This week chez Pim: of something old and some things new

Keeping the romance alive

What do you do when you’ve been blogging for the better part of a decade? You take a break, a breath, and then find a way to refresh and renew the love that inspired you to do it in the first place. That’s what I just did. Welcome to the new Chez Pim.

Moving to WordPress

Change is tough, changing blogging platforms even more so. I was with Typepad for pretty much the entire life of the company Sixapart. That’s a long, long time, and it’s been a great collaboration. I cannot thank the Typepad team enough for their attention and support in those years. I send my best wishes to them on their new path at Say Media. I cannot tell you what peace of mind it’s been, to know that no matter what my Typepad blog was always there. It ran how it should no matter how crazy my traffic spike and valley. I still recommend Typepad wholeheartedly to anyone who wants to start a blog without knowing or ever caring about what’s under the hood.

As comfortable as I was with Typepad, I’ve long outgrown the platform. I pretty much single-handedly built and tweaked the old Chez Pim templates by myself. With my scant skills, it’s like building a house with the help of duct tapes and gorilla glue. It wasn’t pretty, I can tell you that. Plus, as a hosted platform, Typepad wasn’t flexible enough for me to do what I wanted to do. It’s time to move on. Say hello to my shiny new WordPress blog.

Not just a new coat of paint

The new design is not just a new palette of colors and some nifty graphics. It reflects a fundamental rethinking of where online publishing is today. “Blogging” is breaking away from the stranglehold of chronology. Content is no longer just about what’s new and fresh and MORE. Now it’s all about relevance.

So, the new Chez Pim is no longer calendar-driven series of blog posts. Old contents that are relevant today are given just as big a lead-in as the newest post I wrote this morning. That’s what the picture carousel of top of the main page and each category page does. It features not only new content, like the video post of La Mamma’s braised rabbit that I shot in Italy, but what’s useful and relevant now. Chanterelles are coming into season again, the recipe post on pickled chanterelles from last year is welcome back on the main page.

Visual storytelling

The picture carousel is also about telling stories visually, which has become a real passion of mine in the last few years. I love going to cliché places but not bringing you back the same cliché frames everyone else sees. I went to Tsukiji market in Tokyo, but if you expect that shot of rows of frozen tuna at the famed auction, you’re in the wrong place. My Tsukiji is a bloody cutting board, a rusty scale, a bucket of tuna bones, and an old proprietress in her cubbyhole “office”. And I hope you enjoy this Tsukiji as much as I do.

More focused content

Breaking from the chronological mold to one that’s more subject driven will also help me better focus my storytelling. Pulling out the wine and drink posts onto their own page made me realize how little I’ve done on the subject I love so much. So expect to hear more, a lot more, from me on that. Also expect to hear more on the Travel section, you’ll be seeing handy city guides by me and my trusted friends from around the world.

Dinner @ 8

Perhaps what I’m most proud of, and the one we’ve worked the hardest on, is the new feature Dinner @ 8. I wanted to find a way to break from the norm of cooking blogs. Instead of presenting single recipes one at a time, Dinner @ 8 takes a holistic approach to cooking a meal.

The step-by-step guide takes you through the process of the entire meal, with steps from all the recipes woven and arranged logically and efficiently so you can put dinner on your table on time. And I’m not talking a semi-home-cooked silliness. I’m talking a proper debut menu of Dorie Greenspan’s recipes from her latest book, Around my French Table: 3 courses, 4 dishes to cook, all in 3 hours. Yes, you heard me the first time. Three hours. You don’t believe me? Here’s what Dorie herself said about this new feature..

“I’m thrilled any time Pim wants to cook from my recipes, but I’m thrilled and honored that she’s kicking off Dinner @ 8 with a meal made from my new book.

Pim explained a little about her site’s redesign to me when we met in San Francisco last month and it sounded pretty terrific, but nothing prepared me for how terrific it really is.  This morning she sent me a link to the site and I clicked through just as my husband walked past my desk.  He did a double take as he exclaimed: “What happened?  You’re sitting there with your mouth wide open!” What happened was Pim’s site!

It’s beautiful, of course – Pim only does beautiful– but it’s also chockfull of great information and tips, and it’s so sensibly and helpfully laid out, and so logical that it makes everything really doable and doable in 3 hours sharp.  I love this!

I know that I’ll be cooking along with Pim and I hope you will too.  I can’t wait to hear about your adventures.”

Dorie Greenspan, 10/13/2010

There is, of course, wine pairing suggestions for the meal. It wouldn’t be a holistic look without including the wines.

