Featured Blogger: Juliette Rossant of SUPER CHEF
Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
According to Juliette Rossant, “a super chef is an empire-building celebrity chef.” Her blog, SUPER CHEF, highlights the branding and business trends that take an ordinary chef’s career to “super chef” territory. In addition to keeping up-to-date with Rossant’s site, readers can follow her on Twitter @forbie1.
Q: When and why did you start blogging?
A: I started blogging soon after my book, Super Chef (Simon & Schuster 2004) was published. I wanted to keep up with my subjects: six of America’s top chefs. I was also tracking other celebrity chefs.
Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst blogs of the same genre?
A: SUPER CHEF evolved from blog to magazine in 2007-2008. Contributors include chefs Norman Van Aken, Jody Adams, Kelley Liken and Nora Pouillon. I have worked as a journalist for magazines like Forbes: I strive to have SUPER CHEF reflect that professionalism.
Most food-related blogs cover just that: food, recipes, restaurant reviews and gossip. SUPER CHEF covers the businesses and brands of celebrity chefs. SUPER CHEF analyzes their TV shows, their books and their activities outside the kitchen. SUPER CHEF has expanded to include articles relevant to kids (alternate Thursdays) and videos we call “Food Flicks” (Fridays). As editor, I look for broadly food-related news, like Hurricane Katrina (in which emergency food helped victims). When First Lady Laura Bush started looking for a new executive chef at the White House, SUPER CHEF ran a nationwide poll that helped identify candidates—and predicted Mrs. Bush’s choice.
Q: What does your family think of your blogging?
A: They are all enthusiastic.
My son was born just as I started writing my book, so he has grown up immersed in the culture of good food.
Q: Which blogger most inspires you to keep blogging?
A: I pay attention to a lot of blogs, including blogs outside of food. I particularly inspired by political blogs in Middle East where freedom of speech is so curtailed. Since I lived in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and traveled all over the area, I pay attention to developments in the area – even for food. I have tried to cover Food TV as it expands in the Middle East.
Q: How much time daily do you spend blogging?
A: It depends. I do a lot of background reading. An interview with, say, Chef Jose Andres alone can take more then an hour, plus follow-up. Other articles, like book reviews, need even more time.
Q: How many times have you redesigned your blog since it started?
A: At least twice, with a major re-launch in October 2009.
Q: How much do you correspond one-on-one with readers?
A: Often. Readers write to me and suggest books or issues. Recently, I published a book review about Willa Cather—a great American writer and journalist—suggested to me by a reader.
Q: What joys did you not expect when you started blogging? What pains?
A: It is especially fun to put out breaking news. I was very pleased to be interviewed on ABC World News Tonight on the White House Chef poll. It really struck a chord. I’ve been following women chefs on SUPER CHEF, and I’ve written more than 20 profiles of women.
Last week, the New York Times cited me for the lead story in their Dining section about Todd English—one of the chefs in my book. That was rewarding—to see the continuing impact of my work.
A few readers post spam or don’t read articles before responding, but most readers are very good about commenting.
Q: What’s something your readers don’t know about you?
A: Most know that my mother, Colette Rossant (who also contributes to SUPER CHEF) is a long-time food writer, cookbook author and memoirist. I got my start helping her review restaurants when she was the “Underground Gourmet” for New York Magazine. I considered going to culinary school myself, but instead I ended up starting my journalism career in Istanbul — a great place to eat!
Q: What’s your personal favorite blog post?
A: That is a tough question! I’ve been publishing SUPER CHEF since 2004. However, recently I published an article about French Chef Michel Bras inheriting his father’s famous restaurant. Chefs in America face the same tough problem: what to do with their empires when they want to retire.
I love to use cartoons and humor in my writing. So, one of my favorites is a review of Chef David Burke’s New American Classics, with a pictures from the movie The Incredibles.
My other favorite of late is an article that captures how food memories are formed—by a 10-year old author.
ADVERTISERS! Want to target SUPER CHEF’s audience? Use offer code “SUPERCHEF” until June 14, 2011, to receive 50% off of any ad on Rossant’s site!