Back in high school I was a bit of a weird kid. I was an undefined artist. I wasn’t easily categorized because I never excelled at one thing. I was a photographer, an Olympics of the Mind science team member, a singer in chorus, an actor in every school show, a marching band dancer and flag spinner. I didn’t do sports. I was an average student. I liked to read but didn’t study. In the Madonna crazed 80’s I dressed like a bobby-sock girl from the 1950’s. Me and my closest friends were called “band fags.”
Once I got out of my small hometown and broadened my horizons, I began to realize that all my geeky artistic friends were some of the coolest people I knew. Unlike jocks and prom queens stuck in their glory days of senior year in high school, artists evolve and grow into their personas yet. Tilda Swinson may not have been the prettiest girl in the Oscar auditorium on Sunday night, but she certainly did exude a gloriously individual kind of beauty. Didn’t she?
So where am I going with all this? Well now that I’m an adult, I don’t have as many hang ups about being popular and what people think about me based on my looks. I am what I am and as far as I’m concerned, as writers go, I’m not that bad looking.
Which brings me now to my food blogging hero, Adam Roberts (AKA the Amateur Gourmet). Adam, most would say, is a nerd. He’s a nebbishy, fast-talking, glasses-wearing gay guy that likes to cook, sing, make musicals with eggs and writes show tunes about lasagna with his NY Broadway show loving friends. He’s got one hell of a sense of humor and he’s not that bad looking. What’s more, in the food blogging world, Adam Roberts is supremely cool. He’s so cool to food bloggers like me, that we’d call him HOT and then do a big double snap thing around our head once or twice. That’s how cool he is.
So when Adam recently became a virtual Food Network Star as the on-line host of the “FN DISH”, I rejoiced. Each week Adam interviews Food Network stars and gets the inside scoop of what happens behind the scenes– and in the kitchens of–the Food Network. The interviews are funny, pleasantly uncomfortable, and totally watch able. Finally, food blogging pioneers have not only found success in publishing (with the publishing of Julie and Julia, Chocolate and Zucchini’s book, and Orangette joining Bon Appetit) but now are joining the mucky-mucks of the television world! Hooray!
FOOD GEEKS UNITE!
On the Food Network Website, however, the tone of the comments left by FN Dish viewers is quite negative. “Where’d you get this guy?” a number of viewers asked. “The show is great,” one person wrote, “but why don’t you get someone more good looking?”
I felt like I’d been kicked in the stomach. Suddenly, I was back in high school watching one of my “band fag” friends get beat up by a thick-necked football jock. Who were these people? How could they not know how cool the Amateur Gourmet is? How could they be so cruel? So populist? Surely in the food world not everyone has to be good looking to be popular. Right?
In the name of all things right, I urge you to pay a little visit to the Food Network site and watch some of Adam’s shows and leave some positive comments about the FN Dish. Adam is a representative of food bloggers and food blogs’ power to connect to thousands of food-obsessed people through the printed word. Not the pretty face.