One year ago today, Eatocracy went live to the world, and while plenty of people are still a tad confused about how to pronounce it*, they've had no shortage of things to say. As managing editor, I couldn't be more delighted. We started this site because we love nothing more than talking about food.
I don't just mean waxing rhapsodic about the ultimate grilled cheese, perfect burger or shrimp etouffee - though we certainly enjoy sinking our teeth into those conversations. We love stirring the pot and getting people thinking, talking and typing back about all the issues, politics, relationships and emotions that go into feeding both your body and your soul.
What have we learned so far? Our readers are mortally offended by a cash bar at a wedding, vehement about tipping protocol, and may or may not really want to know what the chef thinks of them or what he or she is up to back in the kitchen.
They've also got some pretty strong notions about what is - and is NOT - Southern food, how death row prisoners and school children should be allowed to eat (especially peanut butter) and if squirrel meat is indeed a valid source of protein. Vegans and meat eaters aren't going to be hugging it out any time soon, nor will horse and bunny lovers and the folks who think they make a mighty fine meal.
There's been excrement in eggs, you'll find corn syrup and gluten in almost everything, genetically modified Frankenfish and we just tried to clarify matters in language we can all understand.
In the meantime, we've just tried to write from the heart about the way food moves us, and hoped you all would join in the conversation. Here are a few of mine and associate editor Sarah LeTrent's favorite stories from the last year, and we'd both like you to know that the dialogues we have with you are the most meaningful part of what we do. Thank you for reading and talking back. You are always welcome at our table.
A day two pigs would die
Is "ethical slaughter" a real world solution or an ugly oxymoron? When I shared my firsthand account of a pig slaughter and the subsequent meal, some readers applauded my moral gut-check, while others called for my head.
Justin Warner's wine rap
Wine isn't all string quartets and opera tickets. Sometimes it's just got mad flow.
Foodie friendships – the ties and fries and pies that bind
Sometimes it's all about what's on the table. Others, it's who's there with you.
New Orleans: The food that got them through
In the wake of unspeakable tragedy, sometimes a hot meal - or any meal at all - can be what gives you the strength to go on. Part of our week-long love letter to New Orleans, including the dinner of a lifetime with John Besh, Leah Chase, Mary Matalin and James Carville.
Five sustainable lessons from a family farm
Sometimes, it takes a shepherd to lead you to a better way. Craig Rogers explains what "sustainability" means for a small family far, and how you can help at home.
David Kinch: Why culinary Japan matters – and even more so now
If you ask any chef out there what country they admire most in terms of culinary culture, more often than not, the answer is Japan. And what a challenging year it’s been for the Pacific country. One can only hope food will help them cope – and survive. If this piece teaches us anything, it’s simplicity and respect for the ingredients. Whereas we live in a country often lambasted for our consumption of processed foods (we’re working on it!), it’s nice to highlight a culture where as Kinch said “it’s only the good stuff with no place to hide.”
Pouring whiskey in the wound
Some of the best food writing isn’t about food at all – but rather adds it as an relatable element. A poignant piece about the ability of finding comfort in food during one of the nation’s most trying times.
PB&J and me
If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that people love stuff on bread – especially nostalgic stuff on bread. Who knew something as elementary as peanut butter and jelly could bring such a joyous conversation to the table?
5@5: James Oseland
So he’s the editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine and a judge on Top Chef Masters, but the man likes himself a Filet-o-Fish as much as the next person. It’s nice to see someone often viewed in such a gourmet "I-only-eat-caviar-and-uni" role in such a layman’s light. There’s no shame in the pudding cup game.
A life in waiting
It’s not just the chefs making it happen. Waiters often get a bad reputation as struggling actors or deadbeats, but for many, serving food is a conscious, calculated career choice. This piece shows the depth in which passion is so vital and important to work and thrive in this industry.
p.s. We pronounce it Ee-TOCK-kra-see, but say it however you'd like.
p.p.s. My personal highlight was saying the word "spatchcock" on national TV a whole bunch of times on Thanksgiving.
p.p.p.s. I also got in a tiff with Anthony Bourdain and Sarah and I got tattoos with Bryan Voltaggio. One of those was fun.
I don't post often but I read Eatocracy as often as possible. I admit I'm a foodie and love the articles as much as the comments that get posted by the readers. Please keep doing what you're doing, Happy Birthday and Many More!
Are they cracked and shelled?
Happy Birthday – May the droolage continue!
