After coming in 3rd place at a Blogger Fueled Pot Luck City Harvest, I can now officially call myself a Food Blogger.
No longer a wannabe, I am officially hanging with the best of them.
Please note, that I haven’t chosen this unpaid career, because I want to get free entry to conferences, or sometimes my meals are comped (although that wouldn’t be so bad), but because I immensely enjoy cooking, eating, and blabbing about food and chefs.
It is no secret to anyone who knows me, that I love to give my opinions on everything, to everyone, whether I am asked for it, or not.
Mostly, I’m not, but that’s what I do anyway. It’s hard for me to keep @MyBigFatMouth shut.
As a champion food blogger, my job (picture me using my fingers as quotation marks) is writing and photographing food. A Food Pornologist, of sorts.
These delicious dishes could be from a street fair, food truck , or even a Michelin starred restaurant in Ankgor Wat, Cambodia.
Other fancy foods that I blab about could include: cronuts baked by my husband Dan, a dish that is lovingly prepared by me in what I like to call “Miss Vicki’s Improvisational Kitchen”.
The recipe for success in my line of work, is being familiar with the preparation and presentations of, a delicious meal and being able to stuff one’s face any time, day or night.
Another key ingredient to being a “Champion” Blogger, is being able to immerse one’s self, in social media, since that is one of the best ways to be seen and heard above the noise.
It was during a #FollowFriday Twitter immersion, that I stumbled upon an event, being held at the new offices of @Cookstr in Lower Manhattan.
“A Blogger Fueled Potluck for City Harvest!” What? Tonight?”
I envisioned this food fueled evening, as a chance to meet some of my fellow foodie peers. We would share recipes and secret ingredients, along with the trials and tribulations, of our unpaid careers. My first official blogging soirée.
Since I had only found out about this event, at the very last minute, I was heartbroken to discover that I had missed the sign up deadline. but I contacted Andrew Hapke from Zokos.com, and lucky for me, he was able to squeeze me in.
When Andrew said, “We’d love for you to come. What are you bringing?”, I threw up in my mouth…just a little.
What I didn’t know, was that I was expected to prepare food, for 40 discerning bloggers. Less than 7 hours from now.
I also wasn’t aware until I arrived, that this was a contest…with GREAT prizes, for the best food.
My mind was racing. What would a “Professional” Food Blogger do at this point? Could I rise to this challenge? It certainly would be fun, if nothing else. I’d get to shmooze, eat, and donate to City Harvest all at the same time. And, please do not let us forget, there would be a swag gift bag to take home.
Now that I was aware that the 1st prize winner, would get a set of new Analon pans, everything changed for me. I wish had known earlier, but truthfully, I never really stood a chance at winning. Everyone else, were very experienced cooks, and I was winging it… as usual.
No decent blogging chef, worth his or her weight in salt, would even blink, when subjected to a teeny- weeny challenge, such as this. They, would have it all under control. All I had, was an empty fridge. However, I was going to persevere, and also aim to impress, my soon-to-be new best friends.
Upon entering Miss Vicki’s Improvisational Kitchen, I quickly observed, that the cupboards were indeed bare, and time was slip-sliding away.
I poked around, and found Italian Fregola, Bordier Butter, and some wonderful Spanish Olive Oil. I would need more than that to create a meal, worthy of my fellow bloggers.
With only hours to go, my thinking chef’s cap was on. This potluck meal, needed to be all of the following: simple, delicious and quick.
An experiment with caramelized onions, the previous night, gave me an idea. Off to Whole Foods I went. A few vegetables later, I was ready to improvise my barley-ish mushroom, carmelized onion, fregola.
Thanks to a lesson from Chef Andrew Whitney at Dell’Anima, I’m boiling, chopping, slicing, sautéing, and stirring, as fast as I possibly can. With exactly 2 minutes to spare, me and my food concoction, made it to the event, just in time for the contest.
All of the blogger’s dishes were labeled, and spread out on the table. After each person sampled the dishes, they placed a star sticker on their favorite one.
I stood at one end of the table, in my adorable apron, doling out my fregola and adding a personal touch, by pouring a little balsamic glaze on each portion. It was actually a ploy, to get more votes, I admit.
As it turns out, my dish was really delicious. Not only did I impress myself, but my colleagues loved my food too! I was the 3rd place winner behind pros, @TheGayGourmet, who won a set of Analon pots and pans, and @DormRoomDinner.
3rd place baby! I’m a winner, and a Food Blogger! Success was mine and I couldn’t have been any happier.
OK, that’s a lie. I REALLY wanted to win those @Analon pots and pans.