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2015: Integrity and Change

December 31, 2014

There was one New Year’s resolution that I was very good at keeping, but that was a long long time ago. I resolved to only eat one hamburger a month. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. The campaign had been so successful that I started to repeat the identical resolution year after year.

Over time, the resolution was diluted to only one “unhappy” hamburger a month. And after years of moderating my burger consumption, I just let the whole thing go. I do have to say, that I eat far few burgers today than I did twenty years ago. Maybe the resolution served its purpose after all.

I’m not making resolutions for the upcoming year. But 2015 is going to be a big year. It’s going to be a year of change. There are some exciting things in the works that I can’t quite share with you yet, but they are going to have some ripple effects on what happens at the FLB.

Most notably, I’m putting the Tastemaker of the Month feature on the shelf for the time being. More than anything else, this deserves some explanation.

Credibility and integrity are the cornerstones of this blog.

Almost everything I write about is paid for out of pocket. On those rare occasions when a dish is comped, samples are sent in the mail, goodie bags are distributed, or anything of even modest value is transferred, I tell you about it. Most of the time, if at all possible, I try to make these available to readers as giveaways.

Additionally, if I ever think I’m receiving some kind of special treatment or am having an experience that may not be available to the general public, I will make that abundantly clear.

These disclosures build trust. I can tell you that such things don’t meaningfully alter my opinions or perspectives on a place. But by disclosing each and every such freebie, you can be the final judge.

Okay, so what does this have to do with the tastemakers?

The FLB has evolved a lot since it launched in 2009. With my Open Letter to Capital District Chefs, I began forming closer ties to the local restaurant community. And in 2015 I’m going to start working more closely than ever with a handful of places. I wish I could share more details now, but I promise you’ll be hearing a lot more about these plans in just a few weeks.

Could I do this and still objectively write about our local tastemakers? Probably. But a reasonable person could look at that relationship and question my integrity. Is this an abundance of caution? Sure, but it’s important. And I think it’s the right thing to do.

It’s a tradeoff. Will it be the right one? I hope so. Time will tell.

The ultimate goal here is a better food culture in the Capital Region. One of the drums I’ve been banging on for a while has been getting better ingredients on local menus. It’s been a while since I highlighted a restaurant in The Good Stuff. That tab in the header of the blog was intended to promote the good things found on local menus.

This year, in the spirit of change, I’m going to take a new direction. One thing that I haven’t seen much of in the local blogosphere recently is highlights of great ingredients from local producers. And I’m going to make a special effort to add that into the mix in Fussy about Food. Maybe instead of pushing chefs to put these products on the menu, I can show restaurant patrons what they are missing.

Speaking of missing food, let’s not forget about hunger. I had a great meeting with the director of The Food Pantries for the Capital District, and I hope to try and shed some more light on the struggle of food scarcity even in the area’s comfortable suburbs.

So my goals for the FLB in 2015:
1) Building bridges with local restaurants
2) Highlighting great ingredients from local producers
3) Shining a light on the realities of food scarcity in our community

Oh yeah, and there’s one more. There are a lot of people writing about food in the Capital Region. Sometimes it gets lonely just hanging out with your computer. I’d love to figure out a way to get a bunch of us together. Not for a tour or anything formal. You know, just to hang out. Of course readers would be welcome too, because writing comments totally counts. And even if you haven’t written one yet, I’ve got faith that one day you will.

Have a great New Year’s. Thank you so much for sticking around, and coming back day after day for your dose of Fussy.

I’ve got a feeling that 2015 is going to be the best year yet.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. lakesider permalink
    December 31, 2014 11:33 am

    Best of luck in your new ventures Profussor, looking forward to seeing how the FLB evolves!

  2. Debra permalink
    December 31, 2014 1:17 pm

    Happy New Year Mr. Fussy – can’t wait to see what 2015 brings for you.

  3. December 31, 2014 1:51 pm

    Sounds like interesting changes are afoot. I look forward to seeing and hearing about them.

    Have a happy and fussy new year, Dan!

  4. DEN permalink
    January 1, 2015 3:03 pm

    Great ideas.If you can, please also track data on costs of the local products. One of the issues touched upon frequently here is that the price v. quality balance from some of our better-known restaurants might not be there. I have often wondered whether restaurants up here struggled obtaining competitive wholesale pricing, or just did not have the volume of table turnover to allow them to be more competitive price-wise. The answers to the value question might lie outside these issues, but it would be useful to unearth these data points if you can pull it off.

  5. January 7, 2015 4:31 pm

    “Oh yeah, and there’s one more. There are a lot of people writing about food in the Capital Region. Sometimes it gets lonely just hanging out with your computer. I’d love to figure out a way to get a bunch of us together. Not for a tour or anything formal. You know, just to hang out. Of course readers would be welcome too, because writing comments totally counts. And even if you haven’t written one yet, I’ve got faith that one day you will.”

    Where? When?
    Can I bring along a fire goddess warrior princess (if she promises to keep the flash to a minimum)?

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