December 11, 2008

The Inqy's Rick Nichols Writes About Food Blogger Potluck

In today’s Inquirer, the always poignant and eloquent Rick Nichols writes about the phenomenon that has become the Philadelphia Food Blogger Potluck.

In hindsight, the idea of the Philadelphia food blogger potluck almost seemed preordained—we all write about food and drink, so why not get together and share some food and drink? But it took the organizational skills of Taylor High (Mac & Cheese), Elizabeth Halen (Foodaphilia) and Marisa McClellan (Fork You; Slashfood) to get the idea off the ground. The inaugural potluck was held last year at Marisa’s apartment (Apartment 2024).

Rick attended the most recent installment of this culinary clatch last Friday at the abode of Albert Yee and Kate Donnelly (a/k/a/ Messy and Picky). It’s fitting that the potluck got press from the Inqy at a time when Albert and Kate hosted because Messy and Picky, I believe, is Philadelphia’s longest-surviving, if not the city’s first true, food blog.

But what I love most about Rick’s article is that he was able to appreciate and convey the fact that these potlucks are truly about sharing good times with close friends.

I was disappointed that I was unable to make it to this potluck; it’s been a long time since I broke bread with many of these folks. Too long, in fact. So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that I was mentioned in the article—not once, but twice:

Blessedly, there were no name tags. But there was explaining to do: “I’m at Phoodie” -, which recently posted on the flavor of fermented black garlic at Zahav: Tastes like tamarind! - said Collin Flatt, “not PhilaFoodie,”

For the record, he’s not at Foodaphilia (, either. That would be Elizabeth Halen: “I’m Foodaphilia, not PhilaFoodie; I’d have to get shorter, manlier and balder for that. . . .”

Folks, I may have been in denial about it for a while, though I have noticed people staring from time to time. But since it’s out there in the open, I may as well just admit it: Yes, it is true—I am manly.

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December 06, 2008

Geeks Who Give Hosts Philabundance Food Drive & Tweetup

Geeks Who Give

Ever wonder what it’s like to be on a review with a restaurant critic? Geeks Who Give (GWG), a recently-formed community group, is offering you a chance to find out—and, more importantly, giving you an opportunity to do something good along the way.

The Philadelphia tech community is truly gifted in its ability to organize, collaborate and create, among other things. GWG mobilizes this community and channels that positive energy to people and causes that truly need it.

For its inaugural event, GWG is hosting a Food Drive & Tweetup to benefit Philabundance. The event will take place at National Mechanics in Old City from 6pm to 9pm. Admission is a minimum of 5 non-perishable food items. The food items must be packaged in boxes, cans or plastic bottles, and should not have to be refrigerated. In addition to drink specials, guests will receive 1 raffle ticket for the first 5 food items, and more tickets for additional food items. The current list of raffle prizes includes:

• Dinner for Two at Fork in Philadelphia;
• A Gift Certificate and T-shirt from Tattooed Mom’s;
• Treats courtesy of Open Source Cupcakes;
• A $75 gift certificate to the Wine School of Philadelphia; and
• More prizes are being added every day.

The prize I’ve contributed is a seat at my table while I’m out on a restaurant review for City Paper. Of course, I’ll pick up the tab. We’ll have to keep a low profile, obviously (e.g., no twittering the event). We don’t want the restaurant to know we’re on a review, for example, and we don’t want the world to know which restaurant will be the subject of an upcoming review in the City Paper. And, of course, it is important that you keep my identity secret. But you knew all of that; the whole cloak-and-dagger/behind-the-scenes experience, presumably, is part of the draw. That and a free meal, of course.

Be sure to show up at National Mechanics early. At 7pm, local food podcasters Fork You will be giving a cooking demo with non-perishable food items. Stick around afterwards for TechKaraoke at 9pm.

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