Archive | February, 2013

Mystery Meet Find Dining

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Mystery Meet Find Dining Podcast: Starring You!

Posted on 28 February 2013 by Administrator

Mystery Meet was started by Boston resident, Seth Resler. Mystery Meet brings together foodies in a city to explore a restaurant together. The catch is participants don’t find out the restaurant they are going to until the day before, hence the “mystery.” To add an interesting twist to Mystery Meet, Seth also includes Find Dining podcasts.

In these Find Dining podcasts, he interviews foodies (bloggers, chefs and food critics) to find out a restaurant recommendation in their city. During the Mystery Meet Find Dining podcast, the interviewee can highlight:

  • What you love about your city
  • Why is it a culinary spot to visit
  • Some of your other favorite spots

What’s in it for you:
You get showcased on the podcast. Seth gives you the chance to tell your story and share why your started your food blog or why you have such a passion for food. Share your favorite spots and tell the world why they should be reading your blog.

Social media promotion galore! Besides the featured restaurant you will be asked about, Seth will ask you a bevy of other questions like where your favorite dessert spot is, or where or favorite cheap eats spot is, or where do you go for a romantic meal, just to name a few. When the podcast is live, he links to EACH establishment on social media channels, promoting you in the process.

No need to be nervous at all. Seth is a wonderful host, with fifteen years in the broadcasting industry, and makes it so easy to speak freely and express your thoughts. Don’t worry about fumbling…thank goodness for editing!

I was recently featured on an Atlanta Mystery Meet Find Dining podcast. I dished on the Association of Food Bloggers, the food scene in Atlanta and of course my restaurant recommendation for Atlanta. You can listen to the interview below:

Tip: Brush up for your quick fire round by listening to past podcasts. Want to be featured on Mystery Meet Find Dining podcast? Contact Seth here.

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Estelles Southern Cuisine Bostong

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2013 Food and Drink Trends

Posted on 22 February 2013 by Administrator

By Markeya Williams

2012 was an exciting year for many food and cocktail trends. It was also the year that ended
with many trends on the horizon and awaiting their turn to blossom from the minds of geniuses
and out into the world to turn us on.

Leave your ‘sweet tooth’ behind

2013 is the year of the bitter, sour, and spicy! Let’s talk digestifs if you will; though it does
appear to be and odd place to begin.

Amaro. Interpreted as “bitter” in Italiano. 2012 ended with great interest in such digestifs as
Averna and Fernet-Branca, which made quite the reintroduction to society along with aperitifs
such as Campari and Aperol.

The American palate is being forcefully pushed toward bitter and herbaceous and we should
all be grateful. Don’t believe me? Next time you’re out on the town, order a Fernet-Branca or
perhaps a Menta-Branca and watch your bartender’s eyes light up then hold on to your chair for
the astringent, though pleasantly smooth and very grown up experience that is Fernet.

House made (wonderfully inviting new buzzwords) bitters, simple syrups, and shrub syrups.
It’s a pretty surreal experience to sit at the oak in your favorite watering hole and observe hand-
written labels boasting “grapefruit shrub” or “house bitter blend”. It almost takes you back to

Organic Chemistry class, but with a more entertaining result.


Photo Credit: Markeya K. Williams (DrFoodie Photography). ArtBar (Cambridge,
Massachusetts)

House made hot sauce is also challenging us all beyond Texas Pete (not that there’s anything
wrong with that). But aged, fermented Korean chili paste (gochujang) and even fresh
horseradish based hot sauces are leading the way these days. Most are simple, but brace you for
a few with a storyline.


Photo Credit: Markeya K. Williams (DrFoodie Photography). Kitchen (Boston, Massachusetts)
Chef Scott Herritt’s Frog legs with House made Hot Sauce

Salted & Boozy Desserts

Not so unusual in Asian cuisine, salted desserts are capturing and holding the attention
Westerners. Salted caramel has eased us into this trend. We’ve found salted caramel swirled in
vanilla ice cream, enjoyed bacon chocolate, stout(ed) chocolate, bacon cotton candy, and salted
caramel candies/chocolates. It’s quite an interesting ride! Adult milkshakes (think banana with
rum) are also all the rave!


Photo Credit: Markeya K. Williams (DrFoodie Photography)


Photo Credit: Markeya K. Williams (DrFoodie Photography) Corn popsicle at The Painted
Burro Mexican Restaurant (Somerville, MA)


Mei Mei’s Kitchen (Boston) Cider ice cream w/ salmon roe and brown butter powder


Crisp fried chicken livers with orange marmalade, fried tobacco onion, and garlic seared greens.
Estelle’s Southern Cuisine (Boston, MA)

Fun-Filled Deviled Eggs

I never imagined such a phrase would ever be written, but restaurants everywhere seem to be
competing on how to design the trendiest deviled egg. Think smoked, spicy chicken liver, pesto,
or smoked salmon with capers and you’ll understand what I mean.


Spicy, Smoked Chicken Liver Deviled Eggs. Estelle’s Southern Cuisine (Boston, MA)

Not Your Average Kid’s Meal

Fancy kiddos celebrate! Your child is not a second class diner with limited choices of chicken
nuggets and mac n’ cheese. Even the palates of babes are becoming more sophisticated. Treat
your little gourmands to panko hand-breaded chicken, whole grain items, pot stickers, even small
filet mignon and they may not expect a toy afterwards.

-Markeya enjoys sharing her experiences one bite and/or flight at a time! Her work can be found
at Traveling Foodie 2006

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shades of gray in ethics

Shades of Gray: When Ethics Aren’t Clear

Posted on 06 February 2013 by Administrator

Photo source: www.sonicseo.com

Ethics. We all have a basic understanding of them. If you are a member of the Association of Food Bloggers you’ve agreed to uphold the ethical standards set forth. What happens, though, when we are asked to circumvent ethics?

Some publicists offer payment to bloggers to post articles on their behalf without disclosing the post is sponsored. Another tactic some PR companies are using now is to raffle off fantastic prizes in return for writing an enthusiastic blog post. One we were invited to involved a dinner at a fabulous fine dining Italian restaurant for the blogger who was most creative about their post. This company made no qualms about instructing bloggers to not disclose that we were writing this to win a prize.

According to the law, bloggers must disclose when they receive something for free. There is not a requirement to disclose when we are trying to win a prize. This begs the question – how different are the two? Obviously, a less than stellar post isn’t going to win any prizes. So, is that really fair to readers?

In the end, we thanked our hosts for the wine and Italian fare, but left with no intention of ever writing a word about the event. Several weeks later, we bumped into a fellow blogger and the conversation turned to this event. He, too, had the same opinion. It seemed rather unethical to write about how amazing these particular wines were while not disclosing an ulterior motive.

As a rule of thumb, put yourself in your readers’ shoes when in doubt. How would you feel reading such a post or being encouraged to spend my money on something that a blogger you respect told you was well worth it. If they would feel mislead, then the answer is clear. Remember, you want to be fair, honest and transparent to your readers. You will lose credibility if you shill yourself out for every prize and freebee out there.

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