With all the buzz that Ruth Reichl will helm a new Gilt Groupe food website, I see an opportunity to work for my idol. So, I’m taking matters into my own bit of cyberspace. Here’s why Ruth should entrust me as web editor and food writer extraordinaire:
1. I’m obsessed with food
I spend all my money eating at every restaurant in town, spend every minute of my time reading food websites, magazines and books, testing and cooking recipes, writing for (this lovely!) website and freelancing. When I’m in a lull between foodie adventures – from festivals to food-based vacations to markets – something just feels off.
2. I’m qualified on paper
A master’s graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, I am a one-man-band reporter/editor. Need a video shot of a chef butchering a whole lamb in the a.m., edited by mid-day and posted online, with additional high-quality photographs plus links with suggestions for butchering knives, by afternoon? I’m your gal. I’ve done the CSS and HTML for several websites (including this one!), maneuvered my way through several CMS platforms, shot and edited video and audio for interactive packages, and helped design/execute a prototype magazine for the iPad, Beaucoup, using Adobe’s new software.
3. I’m actually qualified
I have a bachelor’s of science in culinary arts from Drexel University and over seven years experience in the restaurant industry. My first real job was working at Spago Beverly Hills where Pastry Chef Sherry Yard kicked my butt into shape, which means I not only know how to hold a chefs knife, quenelle, and make a souffle properly, but I can taste the difference between Seascape and Gaviotta strawberries. From the farm focus I learned at Spago and my stage at Manresa to the modernist cuisine I learned at Providence and my stage at The Fat Duck, I can write my way through any food experience, culinary challenge or recipe.
4. Gourmet was the best job I’ll never have
Gourmet was the first food magazine I can remember reading and was the real reason I applied to journalism school. It had been my dream to work with the team that created Gourmet since I can remember, and everything I did, from culinary school to writing restaurant reviews for my college paper to working on a French goat farm was a step towards my goal of Gourmet. The day it was announced that Gourmet was done, I cried. Literal tears streamed down my face. If that’s not dedicated I don’t know what is.
5. I am a Ruth Reichl fanatic (in a good way)
I’ve read all your books, the Gourmet weekly e-mail word-for-word, Gourmet every month (see above), and follow your tweets. I want to work with the best, and you are the best.
6. I’m hardcore
You can’t work for seven years in restaurants and not be. Twenty days of 17-hour shifts. Been there. Five a.m. shifts, done that. Work till 2 a.m. and back at 6? Done that too. I’m willing to do whatever it takes, whenever, to get the job done and my standards are cut from the perfectionist block of the chefs who trained me.
7. I’m well-rounded
I can do more than just recipes and cookbooks. As the food science reporter for Medill News Service, I covered a variety of health and science related topics, including but not limited to breaking news updates on poultry safety regulations, the state of economics of Illinois farming and the intricacies of preparing a cow horn with quartz for biodynamic farming. And my fellowship with the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern allowed me to research how climate change affects our food systems and practices.
8. I’m a forward-thinking gal
I believe that for any publication to succeed in this ever-evolving world of online media, it is absolutely crucial to keep at the forefront of the industry and develop an innovative relationship with the reader. I am constantly reading about media, web, and technology and teaching myself the techniques necessary to craft this relationship.
9. I’m me
I’m hoping that this list will act as my personal homing beacon straight to you-know-who. If you’re reading this, Ruth, my portfolio’s here and I’d love to tell you even more reasons why I’d be a sure-fire asset at your new site.