What’s your dream job? With any luck, you’re at it right now.
But when you were very, very young, you might have eyed a bulldozer or garbage truck with longing. Maybe your horizons broadened to seek fame, fortune, and glamour: a baseball pitcher, a rock or rap star, a movie or TV actress.
Most of us end up in far different careers than we dreamed of as children. But I have a hunch there’s one job many grown-ups might envy.
Be honest. Didn’t you ever wish you could be a restaurant reviewer? Dining out on someone else’s dime? Taking a few notes? Must be pretty cushy, right? (It’s not.)
Growing up in metro Detroit, I was an avid reader of reviews and stories by several respected writers.
The long-gone Detroit Monthly magazine had a restaurant reviewer who went by the pseudonym of “Mel Gourmet.”
The dean of travel writing, the late, great Len Barnes from AAA Michigan Living, also covered food. I found it amusing that most of his reviews included a parenthetical phrase (Beefeater martini, $4) … apparently his favorite before-dinner libation (and don’t we wish a martini still carried that price tag?). And of course, there was a picture of the mysterious Molly Abraham anonymously “peeking” over the top of a menu.
Cue the “It’s a Small World” theme: After working at Hour Media for several years, I was at home looking for my favorite latke recipe — a dog-eared, faded page ripped from a long-since defunct magazine. At the bottom of the page, I noticed the author’s name — none other than Molly Abraham!
More small world: I have been emailing, phoning, and generally going back and forth with Hour Detroit’s chief restaurant reviewer Christopher Cook for about a year (yes, “Cook” is his real name, but he says some people don’t believe him).
A while back, in an offhand conversation, I found out that he had been the “Mel Gourmet” behind those columns! (He had replaced a person who went by the equally sly “Bud Taste” moniker!)
It’s been a pleasure collaborating with folks like “Mel” and getting to know the Molly behind the menu. But as much fun as it sounds, they and other “foodies” (yes, it’s an overused term) from our staff and freelance corps work very hard to make our monthly coverage so appetizing.
The magazine you’re holding is the first Hour Detroit issue dedicated primarily to food, but I’m guessing it won’t be the last. Despite what some folks might say, judging from the letters we receive and the feedback on our website and social media, this is definitely a food town.
More proof: the overwhelming response to our Savor Detroit event this past spring, when the entire week of dinners sold out rather quickly. So it will come as no surprise that we’re planning to do it again — very soon. Eat up, Detroit!