AAN members voted on several key matters during the association's annual meeting on Saturday, July 17. Eleven seats on the Board of Directors were filled, three publications were admitted into the association, and a bylaws amendment allowing online-only publications to apply for membership was passed by an overwhelming majority.

Continue ReadingAAN Opens Door to Non-Print Publications, Fills Eleven Board Seats

As usual, AAN members are well-represented in the list of finalists for the 2010 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards, which recognize excellence in food writing. The L.A. Weekly's Jonathan Gold and Westword's Jason Sheehan (who is now at Seattle Weekly) are both nominated for the Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Reviews, and Gold is also a finalist in the Writing on Spirits, Wine or Beer category. Elsewhere, the Newspaper Feature Writing category is comprised only of AAN members, with two Chicago Reader pieces and one from the Village Voice vying for the top prize. Westword nabs another finalist in the Newspaper Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or Chefs, where it is joined as a finalist by Washington City Paper. And last, but certainly not least, the Houston Press is a finalist in the Multimedia Food Feature category. Winners will be announced on May 2.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Nominated for a Number of James Beard Awards

"For nearly ten years now, I have done my job incognito," Robb Walsh writes. "Now I am joining the ranks of no-longer-anonymous restaurant critics." He notes that fellow VVM food writers Jason Sheehan (Westword) and Jonathan Gold (L.A. Weekly) have had few problems since moving away from the time-honored tradition of being an anonymous food critic. "[I've] noticed absolutely no difference in being recognized in restaurants," Gold says. "None. Zero."

Continue ReadingHouston Press Food Writer Sheds Anonymity

"If you are wondering why I am so quiet lately its because I have been quarantined with N1H1," Robb Walsh tweeted last week. But being stuck in his house under doctor's orders didn't stop him from doing his job, he tells Washington City Paper. "There was no change in diet at all. I didn’t even have to stop writing," he says of his quarantine, which ended this Tuesday. "I just reviewed take out food." (Walsh further explains the process in a blog post titled "How to Review a Restaurant When You're Quarantined.")

Continue ReadingHouston Press Food Critic Keeps Writing Through Swine Flu Quarantine

The Rochester, N.Y., alt-weekly has organized a neighborhood crawl featuring special discounts on everything from guitar strings to eyebrow waxing to booze. "The Recession Procession was originally conceived as our version of a bar crawl, but tweaked to appeal to our too-cool-for-a-bar-crawl readers," City features editor Eric Rezsnyak tells AAN News. "Given the current economy, a 'F**k the Recession!' theme seemed like a perfect fit." Rezsnyak says the local businesses have "totally embraced the spirit of the event" and are contributing creative ideas for deals. The Recession Procession is scheduled for May 7 from 5-8 pm.

Continue ReadingCity Newspaper Hosts ‘Recession Procession’

The Ocala Star-Banner reported over the weekend that Ocala Magazine editor Heather Lee repeatedly lifted passages from other publications. The Houston Press reports that one such publication was itself: Lee stole a portion of a restaurant review by Robb Walsh, omitting only the words, "I know, I've been there" in a 63-word segment about eating meat. "You'd think someone could have come up with their own impressions of how to eat meat," Walsh says.

Continue ReadingHouston Press Plagiarized by Florida Magazine

Robb Walsh's Sex, Death & Oysters: A Half Shell Lover's World Tour was released by Counterpoint on Jan. 1. "It was a 2004 cover story by the same name in the Houston Press that got the ball rolling on this book project," Walsh writes. "It gave me a great excuse to go eat oysters in England, Ireland, France and Canada and in most of the places where oysters are grown in the U.S." Walsh's other books include The Texas Cowboy Cookbook, Are You Really Going to Eat That? and The Tex-Mex Cookbook.

Continue ReadingHouston Press Food Writer Releases New Book

Miami New Times' Lee Klein won a first-place award for Newspaper Restaurant Criticism in this year's Association of Food Journalists awards. Robb Walsh of the Houston Press and Randall Roberts of Riverfront Times took second and third place, respectively, in the Newspaper Food Feature category; and Seattle Weekly's Maggie Dutton finished second in the Newspaper Food Column category. Winners were announced last weekend at a banquet in Houston.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Win Four Food Journalism Awards

AAN members are once again well-represented in the list of finalists for this year's James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards. Robb Walsh of the Houston Press and SF Weekly's Eliza Strickland are both nominated in the Newspaper Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or Chefs category, while Westword's Jason Sheehan is nominated in the Restaurant Reviews category. Winners will be announced June 8 at a reception in New York. The awards recognize and honor excellence and achievement in the culinary arts.

Continue ReadingThree Alt-Weekly Writers Up for James Beard Awards