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eGullet: How Has It Changed Your Life?


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A year ago I began posting on eGullet.

Since that time I’ve learnt:

• A great deal, especially about how people interpret what they eat, and the collaboratives necessary to bring it to table.

• That, despite still-sizeable differences in the what and how underscoring global dining cultures, there are rapidly increasing similarities and convergences. (As extreme examples, take Las Vegas, a city of little indigenous culinary provenance besides buffeterias and meat leathers that now sponsors a hybridized dining dynamic--a greatest hits list--of brand extension that is so remarkable as to be perversely admirable. And Beijing, where a panoply of international restaurants has grown up where few others dared to go just a decade ago.)

• Where to eat in foreign cities.

• That culinary friendships are to be valued highly. (As one long-distance example, Andy Lynes visited Vancouver and the Okanagan this summer as a result of meeting on these boards. He’s already crafted several articles about our food, wine and restaurant culture, and I daresay I’ll return the favour shortly. There are many other examples of the kindness of strangers, both to and fro.)

• That the smaller the potatoes, the bigger the knives, and

• That occasionally, culinary minutiae can look an awful lot like train-spotting.

• That most people are honest and generous.

• That people who endevour to disguise themselves and their motives the most, also have the most to hide.

• That if meals are the hinges of our days, surely good manners--and not a little humour—are their lubricants.

• That we’re in this together.

I’d be very interested to know your thoughts—about what the experience has meant to you. Have you been forced to give up golf? Spend less time with the family?

And, more specifically, do you think that certain restaurants benefit from the anticipatory buzz? Or laudatory experiences as annotated here? Conversely, do certain establishments suffer from a thread gone sour on their food and service program? Have you learnt much about specific (and new) food and beverage products?

Looking forward to your comments,


Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine


Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Though I don't post here often, I read avidly.

*I have learned that I am not alone in my obsessions

*I have learned the best (and worst) places to eat..

*I have learned about other food cultures through the food blogs

*I have learned tips and techniques for working in the kitchen.

< Linda >

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I have learned that there is an amazing amount of talent and knowledge on eG. I also learned that I can go anywhere in the world and have local knowledge about the food scene. I also have made several friends and have had the pleasure of going to several eG events with all of them.

Moo, Cluck, Oink.....they all taste good!

The Hungry Detective

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I travel extensively in the U.S. and Asia for the work I do and not too often to the same cities. The "local knowledge" of the food scene in various cities has saved me time and money as well as ensuring that I can locate an eating venue that has been approved (or disapproved) by fellow forum members. The "hit and miss" listings that I had to rely on in Where Magazine are now a thing of the past.

Still a newbie but I hope to reciprocate the generosity of fellow eGulleters with hopefully useful comments.

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I have learnt how hard it is to put my thoughts into words. at least coherently. I have also realised that some words are very hard to spell. I have also learnt that with this constant discussion of food and wine it is very hard to stay in shape.

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble


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I feel like I've gained an incredible amount of knowledge about so many things here!

From how to cook and what to cook, to where to eat and how to behave :wink:

I've learned that there are people out there in cyberspace that are not only amazingly cerebral, but FUN and funny. And that my curiosity and interest in not merely throwing food together, but making it most of the time, a celebration of life and community (even if it's just yourself or one other person) isn't obsession....it's passion and pure joy.

And I've learned that those people are so generous with their knowledge and talent.

I've learned that most people are caring and respectful toward other cultures and adventurous enough to try things "their way" at least once. I love that.

I am amazed on a daily basis when I log on here at the depth and breadth of interesting discourse that doesn't involve world politics, religion, or sports, but is still for the most part, pertinent to everyone. I have a deep respect for so many of you here. I learn something wonderful everytime I come to eGullet!

Edited by NVNVGirl (log)
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Like Kayaksoup I read eGullet daily, but my posts are much less frequent...

eGullet has:

- changed my vacation planning, I often rely on eGullet recommended hotels and restaurants. For example, few weekends ago I went to Seattle and stayed at Hotel Andra (thanks for the recommendation Coop!)

