More than a year ago, I gathered a small team of geniuses (self not included) with the idea of re-launching markbittman.com as something interesting and different. And it was successful in a limited and static way: we put up some recipes, pictures, and videos, we launched a discussion (or at least a description) of Food Matters, and we appealed to visitors to join us in thinking up ways to change the way America eats. And lots of people visited.
All of that is still here: You can browse recipes, pictures, and videos, which will change periodically; you can sign up for a newsletter (which we’ll try to send out with some regularity); you can learn more about Food Matters, How to Cook Everything, and some of the other things I do.
But now there’s more. Starting today, markbittman.com will become an active, dynamic, bloggy, constantly updated site. We’re calling it a “slog,” a combination of “salon” and “blog.”* And we’re going to try to slog our way forward, so that eventually, there’ll be even more here – a place to share and comment on recipes, on eating styles and changing habits, a place to offer your own variations, pictures, videos. A place where you can participate in a variety of ways. A conversation.
The starting place for the slog is a kind of community table, where people gather to share ideas, opinions, experiences, and news about food. We’re going to have first-rate contributors, old professionals and new, reporters, thinkers, and cooks (sometimes people who are all three), writing about topics that will be diverse, interesting, and sometimes controversial. (Soon, we’re going to solicit contributions from anyone who wants to join us. This Means You.)
I’ll be posting regularly of course, but here are some of the characters you’ll find here in the next few days:
- former Gourmet food politics reporter Barry Estabrook, who’ll give us a weekly update on what’s going on in the world of food politics and policy;
- outlaw cook John Thorne, a brilliant cook and food writer who is co-author (with Matt Thorne, his wife), of Simple Cooking, a the best food newsletter ever, a bloggy publication that predates the word “blog”;
- The Value of Nothing author Raj Patel, a young and pursuasive new voice in the world of food politics and economics;
- Pam Anderson, a fantastic home cook, fellow alumnus of the old Cook’s Magazine, author of a bunch of great books including Perfect Recipes for Having People Over, and the brains (with her daughters) behind threemanycooks.com;
- Kelly Brownell, who runs the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and who is an instrumental player in pushing for intelligent food policy;
- My associates Kerri Conan, Suzanne Lenzer, Laura Anderson, and Daniel Meyer, devoted cooks, bakers, and recipe developers, who will help me keep you in touch with the new (and, I hope, exciting) things we’re working on;
- Civil Eats editor Paula Crossfield, who raises issues (and sometimes proposes solutions) before they’re on most people’s radar;
- Cathy Erway, whose Not Eating Out in New York (www.noteatingoutinny.com) has been a welcome and fun addition to the web food scene;
- and quite a few more. We’ll be adding more regulars, and occasionals, as time goes on.
Check back; it’s going to be fun. (If not, you can blame me.) We need you. And to sweeten the pot, we’ll be giving away i-apps, books, and more, starting … maybe later today!
(We thought up the word “slog” on our own. Brilliant or not, it evolved from our discussing this site. Turns out, of course, in the great-minds-think-alike department, that the excellent Seattle-based site, The Stranger, http://www.thestranger.com/ calls its news and arts updates Slog. Not “the” slog, or “a” slog …slog. Well, it’s good company, and we hope they feel the same way.)