Confessions of a Reluctant Food Writer
Thursday, October 11, 2012 • 2:19pm
I’ve struggled with my weight nearly all my life. Naturally now I’m a food writer.
The most interesting part of the whole thing is that food writing found me. I have been a journalist for my entire career, but a year ago I impulsively responded to a press release I’d gotten about TV Chef Chuck Hughes and his Christmas special. I asked if I could interview him. The Cooking Channel people said yes and set it up.
The interview went incredibly well and I got great feedback on the resulting article, but I still thought it was going to be a one-off.
The Cooking Channel people had other ideas. They kept setting me up with more food TV profiles, and I kept doing them. And people kept reading them. And still I resisted the whole idea that I was becoming a food writer. For crying out loud, I’d spent most of my adult life thinking of food as the enemy. How was I supposed to be a food writer?
Then last winter I got an invitation to be one of a small group of food writers to attend a luncheon at the Food Network kitchens. I found myself as one of six who watched Melissa D’Arabian give a cooking demonstration, then we all had lunch. As I talked with Melissa afterward, Ted Allen buzzed in to give her a hug, said hi to me, then said, “I gotta go, we’re filming ‘Chopped,’” before rushing out again.
That’s when I realized I had to face the facts.
I’m a food writer.
As I got more and more into the food scene, I found myself starting to experiment in my own kitchen, from simple things like layering streusel in coffee cake to complicated recipes with ingredients I had to look up how to pronounce. I swapped recipes with friends, I made notes of techniques I saw chefs use on TV, I bought a steamer and good knives and vanilla beans and put herbs in pots in my porch. If I was going to hang out with chefs and write about their world, I figured I’d better know at least some of what they’re talking about.
And I am beginning to make friends with food. I no longer consider it the enemy, although I still cast sideways glances at it, wondering when it’s going to attach itself to my thighs with a death grip no amount of jogging can shake loose.
So here I am. I’m a food writer, a reluctant foodie who has had to learn that food isn’t something to be afraid of, that it’s a crime to hide in my living room and eat an entire bag of potato chips with a side of guilt when I could be out sharing a great meal with friends or trying a new recipe in my kitchen. Food sustains us, food keeps us alive and brings us together. In a world where people stand in line for bread, can I afford to treat food with anything less than respect and gratitude?
I admit, I watch my favorite cooking shows while on my treadmill, and I still look for ways to make recipes a little healthier. But every day I’m learning to make peace with food, and with myself. That’s what “A Spot of Ty” is all about – my adventures in food writing, cooking, eating, and finding balance. So let’s dig in.
Christy "Ty Pott" Potter is a longtime journalist and food writer. "A Spot of Ty" features interviews with celebrity chefs, as well as glimpses of her own adventures as a home cook.
The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TheAlternativePress.com or anyone who works for TheAlternativePress.com. TheAlternativePress.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.