- made me realize that there is a large group of people in Vancouver who have the same culinary tendancies/interests and I have never met a single one of them (but that will change in 7 days and counting...)

- amazed me in how genuinely helpful people want to be towards others by sharing their knowledge

- on so many occasions made me laugh out loud (the best medicine after a long day!).

Edited by lemon curd (log)

Support your local farmer

Currently reading:

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Just finished reading:

The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith & J. B. MacKinnon

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The day I discovered eGullet was one of the best days of my life. I was excited (still am) for days to find a whole community of people who, like me, lived to eat. In real life, I'm surrounded by the 'eat to live' type (and yet funnily enough, I'm the thinnest of them all), who don't really understand my need to buy yet another cookbook, or my obsessive need to perfect a dish or the reason I think about food all the time. So imagine my absolute delight when I realised I was no longer alone!

I have also learnt so much here. I've made friends, shared recipes, gotten advice and learnt about other people's culinary experiences. I feel very sorry for all those foodies out there who haven't discovered eGullet yet. eGullet has really enriched my life and I'm very thankful for that. This is also my chance to thank all my fellow eGulleteers (f. eG) for their infinite collective wisdom that I've benefitted so much from. You guys have become so much a part of my life that often when I see something or cook something, I can't help thinking, f. eG x would have loved this, or f. eG y should have been here to see this.

I hope it will be during my lifetime that advances in technology will make it possible for us to taste and smell each other's food. That would greatly enhance the eGullet experience, wouldn't it?

Thanks again you guys!


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That culinary friendships are to be valued highly.

Of the many wondrous things I have received as "gifts of the Gullet" (and they are far too numerous to begin to enumerate here!), this one particularly hits home for me: I have met an individual who has brightened my life with her generous gifts of her garden and we live a full continent apart! Aside from the myriads of great ideas she sends me daily, Andiesenji has enriched my larders with her candied ginger, dried citrus peels, black mustard seeds, dried shallots, rose candy, and so many more items! :biggrin:

I cherish the loving friendship Andie has shown me and, to think, were it not for eGullet, we would never have "connected"! So, a special debt of gratitude for both eG and Andie, not necessarily in that order ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Now I am blushing.

I also have gotten a great deal of pleasure from communicating with the eG community. GG, you simply amaze me with the diversity of the topics you initiate. So often it is about things that I have thoughts about but have not been able to put into words coherent enought to make a topic title understandable.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett


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My life changed for the better when I accepted the invitation to become one of egullet's founding affiliates. Everyday since then I've been active on these boards in one capacity or another and that alone has had an impact on how I spend my time. eGullet has given me direct access to the worldwide family of those that love food and drink or make there livlihood from it. Its an amazing feeling to be able to arrive in New York or Vancouver or wherever and know that you can hook up with like minded people.

The greatest change though has been my decision to become a full time writer and its my association with egullet and the help and assitance of Steven Shaw in particular that has enabled me to so dramatically reduce my annual income. Thanks guys!

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The greatest change though has been my decision to become a full time writer and its my association with egullet and the help and assitance of Steven Shaw in particular that has enabled me to so dramatically reduce my annual income. Thanks guys!

Amen, Andy! Were we separated at birth? I see amazing similarities in this statement ... and, if we were in fact, relatives, will you please remember me in your Last Will? I personally am leaving everything to the eG Society for Culinary Arts and Letters, that is only one small indication of the high regard in which I hold Steven Shaw and his diligent crew! :wink:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I'm pretty sure we've had a previous thread on this somewhere, but I'm a lousy searcher so:

I've learned so much here, it's hard to know where to begin.

I discovered onion confit, and learned about knives

I discovered using better chocolate produced better results

I learned what not to do in the kitchen in order to avoid stupid mistakes

I found Tonkasu and changed the way I make pork forever.