I didn’t do it alone

I couldn’t have done it alone. Meet my friend Ryan Wilke, pixel-pusher extraordinaire and véritable WordPress wiz. I cannot recommend Ryan enough. He’s fast, responsive, and crafty in some very astonishing ways. I should also mention how patient he is. I’m not an easy client to please. I knew precisely what I wanted and I wanted it precisely that way. And he managed it, every time. To Ryan, you amaze me. Thank you ever so. (Check out his site to see his take on the work he’s done on Chez Pim.)

And a giveaway, of course there’s a giveaway

This is, however, not one of those easy giveaways that you just need to leave a comment and then you’re eligible. Sorry. It’s a big prize, so you’ve got to work for it. What’s the prize, you asked? The winner will get a copy of Dorie’s new book, Around My French Table, and a copy of her last pastry book, Baking: From My Home to Yours (both courtesy of Dorie Greenspan). Plus, there’s more. From me, you’ll also receive two of my favorite pastry books, Desserts by Pierre Herme, and Paris Sweets, both also by Dorie. That’s $150 worth of books, and they will be priceless once they are signed and personalized to you by Dorie herself.

To win them, you must go to Dinner @ 8 and cook the Dorie’s French Supper menu. You don’t have to serve it at 8, eat at 7 or whenever you want, by all means. Just make sure you follow the steps and see if you could do it within the 3-hr time frame, more or less. You know, even if you’re 15-20 minutes behind schedule, you would still finish that meal faster than if you were to go at it by yourself.

So, go forth and cook, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself. You have until Monday December 6 to post evidence of that meal somewhere online. Your blog, your Foodbuzz, your Flickr, your Facebook page, anywhere you want. Go start a thread on Serious Eats if you must. Just post about it somewhere online, and then leave a comment and a link on the Dorie’s French Supper post to let us know. Dorie and I will pick our favorite 10, and will draw the winner from those 10 names.

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  • Casey

    I am SO impressed. Fabulous!

  • http://cilantropist.blogspot.com TheCilantropist

    After talking briefly with you at Foodbuzz Fest last weekend in SF, I couldn’t wait to see the new design of your blog and you definitely did not disappoint! I love the clean, clear lines and also your new clear concept. But most brilliant is definitely your Dinner @ 8 feature; the entire design is flawless, and I love how everything integrates seamlessly together (the page, with the carousel, with the tips on the side). I hope I will have time to try out Dorie’s dinner menu, what a great choice to kick off your new feature! :)

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Thanks Casey!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Thank you! I’d love to hear what you think when you cook from Dorie’s Dinner @ 8 menu.

  • Joan Nova

    Website looks gorgeous and functional. Have fun!

  • Jen H

    LOVE the new blog, so well thought out and the Dinner @ 8 idea is so great too! Congrats!

  • http://www.eatartword.wordpress.com sonya

    Congratulations on your new blog home, Pim! The redesign and new concept are both beautiful and refreshing!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D5TZGA4FUOO4V2JBLS7IMH46KY OakMonster

    Love the new look. This is awesome!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Thanks, and I hope you’ll do the menu and join our giveaway contest.

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Thank you. I’m loving it too. This is going to get me blogging a lot more too.

  • http://twitter.com/JunBelen Jun Belen

    Hello Pim,

    Congratulations on your new Chez Pim, it looks fabulous! I love the warm and inviting look and feel. I met you briefly back at Foodbuzz weekend and I am such a huge fan, and such an inspiration! I love Dinner @ 8 where you write about composing an entire meal from beginning to end and I can not agree more about featuring relevant and interesting content that’s not chronology-driven.

    Congratulations once again here’s to more years of Chez Pim!

    Jun

  • http://www.louisa-chu.com Louisa

    Such a stunning renovation :) – and thanks always for sharing your world – congratulations!

  • David

    Great post. Keep up the good work!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Hi Jun,

    Yes I remember meeting you. Nice to see you here and I hope you try out the Dinner @ 8 and good luck winning Dorie’s books!

    cheers,
    Pim

  • http://kenstructions.com Kenna

    I love the new layout! <3<3<3

  • Lauras Best Recipes

    What a fantastic new look and “Dinner @ 8″ is genius…. sometimes breaks can be very inspiring. Excellent work!

  • Cathi

    Sounds wonderful!

