The Food Lovers’ Guide to Baltimore has its launch party on Thursday, February 7th 6 p.m. to 8 p.m at Chazz : A Bronx Original with a special extended Happy Hour offering discounts on drink and food selections. Come meet and greet the authors, Neal and Kathy Patterson (aka food bloggers and cooks extraordinare – check out www.Minxeats.com )
The guide is broken down into neighborhoods and then focuses on the foodie favorites, landmark restaurants and specialty stores, markets and producers. The Pattersons didn’t stop there, the book includes listings of local media and bloggers who keep you apprised on a day-to-day basis of the current food news. They also compiled a section on festivals and events that are food and beverage focused.
Kathy, a witty, humorously acerbic personality came to my attention with her All Top Chef blog numerous years ago. Neal, a novelist is the perfect ying to her yang.
Food Lovers’ Guide to Baltimore is available locally at Barnes and Noble and on line at Amazon.com.,
Kathy took time from her busy schedule to answer questions about the book and the process she and Neal went through to bring this book to life in just 100 days.
How does Food Lovers’ Guide to Baltimore differ from Yelp- and Urbanspoon-type guides?
Unlike those online services where anyone can compliment or complain about a restaurant, the Food Lovers' Guide is not a book of reviews. There are no ratings and no negative comments. We only focus on the restaurants that we feel are worth checking out. There are descriptions of restaurants that are either old favorites or newer places that have received kudos from local reviewers and foodies.
I know when I use Urbanspoon, I have a specific restaurant in mind that I want more details about. The Food Lovers' Guides work that way too; since there is an index, but it's probably better for people who know they'll be in a certain area and want to know what's notable in the neighborhood. It's like an old fashioned travel guide, albeit one specifically geared towards food. It's perfect for people who don't like to do a lot of online research before they go somewhere because we've done the research for them.
When were you approached or was this something you found on line?
One afternoon in late March of last year, I received an email message from an editor at Globe Pequot named Kevin Sirois. He said he loved Minxeats and the way we cover the local restaurant scene and wanted to know if we'd be on board to write the Baltimore edition of a series of books called the Food Lovers' Guides. At first I thought it was a joke, but after consulting with Neal, I responded to Kevin with a resounding "yes," just in case it was the real deal. And it was.
How long did it take you?
We had only 100 days to crank out 70,000 words, which needed to include descriptions of about 300 restaurants, plus a series of sidebars, recipes, and introductory bits describing the Baltimore area's various neighborhoods. It was a lot of work, and I was a bit panicky about it at first, but we divided up the work and managed to get everything done on time. In fact, once we got rolling with it, we found that we had to edit ourselves in order to keep the book from running too long.
Are you ready to take on similar projects?
Yes! Now that we know what writing and publishing a book entails, we're ready for the next one. I've been working on a cookbook for a while now, here and there, but other types of writing projects are welcome, too. And of course Neal is actually a novelist.
Food Lovers’ Guide to Baltimore – The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings – by Kathy Wielech Patterson & Neal Patterson – Globe Pequot Press
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