I learned about air vents, how to boil an egg, mother's milk, and tarts through the magic words of Dave the Cook, Fat Guy, MaggietheCat and mamster. In some cases, I learned more than I needed to know. :biggrin:

I learned that cooking for a virtual community during a blog made all of you part of my family.

I know now that I will never be alone in my cooking quests, and that I can ask any question without being laughed at and get thoughtful, explicit replies.

I cherish the relationships I have formed here, from Altanta, to Chicago, to New York, all the way to Japan.

I learned so much here, that it continues to be my pleasure to serve the community I now call family. How could I not? :wub:


Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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eGullet enabled me to complete culinary school, and graduate along with my class. (Tomorrow, actually... wheee!) I was able to arrange my externship here, and complete it, also with the help of Steven Shaw, Marlene, jhlurie, Dave the Cook and every one of you fine people.

So, with graduation just hours away: THANK YOU!!!

Now, since I have been writing full time and still have 0 income to speak of, I have nowhere to go but UP. Another item for which I am grateful to eGullet.

(My third assignment for AZ Food and Lifestyles is nearly complete. I wish they'd post articles on their website, because I'd love to share them with the eGulleteers, but alas... )

"My tongue is smiling." - Abigail Trillin

Ruth Shulman

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i've never made, and subsequently lost, so many friends in such a short time in my life (both, i think, attributed to my propensity to speak my mind regardless of how unpopular my opinions might be. oh the painful irony). more importantly, i hadn't realized that roasting just about any vegetable makes it incredible. and the more those bits of brussel sprouts get burnt, the better they taste. :laugh:

and picking restaurants when traveling is a breeze now that i don't have to rely on zagat.

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How the mighty egullet has changed my life.

1. It has exposed my obsessive compulsive disorder for all to see.

2. It has filled my afternoons with reading rather than chopping onions.

3. It has let me see that other people in my neck of the woods have interesting points to add about the culinary fabric of our city. ( or not ) :biggrin:

4. It has developed my typing style from the “the two fingered hunt and peck method “to the far more advanced “four finger hunt and peck “.

5. It has re-enforced a couple of things I already knew but might have forgotten – “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything thing at all. You never know who is reading and you would not wish to hurt anyone’s feelings and / or affect their livelihood. And secondly, honesty is the best policy – stand up and say who you are, sign in, don’t be a lurker, do not hide behind fake names and secret identities. Although some might say that these two things might conflict, I would think that you get the gesture. There need not be any mean spirited gestures here. Your meal at restaurant X was just a meal, it was not the “ Last Supper “. There is no need to destroy someone’s reputation.

6. It has allowed me to laugh about myself, my profession, and observations that non – professionals have. It is all in good fun. :raz:

7. Forced me to stop relying on spellcheck. I respond right in egullet and some people might have noticed I doan spel sew gud.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill


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I found eGullet while researching a business project for my mom. I found the first post interesting, thought about checking out the rest of the site and was positively giddy. THERE ARE OTHERS LIKE ME!!!! These people are obsessed about food. I became a member that day and I think I spent about 4 hours straight reading and reading and laughing (It was around the same time that AB's Skullfucked by a Walrus thread was running). I never even thought that there would be so many people in my own city that were just like me, not only in my city, but around the world. eGullet has changed the way I look at food and food writing. It is truly the greatest art. Thank you to everyone for introducing me to LARB! Oh wonderous LARB! I can't wait to meet everyone next week.

Thank you eGullet for making me a better person!

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Always cognizant of the value that food and cooking has played in my own life, eGullet has so thoroughly altered my days, for after losing direction on other fronts, I found a new focus here. My grateful thanks for being introduced to this community is with me everyday, as I read and post, question and am answered.

The ability to share with others an equal interest in the higher worth of food in our lives, as well as the "get down and chow down" aspect, of what keeps us fueled on so many levels is a joy I hold both tightly and gently.

