Whenever I begin the very messy process of brainstorming a new piece for GastronomicSTL – researching, interviewing, trying to make sense of the information while hoping to add insight – I find I have always had the safety of distance from the subject I have chosen to focus on. After all, I am a food writer who writes about other people’s food, other people’s craft, other people’s experiences. Lately, however, I have been feeling this internal, very self-imposed “urge” to explore topics which come from my personal history in a professional kitchen and as part of an industry I feel great love for and loyalty towards.
This has made writing pretty damn difficult for me lately.
There are two pieces in the works which have caused me to lose a lot of sleep the last few days. Cultural appropriation concerns and claims made in the culinary and restaurant community has my stomach in knots. The other topic I cannot stop thinking about is a ridiculously huge monster – the treatment of kitchen staff, how it used to be, how it is now and where it may be headed.
My brain hurts, my heart hurts and my writing has come to a standstill.
But I am hopeful and I continue to sit at my desk with my fingers on the keyboard each morning. Many sincere thanks to those of you who have remained interested in GastronomicSTL. I could continue conducting and writing interviews. I could find comfort in an easy bit of distance, but I think that in order to write about topics of relevance and topics which I cannot seem to ignore no matter how much I may want to, I have to sit in this discomfort and find ways to make sense of it. After that I am confident the edges of the thread will show itself and I will soon have new posts and pieces to share with you.