Medium Raw, Cooking With the Social Media Crowd

Anthony Bourdain.

The progression of outreaches and conversations via social media and networking is seemingly inexhaustible. The latest “outreach” in evoking social activity comes from none other than one of the world’s most noted food experts Anthony Bourdain. The upcoming paperback edition of Bourdain’s Best Selling book, Medium Raw!, is food for “would be” contributors – a chance for some momentary culinary genius to be published no less.

Anthony Bourdain, for those stuck in a closet these last 10 years, is a food celebrity of monumental proportions. His hit series on The Travel Channel – No Reservations –  is everyone’s most likely point of contact with this dynamic persona, but his scribblings via Bon Appétit and across the spectrum of food publications and productions are extraordinary.

Bourdain won an Emmy in 2009 for No Reservations, on top of being one of the most interesting of the “so called” celebrity chefs. And now Bourdain has cooked up something specifically for the digital world – a chance to speak back within the pages of of MediumRaw!, and an added incentive of $10,000 US to the winner of a new contest. Let me explain.

The Medium Raw Challenge is something more than just a blog, rather it is a social experiment in Bourdanian culinary adventures – with and for people so interested on the web.  It is here one of the food world’s most controversial and respected experts has chosen to essentially “put up or shut up” where truly engaging the digital space is concerned. I say this because for some, social engagement is about lip service and managed Twitter accounts – not so much two way about Tweeting Arnold Schwarzenegger these days. Bourdain takes it to the next level with this latest communicative platform.

Digital socialites only have to provide the best answer to a simple question to be penned in beside Bourgain worldwide; Foodies: What does it mean to cook food well? Not only do some notable entrants get Bourdain’s direct (and yes sometimes cutting) feedback, but the chance at a sort of culinary immortality too. Submit your best reasons to Bourdain, vote on other people’s (friends’) submissions, you know the drill. Below is a comment excerpt from Bourdain to a nice lady who submitted one of the most gripping and REAL essays I ever read about anything – and I write a lot. (You gotta read this)

Anthony Bourdain engages the web

Anthony was impressed by this lady’s candor too

Just why Gordon Ramsay never thought of this, I can only guess. Maybe he is too busy lambasting hygienically inferior cooks and bottle washers, who knows? (Sorry Anthony, we like Gordon too) It is true too that Bourdain is as likely to lay out curses as praise in the real or digital world, but like Ramsey, Bourdain’s credibility a flair are inextricably tied to being human – just not as unrefined as the typical Earthy humanoid. My only criticism of Bourdain, digitally at least, is having 15,433 Twitter followers and him watching only one. But then, I think Twitter is BS myself for the most part.

The social media and networking frenzy that is going on is so seldom imbued with originality. Sure, Bourdain will get his fare share of exposure on this one, but I for one would sure as hell contribute moments of my digital existence to a platform that offers a semblance of communicative reciprocity.  $10,000 and being published is no chump change either.

Don’t you and I wish every zillionaire celebrity would so engage? Wait until he gets my “War and Peace” on What It Means To Cook Well.” Let us know your thoughts too. A little hint for prospective contestants though, if you are a vegetarian it had better some from some deep seeded religious or ethnic dogma. Below is one of my favorite Bourdain segments from No Reservations.

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