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Food Blogging with Steven Shaw

On May 15th, the International Culinary Center is starting a new session of Food Blogging with Steven Shaw, founder of e-Gullet.  I’ve written about it before but I just can’t say enough about this class.  If you read Amanda Hesser’s advice to food writers, followed the ensuing hashtag storm, and wondered if food blogs were really over but still want to start your own, then this might be the right class at the right time.  Click here for more information about the next session of classes starting up next week!

Food Blogging with Steven Shaw

On May 19th, the International Culinary Center is starting a new session of Food Blogging with Steven Shaw, their Director of New Media Studies and founder of e-Gullet. I was talking with a friend interested in starting her own blog the other day and found myself gushing about how much support, encouragement and invaluable information Steven packs into the six-week course (and beyond). If you ever considered starting up your own site or just want help developing the one you have, this is a great way to go about it. This year, they’re also offering one full and one half scholarship to enrolled student. The deadline for submissions is coming up (May 9th) so I hope you’ll  click here for more information.

Steven Shaw: A Class Act

Desk ChairsIt always seemed strange to say I had a mentor. It’s the kind of throwback term that describes a commitment, integrity, and generosity of time and spirit that you just don’t see any more. But that is the only way I could describe Steven Shaw who passed away suddenly this past Tuesday – he was my mentor and a throwback in all the best ways.

I met Steven in 2009 when I took the first every food blogging class he taught at the International Culinary Center. An award- winning food writer, he’d already made the jump from blogging (even before that was a term) as the founder of e-Gullet to publish books and write for Saveur, Elle, the New York Times among others – all still considered more legitimate platforms. I had recently left production and was looking for a way into the food world in general and writing in particular. Blogging seemed the only way open and I couldn’t have hoped for a better introduction than Steven’s class. I don’t know if I could adequately describe the joy he took in blogging and the possibilities he saw in it – it was unabashed, it was wholehearted, it was infectious.

Still, it was after the course was over that Steven really stood apart as a friend and teacher. With every new development, he was the first person I’d email with good news and nervous questions – always knowing that in just a few minutes I’d have his thoughtful and well-considered advice to follow. I thought this might taper off as he met new students and started countless blogs but it never did. A couple of times when Steven invited me to come back with other former students to speak to his current class, I questioned whether I had accomplished enough to merit the honor but was so proud that he felt I had.

I also knew that panel speakers were invited to join him at L’Ecole, and if there’s one thing he taught me, it’s to never be embarrassed about going somewhere for the food.  Joining Steven for a meal was something like going for a light run with Usain Bolt – you can fool yourself that you’re keeping up but he is operating on a completely different level.  It wasn’t just the pleasure he took in a 5 course meal but his ability to brilliantly post about it immediately afterwards that was so special. He loved talking and writing about food and he wanted everyone to be part of the conversation.

I can’t think of a better way to honor Steven than to blog about him as many have in the last couple of days.  My heart goes out to his wife and son who he talked about so often and with so much love.  I’m sad today but know that I’ll always smile when I think of him and feel an enormous sense of gratitude that I have a space – thanks in no small part to him – to write these words.

RIP Steven A. Shaw (1969-2014).  Paz, luz, y progreso.

Catching Up In September

I considered skipping this month’s September catch-up but didn’t let it go by without letting everyone know what’s been going on.  My pan de medianoche was chosen by three guys from Miami as their food photo of the month which is great since they were nice enough to let me use their recipe in the first place.  Hungry Sofia was also featured on the Food Network‘s Food2 site with more to come and received a great write-up in Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs’ Food52.  Of course, when anything good happens on my site, Steven Shaw, eGullet founder and Director of New Media Studies at The International Culinary Center, is the first person I let know. Read more

The Other Chinatown

After years of winding my way through the streets of lower Manhattan, I think I’ve finally figured out Chinatown.  A little overwhelming and often confusing, you always know you’re in New York.  A few blocks in any direction and you’re in Little Italy, Tribeca or the Lower East Side.  I’d always been curious about the “other” Chinatown – the one they keep in Flushing, where Jennifer 8 Lee said the “real” Chinese restaurants were.  I had no good reason for not making it out there until now so when my teacher, Steven Shaw planned an excursion for his current food blogging class, I had to sign up.  After all, he’d written the book.  This weekend we met up  at the French Culinary Institute on a gray day to make our way through cast iron Soho to Spring street where a 6 would get us to the 7 to Flushing.  When we came up from the station, it was clear we were not in Manhattan anymore.

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Spring Forward

I didn’t realize what a hard winter we were having until it got warmer this week and everything became SO much easier.  I was in a neighborhood shop the other day when someone asked what I’d been up to.  My mind drew a complete blank – I couldn’t remember what I’d been up to because I felt like I’d just woken up.  We’ve been so storm tossed the past couple of months that it felt like winter was having us.  It’s been weeks of face down, boots on and scurrying from one place to another.  All that changed overnight – which it always does though I always forget.

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Class Break

I’ve owed my teacher Steven Shaw a rave since I took the first food blogging course at the ICC this past year.  He’ll be teaching the course again starting February 18 at the French Culinary Institute, and I absolutely recommend it to anyone interested in new media, starting their own blog or food writing.  I browse listings for writing courses and workshops all the time.  While they sound interesting, the fear is always that you’re going to pay for a teacher to ignore you and your fellow students to analyze you, at best a writer’s group and at worst group therapy with deadlines.  Absolutely, none of these fears materialized in Steven’s class.  A founder of eGullet.org and James Beard award winning writer, he was beyond generous with his time both in and out of class, so that you saw real development in everyone’s blogs from week to week (plus the speakers were great and the class drew together a perfect mix of writers, chefs, and starters).  Click here for more information and here for five more reasons you should take this class!