Looking Back On The Year In Food

This being our second-to-last work day of 2007, we’ve been doing some thinking about the year that’s almost over. 2007 was a huge year for MenuPages. Here at MP: Boston, we’ve added many, many new restaurants this year and site wide, this year we welcomed the newest member of the MenuPages family, MP: South Florida and launched blogs for five of our cities, including this one. In preparation for our upcoming vacation, we’ve been looking back through our archives. Since we launched in April, we’ve written almost a thousand entries. Reading through the archives, we’re startled both by the number of rumors that never came to fruition (hey, whatever happened to that Todd English burger joint?) and by the topics we came back to again and again. For your edification, allow us to present below MenuPages: Boston’s top stories of 2007.

5) Gwen Butler: Where should we even start with Gwen Butler? Within the space of seven months, she’s started at least three anonymous blogs. She tried to open an awesomely-named restaurant in Brookline before setting out for New York where, judging by what we’ve heard from our sources in the city’s restaurant scene, she remains a polarizing figure. We’re pretty sure we’re not at the top of Butler’s list of favorite people, but we would again like to state our plea for her to come back to Boston. Really, she makes our job so much more entertaining.

4) Trans-Fat Bans/The Farm Bill (tie): First, Brookline banned trans fats. Then Massachusetts thought about doing the same. So did Newton. Even Dunkin’ Donuts got in on the act. At the end of the year, the Massachusetts and Newton laws remain up in the air. Also up in the air? The Farm Bill. We started going on about the Farm Bill back in May. We were sad when a lessened version passed the House and then happy again when we watched a video about the bill. Now the bill is stalled in the Senate and we’re still not happy. It’s interesting that we wrote the same number of posts about anti-trans-fat legislation and the Farm Bill. Both issues are, at heart, about citizens being given the tools by the government to make responsible and educated choices about food.

2) Food-Based Sexism: This year, we learned that there’s plenty of sexism in the food world. From New York Times food critic Frank Bruni being accused of disdain towards female chefs to whether women cook differently than do men to whether or not you need to cook to be a “real woman” to the fact that there sure aren’t many female food writers, gender divisions in the world of food were all around us. Maybe we could have less sexism in the kitchen in 2008? Eh, probably not.

1) Food Television: We love television, so it’s no surprise, really, that between The Next Food Network Star, local programming, Top Chef, The Next Iron Chef, Iron Chef America, and the work of Anthony Bourdain, we found a way to make watching TV part of our job. We’re hoping to do a lot more of this in 2008.

Thanks for sticking with us this year (and through this entry)! Let’s all get pumped for 2008!


Looking Back On The Year In Food