Happy Birthday Eatocracy! I'm glad I've been pronouncing it right all along :)
My food blog also celebrated it's first birthday this week – any interested food lovers can check it out here: http://alohayinzmangia.blogspot.com/
happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us, happy birthday dear EATOCRACYYYYYYYYYYYY, happy birthday to us!! and to Kat and SLT and mannnnnnny mooooooooooooooooooreeeeeeee!!! :)
thanks much for the daytime entertainment and foodstuff edumacation.
thousands of people are dying everyday from starvation? what more do you need to know about food?
The title Eatocracy is affected and overly cutsey. How about changing it to Food?
Wow, "Food", now that is original and thought provoking!
Congratulations on a great year! I hope you have at least 365 more days of fun tucked up your sleeves
Are you two on a diet 'cuz that's a really small cake? HAPPY BIRTHDAY and Thank You Kat and SLT.
Happy Birthday Eatocracy!
I'd like to hear more about gluten-free options and about the topic in general, just as in this blog:
So you want to see something just like what is already on another blog? Why not just go there???
Thank you both, so much for all that you do for us!! Eatocracy has become an online home away from home for many of us, and you are both responsible! You should be proud of all that you have accomplished!
Lots of love....and butter.
Regular butter, garlic butter, or honey butter?
And what are we putting it on?
*canned laughter, hootin' & hollerin'*
Now I have Rocky Horror Picture Show on the brain. The fact my brain is misfiring (migraine) is probably the reason.
Thanks so much, this has been great fun! I've learned, I've laughed, and I have drooled . . . big time.
oh, hurray. A year ago CNN put the final nail in the coffin of its journalistic pretensions by commencing publication of an illiterate and vapid series of articles vaguely related to food. Let's celebrate and dance on the corpses of real news organizations.
Go away, please. We're having fun and you aren't contributing.
This is afood blog. As such, we discuss food related items along with our personal views.
If you are looking for hard news, try the actual "news" section. Or even better, please grab a seat in the stfu cafe.
Vagely related to food, in the FOOD section! Horrors. Why don't you go over to the Entertainment section and complain about no politiical news or just go back to the basement where you belong.
This is a food blog and community, or didn't you realize that? Click on the CNN image/button all the way to the top left and you'll get to the main CNN website, where rest of CNN's news is posted and discussed.
Seriously- if you don't like what's here... go find what *you* like and let us have our fun without your negativity.
awwwwwwwwwww. you got to break out the big words today. good for you!! you must be so proud of yourself – it's not every day that the use of big 'smart' words can make one look so incredibly ignorant... kudos to putting the nail in the coffin of your education.
A year already? Wow, where has the time gone?
Trust us, we're having as much fun here as you are. Thanks for giving us Chums/Flamenons/Klatschers somewhere to hang out and talk about food. And thanks for making us hungry all of the time.
I hope this next year is just as good.
You are my favorite 5@5 guest. If Mexico doesn't work out, I'll runaway to any country in the world with you! (I'll just need to be back by dinner)
Happy Birthday! Eatocracy has become my place to go when I need good friends and good food ideas. Plus everyone has been a great sounding board for all my crazy cupcake recipes :-D
If there are ever Eatocracy Aprons for sale I will be all on that! Nice and pink please
Nice looking cake!
Yeah!! Happy Birthday! I have loved this site since it's beginning and it is now my daily read, not just for giggles, but I learn so much and it feeds my love of food and cooking. Thank you. So do we think Eatocracy cutting boards, aprons, or other goodies will be for sale soon??
I have loved eatocracy! It has become one of my daily reads. The Klatsch is also a great source of entertainment when I need a good laugh. I have gotten a better understanding of food and all of the viewpoints and backgrounds many people have with food. Always informative and fun. Please keep up the great work!!!
Anyone bring the ice cream cake?
Oh wait, that's my job. DOH!
Well said my friend. It's been a fun year :) I honestly don't know what I would do at work without this place.
I also think that the way that this evolved is a HUGE tribute to Kat and SLT. Most blogs come off as a virtual version of "Lord of the Flies", but they have managed to craft Eatocracy into a cohesive, supportive community. It says a lot.
Agrred, don't forget the virtual Jodie Foster pinball machine 5@5 moments that were averted.
Another dynamic that I find interesting here is how we don't take to newcomers being hostile. The mutual support of each of the regs for each other is pretty touching.
What a touching article. Touches the heart, the mind and the soul – which is what friends & food should be about. Thank you Kat & Sarah for creating a comfort zone in a world of chaos.
All I can say is, "I'd Hit it"...:)
Well played my friend, well played.
Very well done, sir.
We were there!!!
No acknowledgment. =(
Ha! Spatchcock resembles my last name. I found it humorous. Can't type it in some circles, computer changes it to "chicken". Ha!
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