Le “making” of Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie: the hungry blogger


Have you seen it yet? Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie covered food
blogging and bloggers
this week. Perhaps you’re here because of the
show, in which case, welcome. Besides me, the show also featured Mark of Sticky Rice in Hanoi, Josh of Cha Xiu Bao in Hong Kong,
and my dear friend David Lebovitz in Paris.

I must say I wasn’t so sure how it would all turn out. I had fun filming
the show, but frankly it’s my first time doing something like this, and
I was more than a bit nervous. It, happily, turned out great. As
Louisa said, my crew was fantastic and everything went smoothly despite
the newbie me.

I love that the show portrayed us food bloggers as passionate food
lovers who have a story to tell, rather than a gang of snarky,
vindictive, camera-toting weirdos hell bent on messing up the
livelihood of honest, hard-working restaurateurs. Of course we don’t
always have good stories to tell, to be a foodie is to have a
discriminating taste, after all. What some of the blog critics
have often forgotten, and my friend David Lebovitz stated quite
eloquently on the show, we write from a personal point of view. We
tell our stories, talking about our experience with a meal, a recipe,
or our sometimes exciting and sometimes mundane lives.

Blogging is about sharing, and it proves to be interesting to hundred
of thousand of readers each day, not on my blog alone but the entire
food blogosphere. We love food and we love sharing it, and through the
blogs you can go scouring the "gutters" of Vietnam with Mark on a search for the ultimate bowl of Pho, or follow Josh on his quest to eat a diseased crab, a delicacy of sort in the summer months of Hong Kong, and eat your heart out in the sweet city of Paris with my even sweeter friend David.


As for my bit on the show, we taped it last summer, on an unusually warm and fog-free summer day in San Francisco. Dianne Schutz, the producer, the camera man Brett Albright and I ran around San Francisco and Oakland picking up the best local artisanal products to put together a basket for the ultimate foodie. You saw me assembling the basket at the end of my segment there, but it wasn’t explained why I was doing it. Now you know.

It wasn’t easy deciding what to put in there, especially since the ultimate foodie I had in mind was Ruth Reichl, the editor of Gourmet and the hostess with the mostess of the show. The Bay Area is full of delicious things, yes, but when you’re sending a basket to a foodie who has tried everything, you’ve got to think about it a bit, no?


We began the day at the Ferry Plaza farmers market, doing my rounds shopping and saying hello to friends. The one product I wanted for my basket here was heirloom beans from my friend Steve Sando at Rancho Gordo (and he blogs too!). I had not been a lover a beans until Steve showed me the way. Now it’s my turn to help him spread the words. The beans from Rancho Gordo are new world variety, many of which are on the verge of extinction until Steve began growing and selling them. If you haven’t tried it yet –and you might just be the last person in foodiedom- do try, you’ll be amazed at how tasty beans can be.


Our next stop was at my friend Jing Tiao of Le Sanctuaire. Jing is the go-to guy for all kinds of fancy chefs in search of the best of everything edible, from the best olive oil or the best salt to the best chemicals to do the whatnots all the avant-garde chefs are doing these days. But the very best Jing has to offer was what I was looking for that day, his exquisite spices. Jing carries just about every spice known to mankind, from the rare long pepper to the even more rare green Sichuan Peppercorn. We put together a selection of peppers and off we went on to the next stop.



Crossing the Bay Bridge over to Oakland, we went to visit my friend James at Blue Bottle Coffee Company. Jame’s coffee is what I wake up with every morning, that’s the best endorsement I could give to a product. You might have seen James gracing the pages of the New York Times recently, in the article about the $20K coffee machine, the Hario Syphon Coffee Maker that he imported from Japan to his new café at the Mint Plaza in San Francisco. He was still experimenting with the machine back then, and made us a beautiful cup of Jasmine Estate coffee from it. It really was an amazing cup, and I’m not usually a black coffee kind of girl.


