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Fat Guy on TV tonight 8pm EST (repeated all week)


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If you're in New York City and you get the extended Time Warner Cable channel lineup, you can see me on the show Radical Sabbatical on the Fine Living Network (Time Warner channel 144) tonight at 8:00pm EST. If you're in another area and have a different cable provider, you'll have to figure out the channel lineup on your own. Check with the Fine Living Web site or with TVGuide.com.

The show will be repeated pretty much every day this coming week as well as on occasional dates throughout November. Some of the air dates and times (all EST) in the near future are:

Sunday, October 27 - 8:00pm and 11:00pm

Monday, October 28 - 5:00pm

Tuesday, October 29 - 12:00pm and 3:00am (that's 3:00am Wednesday, technically)

Wednesday, October 30 - 12:00am (actually Thursday)

Thursday, October 31 - 4:00pm

After that, you're on your own. It's episode 204 if you're using the Fine Living program guide.

Those of you who know my work from here and elsewhere will not find any new or interesting information on the small part of this show that is devoted to me. So I'm not actually suggesting you watch it. Rather, I'm providing this information just for the record.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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That information is all on the network's Web site (see link above). Here's the specific show page.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I just finished watching Steven's Radical Sabbatical appearance, and I must say, this is going to be great for him, and great for eGullet at well.

A few observations though

1) Who is this "Ellen Shaw" person?

2) Where did they find this mythical office that Steven works in?

Great shots of Steven walking Momo.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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1) Who is this "Ellen Shaw" person

Their level of accuracy was pretty good for a television network, but there were a few minor misstatements here and there. Nothing worth correcting, though.

2) Where did they find this mythical office that Steven works in?

Those were the sales offices at the hotel where we were staying in Halifax. My office at Cravath, Swaine & Moore was much, much, much nicer, with an unobstructed view south from the 43rd floor of Worldwide Plaza. I could actually see the Statue of Liberty -- from Midtown. Did you notice I'm wearing different eyeglasses in the fake retrospective shots?

Great shots of Steven walking Momo.

Momo is turning into quite the TV veteran. I'm trying to get him on Alias next. I think Will desperately needs a pet, don't you?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Fat Guy,

I was all set to watch you on TV there, but I found something odd in the mail. It was a picture of how I was going to get my ass kicked, Sa Da Tay! I was in tears within 10 minutes.

Guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see you on TV.

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Nickn: Ruth Reichl once was quoted as saying her annual dining budget at the Times was around $150,000. She was dining about 10 times a week at the most expensive restaurants in town. Assuming a 50-week working year I guess that works out to an average of $300 per meal, which makes sense given that she would often dine in groups of four or six and was paying for everybody. Me, I mostly dine in groups of two and order from the cheap end of the wine list. Unless I'm with my wife, I usually am not paying for the person I'm with (unless I'm being reimbursed by a media outlet or client that covers the other person's tab, in which case of course I pay). Not infrequently, people take me out to dinner especially my financially successful friends who know I'm poor -- I'm sort of their pro bono business-lunch client. I also dine out about half as often as Ruth Reichl did and don't focus exclusively on the high end.

Klink: And you was still surprised.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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"...eats about $20,000 worth of restaurant meals per year."

THAT'S IMPRESSIVE!.     :shock:

And he still finds an inordinate amount of time, logging in to the egullet board, seemly 24/7. 6370 posts(4.68 of total forum posts); On average 14.1 posts per day.

ThAT'S EVEN MORE IMPRESSIVE!

(Got the Radical Sabbatical episode on videotape today. Will watch it, early this evening)

-------------------

Steve

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(From the description of the Radical Sabbatical episode (204))

Shaw gets paid $40 for a mini-review and up to $6,000 for a multi-part article series.

FG, what constitutes a mini-review? The $6000 for a multi-part article series. Is that the money specifics for the Cross-Canada series for the Southam papers? Or more of a general statement for all your multi-part articles?

