sailboat fantasy: “Puff pastry barquettes filled with grapefruit pastry cream, topped with white chocolate sails, on a sea of blue-tinted aspic with foamy wakes of egg white and a savory tropical island made of almond meal, oregano underbrush, and a palm of carrot trunk, green bell pepper fronds, and marzipan coconuts.”

Want to see which events are coming up? Sticky Date tracks them, as does Food Blog S'cool. You might find Kalyn’s Kitchen, host of weekend herb blogging parties, or hosts who ask bloggers to post a specific retro recipe, recipes of kid-friendly treats, or photographs of their latest piece of sugar art.

Cate of Sweetnicks started out featuring a Tuesday roundup on antioxidant-rich recipes. “I knew if I made it a weekly event and got fellow food bloggers involved, it would keep me on track and doing it regularly. I get lots more inspiration than I might if I was just doing it on my own,” she said on Bloggasm. She has also posted photos of readers’ spice cabinets, a kind of voyeuristic show-and-tell.

Now she has moved on to host dog blogging weekends, posting cute dog photos sent by other food bloggers. This shift would never be tolerated by the print media, which tends to put writers in boxes focusing on their specialties.
Online, no one seems to mind.

Some food bloggers use their blogs for community service and good deeds. The queen has to be Pim Techamuanvivit, who raises money for charity on Chez Pim. Due to higher visibility and participation by food and wine bloggers around the world, her annual event, Menu for Hope, raised $58,256.70 for the United Nationís World Food Program in 2007. Her 2006 event raised $17,101.32 for victims of the Kashmir earthquake.

In this event, bloggers donated donated cookbooks, meals at restaurants, tools like knives and pasta machines, foods, and services, such as a food tour of Barcelona, Spain and a country lunch in France.

Some bloggers help others in the profession. Sam Breach provides a forum to learn about technical issues on Food Blog S'Cool. The blog of a professional food photographer, where people who want to learn food photography can send up to three photos for feedback, links readers to a Still Life With Flickr photo page. Some shots rival the quality of food photography in cookbooks and magazines.

Celebrities are born, inevitably

With today's relentless media focus on the young and hip, some food bloggers have become celebrities. Literary, determined, professional, and market-savvy, these bloggers know how to work the system. Some have written online for as long as 7 years, a long time for a blogger. Thereís even an annual popularity contest, the Food Blog Awards.

  • Julie Powell’s star ascended when picked up her witty food blog, The Julie/Julia Project, about a year of cooking from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Then she was profiled in the New York Times, and then came the book deal, possibly the first by a food blogger.

    While her blog ended in 2004 with 163 replies to her last post, Julie Powell keeps cashing in. Screenwriter Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle)
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