Contact: behindthebites [at] gmail.com
In September, I took an opportunity that fell into my lap to return to full-time employment in journalism. Opportunities like this have appeared in the past and I have had the guts to grasp them. In return, I have been rewarded with incredible experiences.
I hope and believe this one will prove to be as rewarding as the opportunity to create this blog, live in New York City, perform stand up comedy, get a college education and to play the drums.
Although my journalistic focus will not exclusively be food, I do believe this is a necessary step needed to realize that dream in a much more lucrative way. This blog, the story of what I cook, continues. It's now up to me to find ways to tell this story from within a news organization rather than from outside one and make it part of my responsibility of employment. I have no idea whether or not that will happen, or even have a clear path of how to do it - but that is ok.
I have the opportunity. And an opportunity is all I need.
I'm happy to produce this blog as well as work with traditional news topics to pay the bills.
Who I am
My first professional experience started in the journalism business in 1997. I have worked at the Associated Press, Newsday and Bloomberg News and currently work for Lee Enterprises at their Design hub just outside Chicago. During my time with these great organizations I covered just about every type of story imaginable. I have worked in every major department of the news business and have created some sort of project for most of the memorable news stories of the last 20 years. I have also been part of many special interest stories such as the effects of a drug on the body or the separation of conjoined twins.
The topics are irrelevant.
Through a combined mastery of technology, writing and artistic ability, I can sculpt information into a work of art. That work of art serves as an entry point to more information. The foundation of my skills is the ability to research and report, which is the foundation of journalism and a natural place for me to pursue a career.
Great painters and illustrators create art that entertains. I create art that informs, like a written story, but it entertains like a painting. I use a number of programs designed for graphics and the internet to create visuals but I do not consider myself a graphic artists nor some type of web programmer.
I write visually.
In May of 2010 I left journalism to pursue a new career in food. This blog is what emerged. It is the story of what I have been cooking. It can be manipulated to be viewed in a all types of media - books, magazines, newspapers, computers, phones or anything with a view screen. The entry point to every post is a photo driven information graphic that presents a recipe. The information graphic says it all. In an instant the reader knows what this blog is about and what information they are about to consume. If they chose, the viewer can read further about the dish, view more photos and sometimes watch a video. They can click around and view other recipes, search for a certain dish and find links to other places on the web.
I have created everything contained in this blog except a couple of videos that are important to the overall point of the post. Working in the competitive business of journalistic storytelling, I have picked up a combination of skills that culminate in this blog. I am not the best reporter, writer, graphic artist, graphics editor, news editor, photographer, web programmer, art director, or copy editor. But I have a high degree of knowledge in all of those disciplines. As a visual journalist I had to learn all of these skills to compete and to get paid.
Some favorite clips from over the years