  • Tricia

    Pim,
    I really love your new look! Your blog is beautiful! Thanks for the great information.
    Tricia
    http://www.cafetrix.blogspot.com

  • LaJuana

    Congratulations on the new site and terrific new ideas! I have 3 of the 4 books and am cooking along with French Friday’s with Dorie, this sounds like a fun new twist to it. And thanks for the time line…would love to work this in around some holiday travels!

  • http://twitter.com/Cooks_Books Cooks&Books&Recipes

    I can handle individual recipes. It’s the entire meal that causes me problems. I adore the idea behind your Dinner @ 8 feature and can’t wait to read more.

  • http://chocolatecoveredeverything.wordpress.com/ Aleah

    Love the new site! I am a wordpress blogger myself and just started blogging in May! You were one of my inspirations for getting into blogging and continue to be! Thanks for all the great content!

  • Diane

    I love the new look and cant wait to see you posting more again. You are an inspiration.

  • Hillru

    the new site looks fabulous.

  • Joelbaumwoll

    Pim, your blog is always an inspiration to get me into the kitchen. Cookies, pies, chicken, you name it. Between your book and your blog, they are two of my favorite sources for ideas and recipes (and technique). The new set up goes even further in that direction for me. Your combination of personal and photographic story telling as you cook, together with flawless execution and honesty are unique among blogs. All the best with the New Chez Pim.
    Joel

  • http://bonvivant.wordpress.com/ Danielle

    Congrats on the new site Pim, it’s very clean and focused, the perfect platform to share your unconventional and refreshing ideas about food blogging today. You’ve piqued my curiosity about Dinner @ 8 – that may just be my Thanksgiving menu!

  • Andrea

    So this is what you and Ryan have been laboring over! Beautiful job! Keep stirring the pot, Pim.

  • Adelina

    Love the new “coat of paint” and it’s Not “Just” a new coat of paint though! Congratulations for making the transformation! I’ve always enjoyed your blog no matter how old it looks!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Yes it sure is. Isn’t it wonderful? Ryan did a great job and everything turned out _just_ the way I wanted it.

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Thanks Danielle, a Dorie thanksgiving sounds like fun!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    How sweet of you. Thanks so much.

  • http://www.nosejob.co.il vicki

    You make my day!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Thank you so much. It’s so touching to have your support, and thanks for loving the new “coat of paint”.

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    And you’re not alone. I used to have the same problem until I began actually planning how to cook all the recipes together. My friends are so happy they no longer have to wait til 10 when they expect dinner at 8.

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    But I bet your books are not all signed. Play with us and if you win the signed books you could give your other copies away to some lucky friends. ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/ryanwilke Ryan Wilke

    Awww. Thanks. I’m glad everyone loves it so much :)

  • Tracy

    Congratulations on your new digs. Great look, cool color choices… very well done. I look forward to once again making you apart of my daily perusal.

  • ciara

    I’ve never posted any comment on anything, but after checking on your page to look for an update I was so happy to find this beautiful place. I’m so happy that you’re back! :) The page looks increíble. Me encanta!

  • Nadja

    This is really an impressing new look. I love it. It is very welcoming and invites you to spent hours reading. Well done!

  • speckle

    You don’t know how timely this post is for me. I’ve been on the phone for an hour trying to fix bugs and wondering how I can improve my WordPress theme to do it what I want it to do! I’m going to contact Ryan now!

  • Bee

    Love it Pim, well done and congrats!

  • Juli

    I had almost given up on you. I am so glad I clicked on your page this afternoon! The new site looks amazing! I just wish I could do this little cooking contest but I leave Sunday and won’t be back until the 14th of December :( Oh well.
    Congrats anyway and I will probably tackle it anyway when I return.

  • http://twitter.com/happyhealthpad Happy Health Pad

    the design of your new blog is good for eyes

    Healthy meal recipe for kids

  • http://www.8stepstoaperfectturkey.blogspot.com Blue

    Love you Pim! Saw you on “Diary of a Foodie”, I think! Keep up the great work!

    Scared to cook the turkey this year? No worries! We break it down to 8 easy steps at: http://www.8stepstoaperfectturkey.blogspot.com Check it out!

  • hannika

    i really appreciate your “way to the food world”..is so actually passional and a little less seriously than the others way (too much boaring)…go on!!! ;) )) hannika italy

  • hannika

    i really appreciate your “way”to the food world…so contemporary passional and nice(i don’t like the boarings celebrations)go on like this ;) )) hannika italy

  • Kristen Rice

    Love the new look and the new structure is truly the icing on the cake :) . I love reading about food, and eating it but I’m not normally the cook in the family (toooo many picky eaters). Your Dinner @ 8 section has inspired me to TRY however, even if I have to substitute some ingredients for my crazy family! Can’t wait to see how a true newbie to the cooking arena fairs!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    How wonderful, please do try! Cooking is about improvisation, so please sub away, I’m sure your family will enjoy it.

