Peter’s Blog, Feb. 17th, 2012 — Great News!
Yesterday was my birthday and among the terrific gifts I received, including a fabulous dinner with Susan at Charlotte’s delightfully romantic Passion8 Bistro — a real gem of a place — I got some especially great news: Pizza Quest has been nominated by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (the IACP) as one of three finalists for best food blog of the year! Here’s a link to all the nominees in the book and media categories: http://eater.com/archives/2012/02/16/iacp-announces-2012-food-writing-finalists.phpI’ll be in NYC for the annual IACP Conference, where the winners will be announced at the awards gala on April 2nd, and where I will also be doing a demo presentation on sprouted grain flours on April 1st. The IACP is an amazing organization, bringing together food professionals from across all categories, and the annual conference, which is held in a different city every year, is the best networking event of the year for the professional culinary community. This is where over a thousand chefs, restaurant owners, media personalities, cooking school owners, authors, test kitchen professionals, marketing experts, and food entrepreneurs of all types have a chance to immerse themselves in each other’s business, share knowledge, and, especially, make deals. I remember attending my second conference, twenty years ago in San Antonio, Texas, where I was a first time author and still owned my bakery in Santa Rosa, wondering if it was worth the time and expense to hang out at an event where hardly anyone knew me. One of the conference events was a book signing showcase, where about fifty authors of books published during the previous year each had a small table and the public lined up to buy signed copies and talk to the authors. I was placed next to Jacques Pepin (we were seated alphabetically so “P” and “R” often end up next to each other — there are very few authors with a last name beginning with”Q”) and he had a line of about 50 people that never seemed to dwindle during the three hours of the signing. I had a trickle of people at my table, I maybe signed five books all day, but as Jacques’s line passed me I kept thinking, “One of these days some of these people will stop at my table too,” so I made eye contact with them all and just smiled and said hi as they passed by me on their way to him. Having now been to many of these conferences, I do finally know a lot of those people and, at that one conference in San Antonio, a actually landed a new book deal (the book eventually came out as “Crust & Crumb“), met Julia Child, got my first bread consulting job with a restaurant group in Washington DC, and met one of the deans of the California Culinary Academy which, ultimately, led me to becoming a full time faculty member there. I also met the culinary dean of Johnson & Wales University, who I then saw each successive year at subsequent conferences, and this too led to my current position as a faculty member at Johnson & Wales, where I’ve been for the past twelve years. In other words, I love this organization and owe a lot of my success to it, including a Book of the Year Award and numerous contacts that have led to ongoing consulting and media projects, not to mention many new friends. Networking really does work, I’ve learned, and now I’m thrilled that Pizza Quest has been recognized by this same organization as a finalist for Food Blog of the Year. If any of you are involved in the professional culinary world and are not aware of or already active in the IACP, you are missing a golden opportunity to invest in and advance your career. Check out the website: www.iacp.com And, congratulations to our fellow blog nominees — I just visited your sites and am deeply impressed. Congrats also to all the book and journalism nominees. I’ll report again on the conference and the Awards Gala in April. Meanwhile, feel free to spread the word about our nomination.
Next week I should have some news about the opening date of Pure Pizza — we just passed all the inspections and the oven has been ordered. It won’t be long now; more to come…..
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Pizza Quest Info
Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.
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