007 – C. Simon Davidson, The Charlottesville 29
Food Writer C. Simon Davidson’s passion for food began young, ordering an extra appetizer at dinner when the rest of the family was ordering dessert. His website, The Charlottesville 29, is a hall of fame of sorts for restaurants in our area. Named after the road slicing through our community, it names the top 29 restaurants in our area – an impossible task given the circumstances, and one Simon is happy to tackle. In this discussion we talk about the challenges and rewards of being a food writer in Charlottesville, and the changes and growing pains the food writing industry is encountering because of the explosion of interest in recent years.
An engaging discussion for anyone who loves restaurants! What do famous restaurant reviewers like Tom Sietsema do to ensure chefs don’t recognize them? How does Simon’s “Five Finds on Friday” column promote community and conversations around food in Charlottesville? How did a lawyer find a passion for food and turn it into a rewarding side career as a food writer? What’s the reasoning behind Simon’s belief that “…a rising tide lifts all boats?” Is a favorite restaurant in town about to close? And may have closed by the time this airs? Listen now to find out!
Food Writing Discussed During the Episode:
A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway eats his way through Paris. A food writing classic.
Chicken of the Trees by Mike Sula – Award-winning piece about why eating the urban squirrel makes perfect sense.
Consider the Food Writer by Josh Ozersky – Was MFK Fischer a hack? Does food writing need to undergo a major shift? You decide.
Food for the Thoughtless – one of my favorite food writers, Michael Procopio
How Food Journalism Got as Stale as Day-Old Bread – Chef Marc Vetri of Philadelphia’s Vetri, Osteria, and numerous other restaurants laments the state of food writing.
On Food Writing – A Response to Marc Vetri by C. Simon Davidson – Charlottesville food writer and star of Episode 7 responds, wondering if the state of food writing is as bad as all that. Great read!
Plated Stories – Jamie Schler and Ilva Beretta create gorgeous words and photographs that revolve around a single theme.
Remembrance of Things Lost – Is recording every minute of our lives on a device affecting the way we remember things? Walter Kirn thinks so. Thought-provoking and timely.
The Soul of a Chef – The one that started it all for me. I read this book and thought, “I could do that.” Michael Ruhlman presents three stories, about Chef Thomas Keller, Chef Michael Symon, and his own journey through cooking school. A fascinating look behind the scenes. Ruhlman is the most talented food writer working today.
The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food by Michael Moss – Why Cheetos rock. Hard.
Up at the Old Hotel – If there’s one writer in this world I dream of being, it’s Joseph Mitchell. His collection of essays from his 50+ years at The New Yorker is stunning. And his food pieces bring to life a time long past. They never fail to amaze me. Read them.
This episode is sponsored by In A Flash Laser.
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