Every so often, we're highlighting a local or regional blogger we think you ought to know about. We can’t be everywhere at once, so we look to these passionate eaters, cooks and writers to keep us tapped into every facet of the food world. Consider this a way to get to know a blog’s taste buds, because, well, you should.
Who: Marti Buckley Kilpatrick, of Blank Palate
I learned something my mother, with her Kraft macaroni and ketchup-topped meatloaf, never passed on: cooking things from scratch can be a part of daily life. I also learned something that my country, with its industrialized farming and oversized interstate food trucks, seemed to have forgotten: the less you mess with nature, the better it tastes.
Armed with this potent, yet amateur-ish knowledge, I dove into the world of home cooks: Gourmet, Bon Appétit, M.F.K. Fisher, Nordljus and Donna Hay. After I graduated college, I returned to Birmingham, Alabama, and got a real journalism job at Southern Living magazine. It was during this bout that I started Blank Palate, mostly as a place to document the perfecting of basic recipes like salsa, cookies and marshmallows.
The birth of my daughter kept me at home for nearly a year, until the day I decided to do a stage in one of Birmingham's best restaurants, Frank Stitt's Bottega. It was both exhilarating and frightening and after eight hours in the kitchen, I was relieved when they let me go, mentally checking off the professional kitchen box of my bucket list. Until, that is, the chef de cuisine stopped me and said I could come back any time, like tomorrow. So I did. And I kept going back, until they hired me. I spent nearly two years in that kitchen, working my way up from a titleless grunt to salad girl to the line. I was a mom, freelance writer and blogger by day, and spent my nights sweating in my chef whites.
My favorite blogs are the ones that regularly take me to places I wish I could be, culinarily and geographically speaking. This summer, I begrudgingly left my first professional kitchen to move to San Sebastián, Spain. Now, my relationship with food is completely different. Many sweaty hours (and cuts and burns) later, I'm liberated from recipes and armed with just enough knowledge to maneuver cooking on the fly.
Blank Palate has evolved into my record of having the good luck to do so in one of the culinary capitals of the world. For me, it's the blog I always wished had existed: a love letter to life abroad, to the freshest of fresh ingredients and above all to great food.
Do you read a local blog that you'd like to see featured? Send 'em our way for a chance in the spotlight.