Last week, I had an invigorating conversation about lifestyle, old world cooking, and health with Editor Ryan Sloane of DineAndCook.com.
Besides our discussion on traditional cooking practices and the emotional side of eating, I found Ryan’s start into journalism and passion for all things food to be even more interesting. So I decided to turn the tables on him with a short interview of my own.
J: How did you get started in journalism?
R: I got started in journalism fairly early on. I started on the high school newspaper when I was a kid and got a job as a copy assistant at a local paper. I wrote the obituaries (a right of passage for anyone starting out) and the community calendar.
When I got into college, I studied journalism and became the News Director for the University’s public radio station. I did internships along the way at the United Nations for CNN and NBC News and now I write about eating hot dogs at the airport.
J: What inspired you to start the site?
R: My friend John approached me late last year about this idea he had been kicking around about a magazine-like online publication that would be dedicated to food. Cooking was fast becoming a favorite hobby of mine and since John and I are both professional writers, we thought we could bring something new and different to the world of food journalism.
We grew frustrated with a lot of what passed for food writing. A lot of it was fawning and self congratulatory, which is fine, but as journalists, we subscribe to a different philosophy. We’re not the story. Our job is to tell the story. We have an opinion page and we run editorials every Sunday, but that should be the extent of it.
J: What is your greatest hope for the site moving forward?
R: Our big desire is to bring an old school journalistic approach to food writing and culinary news. We still like to have fun with what we do (our sister site, Damn Fine Eating is where we run the sillier stuff that crosses our desks,) and we have a lot fun with our Facebook page.
We have a big tent and want to reach out to the novices in addition to the home gourmets and food professionals. In the meantime, we’re enjoying ourselves and people enjoy what we’re doing, so that helps a great deal.