Our next stop at St.George Spirits somehow ended up on the cutting-room floor. They make the fabulous Hangar One vodka, you see, so it must have been my incoherent babbling while, ahem, tasting the vodka. That must have been it. Anyway, if you can only imagine vodka as inoffensive, light tasting alcohol, you’ve got to try to stuff they make there. Hangar One vodka is made from fragrant Viognier grapes grown right here in the Bay Area. You can really taste the difference. They also make fantastic fruit-sented vodka, like the heady Buddha Hand Citron, and the sweet-scented Mandarin. If you’re visiting the Bay Area, you should definitely make a stop at the super cool Hangar One tasting room, in one of the decommissioned airplane hangars (hence the name) right under the shadow of the Bay Bridge on the Oakland side. You’ll love it, I promise. Just don’t plan on operating heavy machinery (or being filmed) afterwards…


The final stop of the day was at June Taylor’s workshop, the Still Room, to watch June make some of her magical jams. June’s products are very unusual. They are not too sweet and softer on the palate than commercial jams. This is because she uses very little sugar and relies on natural pectin from citrus peels, so you can actually taste the true flavor of the fruits. I’ve often talked about her products on my blog, but that was the first time I saw her in action and it was a lot of fun.


You wouldn’t think visiting a few artisan food producers around town would be exhausting, would you? But let me tell you, I was entirely spent at the end of that day. I’m glad they didn’t show me talking while putting the basket together, frankly I wasn’t so sure what language I was babbling in by then.

If you missed the show, you’ll just have to wait until the end of the season when they’ll be put on iTunes and on the website. Meanwhile, you can watch the entire season one online. Happy viewing!

Click here for more of the photos I took from that day.

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26 Responses to “Le “making” of Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie: the hungry blogger

  • Margaret said:
    February 17th, 2008 at 1:12pm

    Yup, I saw you Pim on Diary of a Foodie so that’s what led me to your site…I was happy to find a hometown SF blogger highlighted. Thanks for your great site!

  • casey said:
    February 17th, 2008 at 1:32pm

    I thought the entire segment was first-rate–all of you came across as passionate and eloquent. Plus: you should wear red whenever you’re photographed. You looked lovely.

  • KC said:
    February 17th, 2008 at 4:39pm

    I saw it today also, also the reason why I came to your site. I went to sticky rice’s blog first and then i saw your and I just clicked and there was your post form today on the show.

  • Flair said:
    February 17th, 2008 at 5:40pm

    That’s how I found your blog! I love food blogs, because I love food! I always watch Diary of a Foodie when I can – and I was excited that they featured such great foodie bloggers!

  • stickyfingers said:
    February 17th, 2008 at 6:24pm

    How fabulous! Looks like fun. I’ve been enjoying reading the blogs of all of the featured Bloggers for a while. I find it fascinating that Bloggers are becoming of interest to the larger food media scene there. Here in Australia (I’m from the same city that Stickyrice originates from) we are often still dismissed – as you mentioned – with vitriol by the print and TV media. I expect things will evolve eventually.

  • Babeth said:
    February 17th, 2008 at 11:28pm

    Looks like a fun day! I heard about it on David’s blog I think (I love the guy btw!!) It’s too bad it’s not broadcast here in France.
    As usual Pim beautiful pictures, thanks from my eyes 🙂

  • Tina said:
    February 18th, 2008 at 12:57am

    I saw you on the “Diary of a Foodie” episode and that is how I found your blog. It’s so cute how you and David Lebovitz are good friends.

  • Jennifer said:
    February 18th, 2008 at 10:09am

    I came across the show and just started yelling at the TV OMG I KNOW THAT GIRL. My boyfriend was like HOW and I was like I READ HER BLOG. LOL

  • Tim said:
    February 18th, 2008 at 10:47am

    I saw the show as well. You bloggers are a fascinating and well spoken bunch. You and David Lebovitz were my favorite. I’m a pretty adventurous eater but I don’t think I’d go near a sick crab.

  • Laura said:
    February 18th, 2008 at 10:53am

    I was so excited when I saw you on the show. Loved what you wore. Loved what you ate. Loved everything! Keep up the good work on the blog!

