The High Country needs a food beat

When switching my beat from coverage of minorities in Boone to a food beat for the High Country, called “Hungry City: High Country, North Carolina,” a take on The New York Times section “Hungry City,” I began looking for features and critics on food places in this area.

I was surprised at the lack of coverage of food in Boone. The food that has been covered has been through personal bloggers, and few and far between articles in The Watauga Democrat.

Boone seems to be evolving similar to the scene of downtown Asheville, and with the variety of restaurants in Asheville, their food coverage has a lot more to choose from.

Though Boone isn’t as versatile in its variety of cuisines, there are still endless stories of people in the food industry and hole-in-the-wall restaurants waiting to be reviewed.

Now, I think the average person would separate the beats of food and minorities, deeming them to be on opposite ends of the spectrum. But I would argue that writing about what someone does, that they own a restaurant with their family and serve international cuisine, is a way to address minorities without deeming said subjects as minorities, since the whole idea of minority reporting to me was to have them become less of a minority and more human via their story.

I want to tell stories like the New York Times journalist Ligaya Mishan, the writer behind “Hungry City.” She is brilliant in her language, description and the way she highlights the people who make the food she reviews.

But I have to realize that I am a beginning journalist. My access is different and I don’t know how to go about food reviews, especially with the new multimedia iPhone gear I will be using.

I am excited to report and hear the stories and review this food, because that is what I love. But I want the stories to be tight, compelling and be able to capture the moment I am in.

I will get to expand on my voice as a journalist and use language for my readers to taste food, meet people who are passionate about food and to see the food and the process.

What I worry about is getting the process of making the food, but also at the same time getting clean video and audio, not with distracting background noise or video movement.

I think developing this niche will be exciting and new stories will continue to pop up. It seems my mind cannot stop coming up with new ideas.

This town needs a food beat, and I am here to fill that need.