A former coworker sent me a message on Facebook yesterday, letting me know that the Columbus Dispatch is in the process of hiring a Dining Editor (I copied and pasted the info on my site, just so you wouldn't have to register to read the posting, because I'm nice like that; if you want to double check me, please click here and scroll down a bit).
I have been hearing rumblings that Jon Cristiansen was retiring, but he continued writing, and I had assumed the job would naturally go to GA Benton or Gary Seaman. That may still happen, of course, but they've posted the job listing, nonetheless, and I figure I should at least apply.
In a manner of speaking.
I'm thinking more of campaigning for the job. Will you help me?
Attempting to get hired at a company with whom one has had something of a longstanding rivalry (good-natured, naturally: right Ben Marrison? Right?) is a little tricky. The rivalry has stemmed from a desire to see the city's diners connect, on a personal level, with the city's chefs and restaurants. In the interest of full disclosure, you maybe read my Dispatch critique here (postscript here).
I thought I would begin my campaign by talking about what I would do (or like to do) for the city in the role of Dispatch Dining editor...
First of all, the dining scene in Columbus has evolved significantly over the past decade and deserves more room than half a page in the Weekender. Columbus Alive has done a great job expanding their food coverage, but why hasn't that happened at the Dispatch? I'd like to find out why, and change it if I can...
I foresee either an entire dining section once a week, or at least a few pages. There is so much to write about! Where are the articles geared to frugality? to young people? As a college student, I lived for my monthly bistro dinners at the Refectory! There are amazing chefs right here in our city who should be interviewed. There are restaurants a short drive from Columbus which deserve attention. There are loads of ethnic spots which need to be sampled; there is fun to be had - shouldn't everyone know about the pleasures of late night dining + karaoke? What about street food?
I foresee an online dining guide with a user-friendly interface. An interactive website, with dining forums, perhaps. Maybe even some food travel writing, some experiential dinners - the options are endless. Endless, I tell you!!
Columbus needs a fresh voice- a voice which has real world experience at many different points in the restaurant business - who is open-minded about what constitutes a great restaurant. Who will go anywhere and eat anything. And live to tell the story. Columbus needs a voice which will inspire.
So, what do you all think? And no, this is NOT an April Fool's joke!!
If you have an opinion, whatever it may be, please post it here or "like" and post your comments to my "Hire Lisa the Waitress as the Dispatch's Dining Editor" page. Tell your friends. I will make every effort to avoid the "vote for me" emails every half an hour.