My Career Took a 180 This Month

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Remember when I used to have a business that was all about helping people get home-cooked dinners on the table?

Lately it feels like I have done a 180. I hardly pull out a pot or a pan, except sometimes to cook an egg for our dog Suerte, who is deficient in albumin, according to our vet. My biggest marketing client is a restaurant group. And, I have been eating out so often that I’ve even started writing about restaurants. Isn’t it strange how quickly things can change?

The past year, in which the second child’s bedroom upstairs has emptied (we miss you, Celia, but there are so many fewer odd socks around the house), we have gone from two dogs to one (RIP Jessie), and I’ve entered a new decade of life, has been all about embracing change. I’m doing my best to go with it.

Last week was the biggest one yet in my freelance career, so I wanted to share a couple of new pieces with you, my dear reader(s) (Hi mom!).

I wrote about where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Santa Barbara, and this time The Washington Post also included my food photos, which I am working on improving.

Ibiza cocktail garnished with a micro marigold at Loquita in Santa Barbara
Smiling server at Mony’s tacos in Santa Barbara
Members of the family behind Mony’s in Santa Barbara including Mony Diaz in the red hat
Baker and co-owner Dietmar Eilbacher at D’Angelo’s Bread in Santa Barbara with his children Lucas and Sydney, who also work there

I also had my premiere “First Taste” column in Bethesda Beat for Bethesda Magazine about Lucy, a new Ethiopian restaurant that’s about a 10 minute drive from our home in Chevy Chase. (By the way, I love writing for Bethesda Beat because I’m an avid reader and because the commenters are so passionate and fun to read.)

Writing about restaurants makes me admire gifted food writers who I read religiously like Tom Sietsema and Tim Carman of The Washington Post, and David Hagedorn of Bethesda Magazine. It’s not easy to describe food without repeating the word “delicious”, and I’m such a softie that I have a hard time writing a negative word about a place, especially when I know that each restaurant owner and chef has worked umpteen hours and faced hurdles they never could have expected in bringing their culinary dream to life. It’s a hard existence, and often so different than the fantasy they likely had about opening a restaurant, especially when staff quits unexpectedly, a water heater breaks during a busy lunch service, a gust of wind blows a patio umbrella into a car or pedestrian, or a health inspector shows up without warning.

Running a restaurant, I have learned from working with the Silver and Silver Diner restaurant group for more than a year, and speaking with many restauranteurs and chef-owners, is challenging beyond our wildest expectations and 80 percent fail within 5 years.

So, tonight, I’m dragging some friends with me to try another new spot in Bethesda, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it survives longer than the odds predict, and that someone else’s entrepreneurial dreams can be realized, and that I can find some original and compelling words to describe it tomorrow before my deadline.

Thanks for sharing this exciting journey with me! I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the support of friends and readers like you.

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