Awards Index

Um… What?

—Don Draper

My wife and I are cut from the same cloth in certain ways. We are both compelled by a desire to craft stories—through images, words, what we decide to show, emphasize, and hide. Sometimes they’re stories we have a personal need to tell, and doing so feels like opening a mental valve. Other stories need to be wrangled. At those times, it’s less clear what motivates us. What is it that we’re seeking? Amusement? Satisfaction? Praise?

Often, the primary audience for our stories consists of friends and family. People who, we assume, are predisposed to be interested in what we have to say. And yet, knowing this makes it no easier to release a story into the wild. The feeling is still one of being completely naked.

A photographer whose work I admire recently tweeted:

Yesterday, I felt like a fraud and failure. Today, people are sending inquiries and praising my work. Having a business is a roller-coaster. 

Similarly, Erin and I go through cycles of feeling good about our work, and subsequently feeling foolish for even trying. I suspect that for many people who express themselves creatively, that cycle never really ends. But once in a while, we get a bit of a nudge from someone who reassures us that maybe we’re on the right track. A comment, an email, or simply an acknowledgment from someplace we didn’t expect. For me, it might come from a reader I’ve never met, or an old friend who I had no idea was actually reading the blog. There are times when a one-line note has allowed me to exhale and breathe for the first time in weeks.

Recently, we got such a nudge. We have been notified by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) that our website has been nominated as a finalist for a Bert Greene Award for Food Journalism in the Blog category. I cannot begin to express the honor and utter surprise that I feel even to be considered among fellow nominees Hank Shaw and Barry Estabrook. I attended Hank’s writing seminar at BlogHer Food last year, and met him briefly over breakfast. He’s a wonderful writer, and down-to-earth guy. Barry Estabrook I’ve never met personally, but, you know, the guy’s also been nominated for a bazillion other things. I’m looking forward to seeing both of them in Austin in June.

I’m well aware that acknowledgment in this form doesn’t last forever. But today, it feels nice. And I feel a tremendous gratitude to all of you, without whom this blog would not have a reason to exist. So, in case I haven’t told you this enough recently, Thanks.

I can’t wait to share another year with you.

-Ben [/one_half]





51 replies on “Um… What?”

Congratulations, Ben & Erin! That’s an amazing accomplishment. Enjoy the moment. So glad you’re being recognized for having such a wonderful blog.

Ben and Erin, your stories and photographs have made an impression on so many of us, and it is clear that the IACP sees the passion and talent behind BabyChili. Congratulations on this well deserved nomination! (You can stop pinching yourself – it’s real!).

Congratulations to you and Erin for being recognized by the IACP for work work we, your friends, already know you do very well. I’m very proud of Team Baby Chili–your recognition is well deserved!

My husband and I have been treading the same waters for a couple of years now, and damn the Heraclitus and his man and river quote all the time:)
I am so happy that you two have found your nudge! So well deserved. Cheers, for many more nudges upward!

I am so so SO happy for Team BabyChili that you’re being recognized for the brilliant writing, evocative photographs and slick videos that you produce! You make creative work look too easy and fun 😉 Don’t stop!!

Congrats! I always look forward to your posts and I think it’s wonderful that you got the recognition of being nominated! You totally deserve it! Super excited for you!

What validation for you! That is awesome, and well deserved, too. I think you’re a great writer.

This whole Hinternet thing is, indeed, a bit of a roller coaster, so it’s nice to get that shot in the arm every once in awhile that keeps us going!

Again, congratulations!!

Congrats Ben!! It was a pleasure meeting you at BlogHerFood last year at the “guy’s table” during breakfast. I can definitely empathize with cycles one goes through in terms of one’s work. It’s a great honor and I’m sure you’ll have a great time in Austin.

Hi Ben,

That’s awesome to hear about your nomination. Well, i’m one of those strangers who read your blog from time to time, and decides to leave you a note (or two) which will hopefully be nudges for you. Can’t say i’m half as creative as you and Erin (for one, my food pictures never turn out that great), but i get nudges from friends from time to time, and every time, it makes me believe that i should give it another shot, and that perhaps, this shot will land me somewhere unexpected. I used to do a fair amount of creative writing, now i am mostly into photography and my saxophone. 2 days ago, i chatted with 2 friends about 2 plays i wrote some time back, and then yesterday, i received an email from one of the competition organizers to encourage me to submit another entry for this year’s Short + Sweet. And you know what? I think i will! Maybe i’ll submit a few!

Shyn Yee

YAY for you Ben – well-deserved! I discovered your blog through Project Food Blog and continue to enjoy your work. Best wishes for much success and Good Luck with your nomination!

Ben, I just read this to Erin’s Gram Nelson. You get two thumbs up. She loves you both. And Esme also, of course.

Hey Ben,

Congrats on the nod! Keep feeding that baby chili, and I will see you in Hotlanta and then again in Austin! Tell you what: I promise to start a wave in the audience if you win, if you promise to do the same if I win. Deal? 😉


Tip #1: Convince a fantastically talented artist to let you use her music in your video. (Thanks, Sally!!!)

I’ll take my payment in sourdough boule, please.

Um… What?!
Pretty awesome. (I didn’t know that award existed, even though it seems to be a big deal, now that I’m checking it out.)
It was def the cupcake video that tipped the scale from good blog to great. Epic. Whoopie pie status.

Congratulations! Just came across your blog today via twitter and am so glad I found you. Beautiful work, great stories, and fantastic photos. Thanks for doing all you do! Best, Tricia

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