I got started writing about food on a personal website called "Appetites" in 2000 or possibly 2001. It was a time when there were so few “food blogs” that most of us had what’s called a “blogroll” on our sites. The blogroll was a list of links to other food blogs that, at least in theory, the author of the original food blog liked. Again, because there were very few food blogs around the time, having a website name starting with an “A” meant that I appeared near the top of most folks’ blogrolls. It ended up generating a lot of “hits” and a whole lot of spam comments for very odd pornography.
Sometime in 2008, after I’d gotten the gig writing for New Orleans Magazine, I let the registration for my url lapse, so the website is only accessible in bits and pieces via the Internet Archive.
That’s probably for the best, as some of what I wrote back then would not pass muster these days. But I’m proud of some of it, including what I wrote in the months after Katrina.
I went through all of the typical feelings while I was away from home after the flood. I was worried, heartbroken and anxious to get back to New Orleans. Eventually, I started to think about my then-nascent food writing. I figured that given the devastation, nobody would want to read about food.
That’s laughable now, of course, because food is one of the things people most wanted to read about. "Appetites" already had a pretty robust following, and a lot of it was local. I started getting emails asking me whether one restaurant or another was open not long after we were allowed back into the city. I don’t have all of those posts in a form I can conveniently reproduce, but I can give you a link to some posts I wrote between Oct. 10 and18 of 2005.
I spent a lot of time when I got back to New Orleans driving around and trying to figure out which restaurants were open, which were working on it, and which were probably not coming back. In the original posts, clicking on the thumbnails of the photographs opened a link to much larger versions, but those links are dead. But I did at least discover that at least some of the links on the column to the right of the posts still work. Here, for example, are the posts that are archived from September 2005.
I’ll say it again: I’m not proud of everything I wrote on "Appetites," but I wouldn’t take any of it back. Going over the things I wrote in the immediate aftermath of Katrina dredges up a lot of memories, most of them very unpleasant. I’m glad that my worst fears about our future after the storm did not come to pass, and I’m hopeful that the optimism some of us had about rebuilding will still be borne out.