Topic: food writing biz
I toured the CIA today. Lucky me, their Hyde Park campus is only 20 minutes from my house so I can go anytime I wanna. I haven't yet tried any of their popular restaurants other than the Apple Pie Cafe, but I've been for a graduation and a couple other events. I know about four of the teachers and a couple other employees, but no current students, as they ship 'em in and out pretty quick.
The atmosphere there is exciting, infectious. This was my second tour, the first about 11 years ago when we first moved to the area. The main building, Roth Hall, is gorgeous and high-ceilinged, in a former life a glamorous seminary. I love to peruse the amazing library, whose periodical collection was not as comprehensive today as I recall but maybe some of it was moved or they cut down on their subscriptions. They used to have every food magazine ever published (very useful for food writers), but I didn't see hide nor hair of Saveur, Gourmet or any of the biggies today. I was proud of myself in the bookstore, though, whose incredible and vast collection never fails to thrill me. I didn't buy anything, not even any of the seven-dollar cookbooks.
What I love best about "the Culinary," as we call it around here, is that it's all about food, every aspect of food. It's just food food all the time, kinda like my life. The tour made me want to don chef's whites and a toque and be a student there, stuffing as much knowledge into my brain as it will hold.
Food writers take note: an excellent source of summaries of current articles about food, with links, is at the ProChef SmartBrief newsletter, which you can have e-mailed to you daily. It's been an invaluable resource for me for keeping abreast of what's going on and what topics are being covered in newspapers and magazines.