The knowledge I have gained here can only be matched, even overshadowed, by the friends I have gained. Across the continent from each other I have formed friendships with unknown people that have become a daily part of my life. New friends in my own area, and the chance to share eG with old friends is a bonus.

Very specifically for me the opportunity to work my amazing co-authors, snowangel and hillvalley, on a project that widened the horizons not only for ourselves, but for what the eGCI has to offer our culinary community was a revelation that targeted new goals in my life. I have to thank Richard Kilgore for a heads up on the existence of eGullet, Andy Lynes, Marlene, Gerhard, and Carolyn Tillie for their individual efforts, and most strongly snowangel and hillvalley for the months of work and raw revelations, needed to present the Cooking with Disabilities course.

And you guys can make me laugh! There are gems of humor as well as wisdom hidden among the thousands of posts. Laughter lets the foodie learn without pressure, and the abundant knowledge keeps us on the high path to the food line.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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-I used to think that I actually knew something about food, now I realize that I knew very little.

-I have become much less productive at work.

What he said...

Plus, I've been able to live vicariously though food blogs and trip reports, and in general get to rub virtual elbows with some pretty cool people.

And I said it before... I like it here. The walls are soft. :wink:

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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I've found other people who think about food( in Wisconsin, even) holistically. People who love the generosity that cooking represents and who embody the ideal. I'm much more of a reader than a poster, partly because i often feel I can't say anything as well as it has already been said. I can only echo the sentiments expressed. I've learned that I can come with almost any question and someone out there has an answer. I've also learned how beautiful butt can truly be. :laugh:

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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eGullet has made me much more accepting of what I have always thought of as a moderate case of OCD that I have with regard to shopping and cooking. Now I see that it's normal!

Just recently (as in this summer) it made Weight Watchers much more fun for me.

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eGullet changing my life? You can't be serious! It's just a web site.

We’re a collection of food geeks who tell anyone who will listen about what we eat, where we eat and why we eat. Our day is made if we spot bourdain lurking in a thread we started … our year is made if he posts in it. We know what spatchcoking is, see nothing wrong with owning more than 12 varieties of oil, and are more than willing to spend time helping somebody 3000 miles away from us figure out what to make with 1/2lb. of ground lamb, two gherkins and a Hershey bar.

So it’s more like a club.

Gathered together, we shed the “geek” moniker and become lovers of fine food and drink. Maybe I’m not so odd. A craving for real barbeque leads to a wealth of information, and even an on-line course. Cuisines spread across borders mixing with new cultures. Soon pulled pork is on the menu in Oslo, larb is served in Houston.

Community. Definitely a community.

We have a personal food critic in thousands of cities around the world. We wait anxiously for the next installment in the weekly blog … and not always for the descriptions of food. If we need support it’s there, if it’s asked for, we give. We gather together on-line and break virtual bread.

Like a family.


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eGullet has been my godsend; I have used it as my tie to others--I have used it at weird times in the morning to let me stay centered. I love the humor.

I will never forget last year. I was having a particularly harrowing day. I had started a post about argan oil, for I did not know what it was. When I had first stumbled onto eG, I had two cookbook heroines, whose writing was like Homer for me: Wolfert and Roden. In the course of the thread, I received an email clarifying something for me from Ms. Wolfert. I freaked so bad I called my non-culinary(to be polite in mixed company) SIL to tell her!! I have since then been in contact with folks I would never have met, like Marlena Spieler, who is a real gem of a 'foodist', with some kick butt recipes.

I am so grateful there's an eG. That's all I can say.

I just want to enter that there's a lot of food corporation lurkers connected to our opinions of food. After our pork carnitas marathon, the del taco came up with-- you guessed it--carnitas. Witness as well the dq moolatte fiasco. Do not think somebody's not watchin' you.

Edited by Mabelline (log)
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