Hello, St. Louis.
Meet Your Local Food Bloggers.

Food blogs are fascinating online windows into culture, community and yes, great food. Right here in St. Louis, we have more than three dozen active food bloggers.

What Is a Food Blog?

On the surface, food blogs look much like other food sites, magazines and cookbooks. But look closer, they stand apart. Food blogs are extraordinarily personal, even when produced with knowledge and professionalism. They radiate curiosity, excitement and creativity. They often exude rich humor, sweet charm and unedited spontaneity.

Food blogs are like memoirs with recipes. Every recipe comes with a backstory woven from family, culture and personal experience. Tales abound of early lessons from mothers and grandmothers, first experiences with fresh figs, strategies for Thanksgiving turkeys, frustration with breads that fall and tomatoes that char. If there’s rant, it’s Reggiano versus Kraft for Parmesan and lard versus butter for pastry, not left versus right for politics.

Introducing a New St. Louis Food Blog:
Jenni's Ferris Wheel of Food

Jenni Ferris
Come along for the ride with Jenni, the blogger behind the new-ish St. Louis food blog, Jenni's Ferris Wheel of Food. Here's Jenni, in her own words:

"Hi my name is Jenni. I write Jenni’s Ferris Wheel of Food. The name explains itself, except it’s a play on words. My last name is Ferris. When asked how to spell it we always reply with “like Ferris Wheel”.

I started writing my blog at the encouragement of a very good friend. I was always posting pictures or descriptions of the food I was preparing on Facebook. One day she said, “You need to start a blog so I can bookmark all of these delicious looking meals.” And, the blog began over a year ago.

Saying Goodbye to Nupur from "One Hot Stove"

Nupur Kittur teaching a class at Kitchen Conservatory in 2010
Food blogs come and food blogs go. Some bloggers lose interest, their blogs wait patiently for the next post -- but it never comes. Some bloggers post a last one or two excuses, "I'm so sorry I haven't posted in so long, I promise to post more" -- but they don't. Others make a big announcement, "Copy what recipes you want, the site comes down in thirty days," I've seen. In this case, one of the very first St. Louis food bloggers is leaving our city.

Introducing a New St. Louis Food Blog:
Dive Bars 2 Five Stars

Please welcome Sam, a guy "obsessed with food" and the wit and charm behind the new St. Louis food blog, Dive Bars 2 Five Stars. Here's Sam, in his own words:

"I'm 37 and an engineering manager obsessed with food. To put it in perspective, when I travel I start planning out restaurants weeks in advance. Once I even had two lunches and 2 dinners in one day so I could squeeze more in! My blogging started by posting pictures to Facebook. While living in Albuquerque it reached the point where co-workers and friends were all asking me for recommendations on restaurants to try. Last year, I relocated back to Missouri after being away for 18 years, my wife was having our first child and we wanted to be close to family. On average I try one new restaurant a week."

Want to know more? Check out:

European Tarts – Divinely Doable Desserts with Little or No Baking

Raspberry Truffle Tart from The Ardent Cook
If there's a woman who knows her cake, it's Helen Fletcher!

Last week Helen announced on her St. Louis food blog The Ardent Cook that she is publishing her second cookbook, European Tarts – Divinely Doable Desserts with Little or No Baking. It will be available in late October, just in time - of course! - for holiday gift-giving.

Backyard BBQ Bash 2012

Backyard BBQ Bash
Calling all BBQ enthusiasts, it's time for the third annual Backyard BBQ Bash, the premier amateur BBQ contest in St. Louis.

So save the date, it's Saturday, September 22, 2012 in Arnold, Missouri, just south of St. Louis.

The event is organized by the St. Louis food blog GrillinFools.com. For rules, location, sponsor information and more, visit Backyard BBQ Bash.

St. Louis Food Blogger News: July 2012

Stefani Pollack at Food Media Forum

Food Media Forum - The "Better Food Writing" & "Better Food Photography" Event

Many congratulations to Stefani Pollack from Cupcake Project and other local bloggers who pulled off a real feat: a sold-out Food Media Forum with food bloggers and food writers gathering from Kansas City, Atlanta, Bozeman and elsewhere for the two-day event. If you missed it, some presenters have posted their presentations on their websites, links are on the Food Media Forum's Facebook page. Thanks to Stef, Stephanie from Iron Stef, Laura from Food Snob STL, Stacy from Every Little Thing and Kimberly from Rhubarb and Honey for setting such a high standard. Photo credit J. Pollack Photography

Take the "Hunger Challenge" for St. Louis' Food Outreach

A message from FoodOutreach.org, the only St. Louis area organization whose mission is to provide nutritional support and enhance the quality of life of men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS or Cancer. Each September, Food Outreach invites individuals, bloggers, companies and restaurants to participate in the "Hunger Challenge".

THE CHALLENGE Try to live on $29/week for all your food, that’s the average amount a Food Outreach client would receive in SNAP benefits (food stamps).

Introducing a New St. Louis Food Blog:
Katie's Feast

Apple & Honey Dutch Baby from Katie's Feast 
Please welcome Katie Thatcher, author of the new St. Louis food blog, Katie's Feast.

Katie is one of those people who remembers which appetizer the person next to her ordered at that restaurant they went to five years ago. Ever since her early childhood, when she baked "bread" (her own recipe) which her parents were generous enough to eat and proclaim delicious, she has been experiencing life through food and cooking. After cooking every recipe in The Herbfarm Cookbook, she got her first job -- working in the kitchen and gardens at nationally renowned Herbfarm Restaurant. More recently she worked as a recipe writer for MarketSpice, a spice and tea company out of Seattle.

Introducing a New St. Louis Food Blog:
Kitchen Riffs

Sazerac Cocktail from Kitchen Riffs
Sazerac Cocktail from Kitchen Riffs
Please welcome John Griffin, author of the new St. Louis food blog, Kitchen Riffs.

Kitchen Riffs is both the name of a blog and the nom de plume of its author, John Griffin. Although John is not originally from St. Louis, he spent many of his formative years here (McCluer, class of 1969, to answer the perennial St. Louis question). He moved away after college and returned recently. He and his wife have lived all over the country, but spent considerable time in the New York City area and in Tampa, Florida. He worked for many years in publishing, primarily in college and professional books.

Sponsor Profile: Kitchen Conservatory

Love to cook? Would you like to learn how to cook from scratch? Or learn to cook something special, from croissants to charcuterie to cakes to cassoulet? Then you’ll love Kitchen Conservatory, St. Louis’ premier kitchen store and cooking school. Kitchen Conservatory makes cooking fun!

Meet Anne Cori, the Owner

Anne Cori is a self-professed cooking nut. In her 20s, she trained in restaurant kitchens in Italy, France and across the United States. Since purchasing the store, Anne has doubled the size of the store and added a second teaching kitchen. In 2010, the St. Louis Business Journal featured Anne in its column St. Louis Character.

Anne Cori and the staff at Kitchen Conservatory are all knowledgeable about cooking, kitchen tools; like many of us, they are curious, engaged cooks at home, not just at work. St. Louis food blogger Kelly Gardner of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp works and teaches at Kitchen Conservatory. Several other food bloggers also regularly teach cooking classes.