  • Sally said:
    February 18th, 2008 at 11:04am

    I set my Tivo when you posted the preview here last week. What a great foodie show! You looked great in red, Pim. I can’t believe I haven’t seen it before. I’m going to watch all the episodes from the first season next weekend. The rest of this season is set on tivo too. Thanks!

  • Beth said:
    February 18th, 2008 at 11:21am

    Speaking of foodies, have you seen this article in my local paper? You’re in it.

  • robin said:
    February 18th, 2008 at 12:55pm

    I caught the episode. Great job, Pim! You were really fantastic and it was wonderful to learn of all the shops you visited!

  • Single Guy Chef said:
    February 18th, 2008 at 3:29pm

    Pim, I thought you represented the San Francisco Bay Area fantastically well! I actually thought the filming was done recently because when I saw the Blue Bottle segment with that fancy expensive brewing machine, I thought it was filmed at the new location at Mint Plaza. Should have known you got a “sneak peek” at it. I really liked how the show featured food places around the world and how in all these food destinations, there’s a food blogger giving the inside scoop. It’s great that San Francisco is placed in the same culinary level as Paris and Hong Kong. Good job!

  • Ken said:
    February 18th, 2008 at 8:33pm

    I agree. You were fantastic. You’re not dating David Lebovitz so are you single now?

  • Louisa Chu said:
    February 19th, 2008 at 6:52am

    Everything went smoothly because of you too! And yeah, what is the story about you not dating David Lebovitz anymore? Does your POD (Pim’s Other David) know about this? 😉

  • FlaNboyantEats said:
    February 20th, 2008 at 7:58pm

    Oh I missed it, but how fun was that!?!
    They need something like this out of Atlanta. I’d be all over it!

  • mark0 said:
    February 21st, 2008 at 6:14am

    I haven’t seen the “Diary” episode yet, but I recognize Blue Bottle’s roastery from the first photo! James was kind enough to allow me to cup with him and his talented crew a few months ago. I look forward to checking out the new cafe during my next visit. Kudos to you for recognizing coffee as part of the Bay’s exciting food developments.

  • Cakespy said:
    February 26th, 2008 at 8:18am

    Oh, I wish I had seen this! I absolutely adore all of the behind-the-scenes stuff.

  • Patty said:
    February 26th, 2008 at 1:27pm

    Hi Pim – I caught the show and it introduced me to your blog. Your writing is great. I am a “newbie foodie”. It is great to come to a site that explores the vast and wonderful world of food culture that is not obnoxious. Touche and Keep up the great work:)

  • Alexandra said:
    March 6th, 2008 at 7:47am

    Argh! I need a television!!!

  • Louisa Chu said:
    March 14th, 2008 at 10:39am

    You will be able to watch Pim’s episode online next season. To watch more of Season 2 of Diary of a Foodie, find your local PBS station and air-time here: http://www.movable-feast.com/gourmet.html

  • j.cro said:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 2:21pm

    I was sitting on the couch a good deal this weekend – recovering from knee surgery – and I watched a LOT of television. Thankfully this show, Diary of a Foodie, that I had never seen before was on and this episode in particular. I LOVED it and was able to wrack my brain and remember the name of your blog now that I’m finally back at a computer.
    I was so pleased with this episode, I’ve added you to my blog list and am looking forward to checking back here much more frequently.

  • telefon dinleme said:
    August 11th, 2009 at 3:29am

    thank you for your article. i find it after to 1 month… good evening..

  • JFVJ1 said:
    August 21st, 2010 at 9:16am

    I thought the entire segment was first-rate–all of you came across as passionate and eloquent. In addition you should wear red whenever you’re photographed. You looked lovely.

  • Fort Lauderdale catering said:
    September 10th, 2010 at 10:53pm

    This is a great post! Food blogs has always been a hit for you can really learn a lot. It also makes it possible for those who want to start cooking to find simple and yet great stuff. Thanks for this!

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Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie : le back story at Blue Bottle




Le making
of Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie.

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