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Thanks.

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    I’m so glad you hadn’t given up! Dinner @ 8 will be a twice-a-month (I hope!) feature so you’ll have plenty of time to try it.

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    He’s awesome, you’ll love him.

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    That’s the whole idea. ;-)

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    I’m so happy you’re back too, and see, commenting is kind of fun, isn’t it? I hope you don’t hesitate to jump into the conversation from now on!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Thanks, look forward to having you here every day too.

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Thanks, wow that show keeps airing and airing, how wonderful!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Thanks Bee, good to see you back here!

  • Diane

    This is off topic from the new website which is fantastic, but I am so looking forward to taking my second cooking class from Pim at Love Apple Farm in Santa Cruz this Sunday. I’m still drooling over the Meyer lemon recipes she demonstrated at the first class.

  • Dalvamaraci

    Hi,
    I do apreciate your blog.

    Thanks a lot for sharing all.
    Dalva Maraci
    fom Brazil

  • Patypf4

    I was really mad at you Pim for not writting in such a long time! I am so glad you are back.

  • Mylittleoldman

    A wonderful return. I look forward to exploring and maybe, just maybe, I will attempt Dorie’s French Supper.

  • Sophigirl

    Pim, I am thrilled that you are back! And the site looks wonderful!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Sorry to have kept you waiting so long, but I hope this new site is making up for it.

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Please do!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/tweetysnest Billie

    Glad your back! Your website looks great …. thanks!

  • http://caffeiiina.blogspot.com CaffeIna

    I’m so happy your back and I totally love the new “look”. As you say, not just the color palette. I think you made a very thoughtful reshaping of priorities and content and I’m loving it!

  • ~Melissa

    I’m liking the new look. You go Pim!

  • Amy Paice

    Love it Love it Love it. I went to the FB page and it said only if I know you personally. Well I do not. I would love to but alas we are on different coasts. We do however have a facebook friend in common Letizia. Ask her I am not intrusive or obnoxious. your call. Amy (small kitchen big view) cheers

  • http://www.banidincriza.webatu.com Grace

    You have a very nice and interesting website!
    Good work!

  • Tiffany143
  • Lemons_sk

    Darker type for us oldies, please. New format (awesome!) or old (I enjoyed it) the most important thing is that you keep doing this, please. :-)

  • http://cafeterrablog.com Terra

    I am reallly excited to be a part of this give-away, I always look for ways to challenge myself. I love everything about French culture, and Cooking, and would adore these books. Thank you for this fun opportunity! I am new to your blog, but can tell I will be a long time follower. Your blog is beautiful, and shares such fun recipes. Thank you, Terra

  • Bebe

    niceeee

  • http://www.moleculargastronomynetwork.com ChefGerard

    What a come back!

  • Thu

    nice !!! love the make over :)

  • Ben

    I appreciate your talent and creativity. Keep it up. God Bless you.

  • Harrishe001
  • Afrenda

    Hi, I’m a journalist of Corriere della sera. I’d like to interview you for my newspaper. When is possible for you? i send you my email: afrenda@rcs.it
    Thanks!

  • Esl899
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C45CDAJ6YXQPQJRJW6RTCG4XMY Tom Smith

    My hobby is Preparing and eating food and I am very happy of my good habit. Food related businesses are among the most popular and profitable choices. if you love food and preparing it, starting a food business may be a good choice for you. Start up costs for food businesses are generally low, and while you still need to have good business skills, you don’t need a lot of specialized experience or education.
    You have really good article related food.

  • http://www.abercrombie-usa.com abercrombie and fitch uk

    It is so delicious ,I want to make it by myself too .

  • http://www.molecule-r.com MOLECULE-R

    I am happy you’re back!

  • CherryLaneDiaries

    Good move shifting to WordPress. I love wordpress. Great post.

  • Serge the Concierge

    Pim
    I saw the new design a week or so ago but did not realized you had changed address and moved the whole thing.
    I like the Dinner@8 idea…Making dinner special again.
    I had the pleasure of meeting your good friend Daniel Patterson in New York 10 days ago.
    I am looking forward to ‘Menu for Hope 2010′.
    Happy Thanksgiving
    Serge
    http://www.sergetheconcierge.com

  • Anonymous

    Wow what a great looking site. The design is amazing congratulations! :)

  • http://www.xanga.com/aromes aromes

    Love your new web site. Welcome on wordpress.

