Ximending 西門町 - When I was in Taipei, I spent a good four hours browsing Ximending 西門町, the metropolitan shopping district of Taipei. I’ve been earnestly searching for Tai...
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Street Gourmet LA:2011 LA Weekly Web Awards-Best Food Blog
Last night at Bardot in Hollywood, I received my award for Best Food Blog in LA for LA Weekly's Web Awards, and partied the night away with fellow winners, Nguyen and Thi of Starry Kitchen(Best Restaurant Site,Maximalist),Daniel Djang of Thirsty in LA(Best Cocktail Blog), and the girl who always has a winning smile, Josie of Uncouth Gourmands. It was a very informal awards ceremony, LA Weekly style, the liquor flowed and there were plenty of nibbles to keep us from having any Sharon Stone moments.It was a Hollywood club party complete with assorted characters although fellow winners Perez Hilton and Alyssa Milano were no where to be found, that would have completed our victorious evening. Are you picturing Perez, Alyssa, and Nguyen in his banana suit posing with their awards?
I found out that my blog had been named Best Food Blog by LA Weekly just a few days before, as I was returning from 2 weeks on the road with Patrica Quintana's Aromas y Sabores tour to learn more about Mexican gastronomy and culture; it's been a great month!LA Weekly is a publication I fell in love with when I first moved to Los Angeles in '95, I always knew where the nearest stash of Weekly's would be every Thursday, and even had my spots that would get them first as well as where I could still find one on a Sunday night. I poured over Jonathan Gold's reviews in the food section, and enjoyed the fascinating feature stories, the one on former Tijuana mayor Hank Rhon is still a favorite.
There are many best food blog awards out there these days, but I'm overjoyed that this honor would come from the LA Weekly, host to the only Pulitzer Prize winning food writer in Jonathan Gold. It's meaningful-it has given me a moment to think about my evolving role in the food world, and my ever sharpening focus on Latin-American cuisine. It's a mere accident that has become good fortune.My sincerest thanks to the LA Weekly for recognizing my blog.
I started my blog in 2007, just 6 posts that year, about the same time I came on chowhound.The purpose was to keep track of the restaurants I found and keep notes for an adult ethnic dining class I was teaching at the time.The choice to specialize in Latin-American cuisine came as a natural result of my travels for work as a musician, and my family traditions from Aguascalientes, Mexico.It also allowed me to set myself apart from the vast bandwidth of blogs out there. Coincidently, I came into this as Latin-American cuisine has taken a greater place in the hearts and stomachs here in the US and globally, and Mexico's gastronomy has recently been deemed an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.It's a fortuitous occasion to be writing about Latin-American cuisine.
What this award means to me is that my efforts to find outstanding eateries, and educate people about traditional Latin-American food,chefs, and cooking are validated.The majority of what I cover here are meals and travel expenses paid for from my own pocket, with a sparse amount of media events, only those that I am comfortable supporting in an effort to preserve the integrity of the content on Street Gourmet LA.Countless hours spent exploring on foot, or by taxi, car, subway, bus, rent-a-car, or by any means necessary are invested to bring forth new finds and treasured eats.
Why street food?Because it's profoundly delicious when you arrive at the right place, and it's the most common dining experience we share among humans. Street food is the first restaurant experience of organized societies.
Aromas y Sabores 2011, journalist
But really, I'm just a zealous messenger. I'm happy to share the delights and pleasures of a rapturous afternoon at Ensenada's La Guerrerense, a random Argentine parrilla that will blow your mind, one of the best night's of my life at a Brazilian temple of north-eastern cuisine right next to a favela,or coming across perhaps one of the best tacos LA has ever tasted.
Michael Moore moment
At the same time, it means to me that with each accolade and achievement, I can continue to call a burro a burro with a notoriety that can't be completely ignored. I only have three soul-shredding posts, the mediocre and bad restaurants lie on the cutting room floor because they are easy targets, and bore, but let us not forget to smear a badge of shame with fresh paint when it must be said.To quote Bill the Butcher Cutting in Gangs of New York,"He ain't earned a death! He ain't earned a death at my hands! No, he'll walk amongst you marked with shame, a freak worthy of Barnum's Museum of Wonders. God's only man, spared by the Butcher." Just ask Rick Bayless!
Readers, friends, strangers, critics,and the people I meet in all of the Latin-American kitchens, I thank you for stopping by and sharing your passions; cheers, salud, saude, and all your meals be communal, memorable, and rich. Let's eat!!