---------------

Steve

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A mini-review is like what I write for NYMetro or CitySearch: Maybe 100 or so words. These are typically unsigned, though my name makes it on to some of them. As for what I get for articles, it really varies. I think the figure for Fat Guy Eats Canada was somewhere between $5k and $6k in US dollars, though it was broken up into various payments for the series, editorials, etc., and I've never done the exact math. That's pretty low by the standards of what American outlets would pay, but I was taking the trip anyway and I can still write on all those subjects elsewhere to increase the total earned from the trip. The best-paying outlets are the major American glossies, where you can get $3500 for a 1750-word article that requires little effort and no actual research to write. I love it when I get a call from Redbook or Glamour because I know I'll eat well that month, even though that style of writing is peripheral to what I really do. Being a freelance writer at my tier of the industry is all about balancing the high-paying assignments with the low-paying ones (as well as the ones that don't pay at all, like what I do here and on Fat-Guy.com) so as to generate an acceptable income while publishing in the best outlets and building your name. And it's about writing multiple pieces derived from the same piece of research. Now all those figures don't include expenses, which is the primary perk of being a food writer. For example CitySearch might pay only $50 to its reviewers but it will pay for me and my wife to eat two $250 meals at Lutece in order to earn that $50! The forthcoming piece I have in Food & Wine will pay for my whole swing through the Redneck Riviera earlier this year. And some of the outlets, even if they're cheapskates, are good about getting you various comped accommodations and media-rate tickets from tourism associations and the like. And all that is far more than I feel comfortable saying about my personal finances, so if you all don't mind I will politely decline to answer any further questions along these lines!

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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FG, your answer was way beyond what I ask for(thanks very very much!!). I only brought it up, because it was posted onscreen for the Radical Sabbatical episode & at their webpage(the money figures). I promise, no more these type of questions(sorry for putting you in an uncomfortable position).

Finished watching the episode earlier tonight. Very interesting. The best fish & chips in Halifax(Fries & Co.). Did it have a light batter? For next time, regarding your future television or radio appearances, gives us around 24 hour notice. I missed your live appearance on the Fox News Channel(debating about cell phone use in restaurants), when I found out too late.

-------------------

Steve

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I'll try to give more notice, but sometimes these things (especially the news appearances) come up same-day and sometimes with the long-lead-time pieces nobody bothers to tell me when it's airing . . .

Yes, Fries & Co. had a light batter. I actually had a long talk with John Hilton (the owner, who I think trained as an economist or something) about fish-and-chips technique. I probably have some notes somewhere regarding what exactly he said, though it basically came down to fresh fish, light batter, and oil at the right temperature. Too bad I don't have the raw video footage!

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Me, I mostly dine in groups of two and order from the cheap end of the wine list. Unless I'm with my wife, I usually am not paying for the person I'm with (unless I'm being reimbursed by a media outlet or client that covers the other person's tab, in which case of course I pay). Not infrequently, people take me out to dinner especially my financially successful friends who know I'm poor -- I'm sort of their pro bono business-lunch client...

Guerilla food critic.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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The forthcoming piece I have in Food & Wine....

Man, things do go in circles. I got here because I was at my dentist's office last month and while waiting picked up a copy of Food & Wine from the magazine table. (Wow! goes this country boy who had never come across the mag before.) Was July issue with best new chefs and there's Michael Anthony saying his current obsession is eGullet. Just had to check it out. (Mike, if I blow it and people start coming down on me, I'm gonna say it's your fault. :biggrin: )

The circle closes with me getting a subscription to F&W and now looking forward to your forthcoming article.

Steve, my mention of the 20G's was in awe. I didn't figure that was all coming out of your pocket.

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Oh I'm sure you'll find people on this site who spend a lot more than that! Once you get into the top levels of wine, you can spend that much in just a few meals -- or even one meal. If I had the money, I would.

One of the sad realities of restaurant reviewing is that an unlimited budget (as you effectively have if you're the critic for the New York Times, Gourmet, or New York Magazine) gives you a huge advantage. Especially in a market like New York, where the top restaurants are so expensive, you need to burn through a lot of money just to stay current. And of course if you have the luxury of returning to restaurants three, four, five, or more times you're going to improve your odds of writing a quality review.

There are a lot of talented writers out there who could do much better reviewing work than any of the big-name reviewers are doing, but it will never happen because there's no source of funding. It's not just a question of the meals eaten in connection with reviews. There's also the question of background and breadth of exposure. If the New York Times takes one of its reporters and decides to make that person its lead restaurant reviewer, there's going to be a break-in period of several months during which that person dines at all the three- and four-star places and develops perspective. And throughout that person's reviewing career there will be subsidized trips to Europe and other important culinary destinations. It's hard to compete with that.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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A few additional airings (all times EST, see above for channel info):

Friday, November 1: 11:30am

Saturday, November 2: 4:00pm, 9:30pm, and 12:30am (technically Sunday)

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I watched the show this morning. As you said, Fat Guy, for regulars of the board there wasn't a lot that was totally new, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless. Your giving up a well paid job to follow what you liked and found life in (although I knew this already) really came across.

I wondered whether the producers asked you to speak slowly, as you sounded much more animated on the Schwartz radio show a while back.

The best of the fish & chips you and Ellen found looked so good

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