Aly's Newsletter: Thursday Edition
Some thoughts on what it means to be a food writer in 2022
The last two years, being a food writer has felt a bit strange. Before the pandemic, a large part of my job was traveling, dining, and drinking. I love those aspects of my job more than I can say -- but, of course, in March of 2020, that all changed in an instant.
Suddenly, I wasn't traveling, dining out, or trying fun new cocktails. For a year and a half, I wasn't even doing takeout or delivery. Everything I ate or drank came from my own two hands in my tiny studio apartment kitchen. But I still had a job to do, and so, like many others, I found ways to pivot. I began to focus more on content related to grocery shopping and cooking at home, recreating our favorite cocktails or restaurant dishes from our own kitchen, and how to stock our pantry in a budget-friendly way that would be sustainable for the long haul. It indeed has been a very long haul.
It was interesting and educational in its own way. But in a different way than my job had been before. I desperately missed sushi and poke bowls and Indian food, so I spent many nights trying to teach myself how to create those dishes in my own kitchen. I was so sad not to be able to have a proper martini at my favorite restaurant, so I tried to recreate that at home too. I did OK. But it was not the same as the real thing, of course. Still, I learned. I think we all learned together! At least that’s what I hope — that’s why I started to do my Instagram cooking tutorials. It was my hope that at a time that so many of us felt all alone, and were indeed physically isolated, we could at least share dinner virtually and feel less alone. And maybe even all learn something in the process.
So, it was extra exciting this morning to wake up and see Muck Rack dropped their list of the top food journalists in 2021 and included me on the list. Even at a time when my job looked and felt so different and very strange.
I think, for all of us, it’s been a time when we're all not really sure what we're doing, or what's going on, or if we’re doing whatever it is we’re doing correctly. It’s not like we can send a DM to Tudor England to get their living-through-a-plague advice.
So, it's really an amazing feeling to see what we were trying to do (during a truly trying time) was noticed and maybe even mattered a little to some people out there.
In mid-2021, I did start traveling and eating out again, and it was the most wonderful feeling in the world for the brief few months it lasted.
Now, as many of us are, I’m back to living my hermit life of solitude until this latest crazy wave of the plague passes. So, I'm very thankful I still have a job to do that I love, even if it's perhaps a little less exciting than the before-times version.
But in the words of Arnold, I'll (we'll!) be back! Ideally in time to be able to attend SOBEWFF in late February.
Deal alert (final reminder on this one!)
Are you a PR professional and/or DTC brand confused about this new affiliate marketing and affiliate-based PR space? If so - keep reading! Affiliate PR Masterclass 2.0 is a four-week Zoom training intensive hosted by Kaila O'Connor of KMO Consulting and Emma Moon of Moonbeam Consulting.
Kaila comes from PR agencies and Emma comes from in-house growth - the two combine their experience running successful affiliate PR programs in an effort to train others how-to start, scale and manage successful affiliate PR programs.
For PR pros (and) DTC brands who want to land more media coverage with affiliate marketing in 2022 - the Affiliate PR Masterclass 2.0 starts January 18 - more training details here!
Still need convincing? Affiliate PR programs provide a rev share opp, which means more $$$ - see the rev potential on IG here! Still have Qs? Kaila & Emma will go live on IG @kmo.consulting on Thursday, January 13 at 2pm EST to answer any and all training Qs. DON'T FORGET the masterclass price is $2,500 - BUT if you mention you were referred by me you'll receive $50 off! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your spot!
Here's what I'm working on:
A reminder - for all of these stories, please pitch me by starting a new email (do not just respond to this thread) and sending it to email@example.com. Unless otherwise noted below, all these stories have a deadline of tomorrow (Friday) AM. Earlier is ALWAYS better.
FORBES: In celebration of the return of to-go cocktails in NY, I'm doing a roundup of the best to-go cocktails at bars and restaurants in NY. To pitch me for this guide, please email me the following:
1 - name of drink
2 - where it's sold (must be on the menu and available for takeout at a bar or restaurant in NY)
3 - description - i don't need a recipe
4 - quote from bartender/bar manager
5 - IMAGE
Reminder: Please ONLY send me a pitch if you have all the components I'm asking for.
TODAY.COM: I'm rounding up deals/freebies at food/restaurant chains in honor of National Bagel Day. If you have anything that may be a fit please email me asap!
ALLRECIPES: I'm doing a story on slow cooker liners. Those who sometimes watch me cook on Instagram know I use these religiously in my own slow cooker cooking, and I'd love it if credible experts can weigh in on if they do as well (or why they don't), and why, as well as some pro tips/warnings about what to look for in them.
HERMONEY: For HerMoney, I'm working on a roundup of the best work perks incredible female founders offer at their companies. This story is tied to National Fun at Work Day.. Are you having fun at work? Hopefully, yes! These female founders have ensured that their employees have the best work environments possible. Would love if you can email me some founders/perks that may fit into this by EOW.
SPY.com: I'm rounding up the best valentine’s gifts to get on sale now - please pitch me for this one by EOD as I need to wrap it up asap.
Here's what has published since yesterday:
That’s it for right now - thanks so much for taking the time to be here, and know you are so appreciated!