This post isn’t really about a simple chocolate cake so much as it is about the person behind the cake. For all of the naysayers who might think it crazy that real relationships can be built through social media, I would offer up to them my kinship with Jamie Schler, the talented writer behind the blog Life’s a Feast. We’ve known each other for years (I wish I knew how many but I would guess 5 or 6), starting with chatting on Twitter and finding mutual blog love to having conversations on Skype and dreaming of the day I get my butt to a national IACP conference which Jamie always makes…and she is coming from France!
We both have two kids; her boys both a bit younger than my girls but still the travails are always identifiable. We also both have dogs we adore, her beloved Marty who has been having his share of old age problems and my sweet Abbie, who is fading fast. The anticipated loss of our beloved pooches has us both knowing intimately how the other is feeling; doggone why do they have to touch our hearts so strongly and yet leave us so soon?
We’ve found common ground for discussion around blogging, family, friends, food and yes, dogs and in those years I have come to know Jamie beyond just a casual tweet; I consider her a real friend. One big difference between us? Jamie is a passionate writer; the type who lives for writing; curses the days when it is not easy and relishes those days when the words flow uninterrupted by thoughts that squelch the perfect verb or a brain that refuses to yield the sweetest and most appropriate adjective. Jamie, like many artists, suffers for her craft when I just suffer because I have to do it at all! I am not a food blogger because I feel called to write; not one teeny, tiny, itty bitty bit. I write so that I can share my passion which is quite simply the foods I love to cook. Jamie is a writer who shares her passion through food. I am a foodie who shares my passion through writing. There is a difference. Truth be told; if I could just focus on cooking and baking and photography, there are days I would love nothing more than leaving a sentence as simple as ‘Here it is; hope you enjoy.’ Jamie is segueing on one front to just the opposite, realizing her passion can cover more than food and is bravely forging ahead with plans to realize those unknown worlds.
One of her efforts in that vein is a newer project called simply Plated Stories. Jamie and her good friend Ilva Beretta have joined their individual creative efforts into Plated Stories; a blog that combines the talents of both women. Jamie is a freelance writer specializing in food and culture living in Nantes, France and she does the writing for Plated Stories. Ilva is a food photographer living in Tuscany, Italy. Her blog is Luculliandelights.com and her portfolio is at ilvaberetta.com. She photographs Plated Stories.
In addition to their individual efforts for the blog, the women also hold small and intimate gatherings for food bloggers who are craving guidance in their own work and who look to both Jamie and Ilva as experts in the areas of writing and photography. I can not deny that I long for a chance to attend; they have held attendance at some amazing locations in Europe.
As new as their combined effort is; the praises are rolling in. Plated Stories recently received a prestigious award from the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) for the Best Photo Based Culinary Blog and now they have been nominated as a finalist in Saveur’s fifth annual Best Food Blog Awards for Best Writing. Why I am not included for Best Boozer is beyond me!
If I’m honest, I prefer the IACP award process; the winners in those categories are chosen by a panel of judges. Not so with Saveur. While Saveur does ask for nominations; they include their own opinion of the best in the final list of nominees and the final decision on who wins is left to voters. Which finally gets you to the point of my post today. I would love for you to consider voting for Jamie and Ilva in the Best Writing category; two truly talented and inspiring creatives that I think are most deserving. Take a moment to read one of Jamie’s storied matched with the beauty of Ilva’s photos and see for yourself what others are recognizing; this is truly a deserving pair!
As a reward for your efforts; I offer this cake! So simple and delicious on it’s own, Jamie accompanies it with a just a drizzle of chocolate. I love chocolate but prefer it mixed with something ‘not chocolate’ and this frosting was perfect. The cake has a slight amount of cinnamon in it. Adding a cinnamon buttercream frosting made it a bit more decadent but sometimes decadent is good. I plan to give it to a neighbor for her birthday and this will be her first experience with food blogger food; you know where the cake has two slices sort of wedged back in place. :)
So, for me, please go vote (of course for Plated Stories!) and then? Let them eat cake!