!
I use all of these to get better SEO for my writing. The last keyword-stuffed article I wrote was placed frist page on a Google search for Publix / Greenwise markets. They have since uploaded their (Keyword) articles, pushing me down to the fifth listing on same Google search. I have found a way to promote my writing without seeming necessitous.
Being an Executive chef for the past twenty years, you have to have a well-versed palate. I am proud to be the guy they are talking about when you hear some one say, “if you love what you do for a living, you will never have to work a day in your life.” This is why I am applying for the Food Writer’s position.
Also, being a chef/writer for so long, I can see the story through a more polished perspective. I know the little tricks that chefs will use when something isn’t of the highest quality, or they run out of the proper ingredients. I know the fact that you can’t judge the passion of a Chef on a single try. Someone is always showing up late or not at all. This why I like to try a place two to three times and, at different times of the day.
Being a chef in Tampa you also get the inside scoop about the locally grown and harvested foods from the Farmers themselves. I have been to the Farmer’s Markets and some of Tampa’s larger specialty farms. This eating local thing is great. Back in the late 1970’s, when I was just getting my feet wet in the Biz, using local-raised food and cooking from scratch was all the rage in Europe. Now it is the biggest thing here in America. When I was working down in the Caribbean a few years ago, it was still prevalent for families to cook the way we did in the 1970’s. We are just now catching up and I want to tell your readers how, what and why!