  • http://www.madesimplerecipes.com easy cooking recipes

    I like pumpkin cheesecake and before this I usually purchase it on a store but since today I’ll construct it in home.
    Thanks for this valuable information.

  • Anonymous

    Fresh Healthy vending provide you Fruit Chunk Double Dippers – all that is needed for this early morning treat is a few pieces of fruit cut into chunks.Pleasant Parfaits – this tasty treat keeps in line with the combination of fruit, yogurt and granola.
    http://recipes.freshvending.com/

  • Nana & Papa

    Love the new look Pim. — Nana & Papa

  • http://www.madesimplerecipes.com easy cooking recipes

    I like its taste it is really good.
    Thanks for it.

  • Catherine

    Loving the new blog look!!!

    Curious, Is that a photo taken in restaurant “Casa Montana” in Valencia? Where’s the post to it? :) I love that restaurant.

    Caty

  • http://www.auto-rent.ro Rent a Car

    i really appreciate your “way to the food world”..is so actually passional and a little less seriously than the others way (too much boaring)…go on!

  • http://www.auto-rent.ro Rent a Car

    Love the new look and the new structure is truly the icing on the cake :) . I love reading about food, and eating it but I’m not normally the cook in the family (toooo many picky eaters). Your Dinner @ 8 section has inspired me to TRY however, even if I have to substitute some ingredients for my crazy family! Can’t wait to see how a true newbie to the cooking arena fairs!

  • http://www.inchirieri-masini-bucuresti.ro Inchirieri Masini

    I like pumpkin cheesecake and before this I usually purchase it on a store but since today I’ll construct it in home.

  • http://www.isinorthamerica.com Tina

    Nicely done! The new look is an eye candy=)

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Thank you! We hope to see you next week!

  • http://chezpim.com Pim

    Yes it was Casa Montaña! Wow, you’re good. I love that place too, but no, I haven’t written about it yet. Check back later!

  • Jeanneorr

    just watching you on tv on foodology im a foodie and looking for new recipes ,all over the place will look in on you now and then ty

  • View

    love the new look kha.

  • Willielethbridge

    jawsome look on the website, yeah crazy you’re on foodology, check out Isabel’s work at the Diet Solution Program.

  • http://zexxyswife.blogspot.com Zexxys wife

    Pumpkin is so versatile!
    I have some diverse pumpkin recipes on my blog too.
    http://zexxyswife.blogspot.com/2010/10/pumpkin-time.html

  • http://www.cookwarepoint.com/enameled-cast-iron-staub-cookware-review/ staub cookware

    Wonderful new look. Very tasteful. I love the colors and the pumpkin recipes.

  • http://twitter.com/kitchen_couture Kate Parham

    Just came across your website. The layout and design is incredible, and of course, the content is inspiring. I think I’ll definitely enter the contest on my blog, Kitchen Couture. Thanks!

  • http://www.wholesalepages.co.uk Wholesale Suppliers

    Ah! the whole story of your blogging was very touchy… I have just start blogging and I just have a one question for you if you are working how do you manage it is a much tough job I start blogging to express my ideas not something to earn but still It is very hard

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chef-Basket/161314907217268 Chef Basket

    Great new layout! It looks quite user-friendly.

  • chef kev

    Pim,
    I just watched your appearance on Martha for the first time and want to congratulate you. It’s only coincidental that I’m going to be making Pad Thai for family supper in just a bit. You were great on TV by the way. I laughed when Martha dumped her batch into yours knowing that you like to make it for one person-at-a-time.

  • http://www.juxt.wordpress.com christina

    pim, now that it’s December, will there be another Menu for Hope this year?

    I admit, I’m addicted. It’s a great antidote to the consumer gross-out that often accompanies Christmas for me — plus there’s suspense — and best of all you raise shocking amounts of money for the UN Food Programme. Please tell me the Menu for Hope is on again this year!

    thanks.

  • Julie

    I also hope you’re doing Menu for Hope this year! Raffle tickets have always been a favorite gift to give to friends.

  • Hillary

    Added you to my food blog roll Pim! Just love following you! Happy Holidays!!!!!

  • Cherry

    Your new site looks great. I was wondering if there is anyway to look through all your recipes easily. If you could email me to let me know as I’d love to check them out and can’t keep up with your great blog regularly. Tx so much. Laura. PS I also couldn’t find any direct way to email you so though I’d try this. cherry@cherrypatter.com.