From Karen Sperling, comes a wonderful lesson for anyone who markets food for a living in 2009:
Last night we had the good fortune to be dinner guests at the home of Shelly and Fortunato Nicotra. Fortunato, Dodo to his friends, is the Executive Chef at Felidia on New York’s Upper East Side, and Shelly is the Executive Producer of Lidia’s Italy. Dinner is an understatement for the type of event that Shelly and Dodo lavish on their friends. It is really more of a feast for all five senses, with the glamorous Shelly orchestrating over a houseful of excited guests and Dodo pulling out dish after dish of sumptuous food using everyday ingredients put together in ways that explode with rich flavors and textures – all this amidst an enthusiastic audience of foodies with wine flowing, soccer on the flat screen TV – and children and dogs running underfoot. We arrived at 2:30 and left at who knows what time, many bottles of wine later, and with the knowledge that Dodo sprinkles his food with some kind of pixie dust that I’ll never be able to recreate in my kitchen – even at gunpoint!
So there we were, a collective group of grown up food-connected people almost a full decade into the 21stCentury. We ate, we drank, we schmoozed, we complained about the sinking economy, we toasted to Obama and wished him luck – and we just lived and talked about living, and talked about what happens next, and how we were going to find new ways to do the same old thing, and how we were going to do new things in completely new ways. We talked about Facebook, and Twitter and LinkedIn, and the rise of social media.
And as we were driving home, going over the entire evening, and thinking about the blog, I realized that the best form of social media is still the oldest – being in a room together – chewing on something – this is where the most powerful conversation begins. A front page headline, a clever post or masterful campaign can come close, but will never replace the special magic of people joined together for a first taste of a new product and a great meal.