It's cornbread inside suckling pig. Yes it was delicious, no I did not pay for it.
When I first started this writing thing I thought getting invited to press events was the epitome of baller status in the food blogosphere. You're probably thinking "wow, you're a gigantic toolbag for thinking that!" Haha... fuck you. To be entirely fair, I was a junior in college and I basically fed myself by going to random talks I didn't care about in hopes that there'd be free pizza. Shameful. If you were me, and someone told you that you could have free food in exchange for press... you'd probably piss pants in excitement too. Now that I'm a wily veteran of this demented food blogging game, I can safely say - food PR events are incredibly stupid. Why would I say that? First off, no one really invites me to these things because... well my blog doesn't get that much traffic. Am I bitter? Yes I'm bitter! Other people are eating free food that I'm not. I'm losing in this endeavor. I don't like losing. Secondly, no one else can experience the same thing as me afterward, so what's the point? Doesn't make much sense if you put it that way, right? Third, it's a zero profit system. Either I think something is awesome and I'm called a shill... or I bitch about something that's free and I'm a giant asshole for doing so. Screw that. I'm not gonna play a game where I always lose.
Now let us delve into each one of those points a little deeper shall we? About a month ago I went to some random press shindig at Rub BBQ. Naturally I was not invited, I only went because a friend of mine was, and she realized that I greatly enjoy eating things. Awesome. See why this system sucks? I don't get invited to shit because my blog doesn't get traffic. I guess that makes sense to people hosting the events, but to me that screams unfair. I take time to bitch about things online too! Why can't I get all the perks of other bloggers?*
Onto point two. These events are snapshots in time. What I experience... no one else can ever have again. Does that make any sense to anyone? See that salad above? I don't normally eat salads, but I ate that one. Know why? It was drizzled with a bacon fat vinaigrette and had bacon lardon pieces. Bitchin' salad covered in pork oil, sprinkled with rendered pork fat, and topped with a poached egg. Erotic salad is wonderful indeed. Then there were also...
Fuckin' lamb sliders. Cooked to a gentle medium rare and served with fried spicy eggplant and a mint-basil aioli. Probably one of the dopest "burgers" I've had in a long time. Here's the funny thing - you'll never have one like it! You'll never have that awesome pork flavored salad either. Sucks for you. Now I seem like an asshole right? Wrong. Press event people are the assholes. They're the ones doing this, not me.
I also ate bacon and cheese. Because that's what classy people do, I guess...?
Now this last point... this one's key. No one wins in these situations. Press events are built on the concept of good PR. Shit is free because they expect you to say good things about it, but there's also the unspoken agreement that you do say good things about it. Here's the thing, because it's free... you really can't expect jack shit from the organizers. If you decide to show up, that's on you. So what do you do? The food at Rub was pretty sick and I had no complaints, so I write good things about it. Now I'm a shill. If the food didn't meet expectations can I bitch about it? No, it doesn't work that way either because I would have to accept responsibility for being a retard and expecting something for free. Basically you're dicked either way, so... why bother? There's been a lot of beef going on lately about things at press events not living up to expectations and people getting duped... here's my take on it: calm your hormones. It's like if a dude in an unmarked van offers you candy, then you get in and get molested. That's on you bro. There are no free lunches.
tl;dr? Press events embody everything that is dumb about food blogging. It's really no more than people writing about nonsense that doesn't actually exist anymore and people expecting things from nothing.
*If you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic. I think getting free food solely on the basis of being a "Yelp Elite" or influential blogger is pretty much one of the douchiest things you could ever do.