Negotiated Portfolio: Pitching Reflection – Gastronomica

These are some examples of what I wrote when pitching to different publications. Because I am a third year student, I decided with Gastronomica to kill two birds with one stone and apply for an internship as well. Although they turned out to be full in regards to internships, I had a flicker of hope about getting some pieces published but they never got back to me. Those pieces were the Pea Souk feature and my B2B piece which was the ‘Art of Gluten-Free Baking.’ I think that my style of writing possibly wasn’t as academic as they would have liked and with their published word counts being quite lengthy to say the least, I don’t think I could’ve replicated that in this instance of submitted work.

Here’s what I emailed the editors of Gastronomica on April 19th:

Dear Jeff,
I hope this email finds you well. My name is Kelsi Farrington and I am a soon-to-be Journalism graduate studying at Falmouth University in the UK. I am writing to hopefully appeal to you and your editorial coworkers at Gastronomica by offering myself as a graduate worker. Having an increasing interest and passion for cooking and food, it would be an excellent experience to work with you. My recent studies and relevant experience as a freelance writer have continued to add to my love for food and developing as a journalist whose ultimate goal would to become a food writer.
If you have the time and/or are interested in looking at my blog, please find the link here and I have also attached my CV which details my experience, qualifications and referral contacts.
Published work:
• Articles
•Blog posts about food
I have an article / review about Cornwall’s first Caribbean restaurant that will be published in Cornwall Today’s August issue and have attached a sample of the photographs I took for that particular piece and another rough which were both submitted for my Photojournalism module last year. Also in progress (as you can read about on my blog) is an exciting collaboration with a fellow university student whereby we will be creating and hopefully printing a Bahamian cookbook.
I am aware that my experience in the culinary industry is limited but do hope that you will consider my skills in other areas of journalism and part-time jobs shows my positive work-ethic. Open to challenges and willing to push myself beyond my comfort zone, I really would appreciate the opportunity to add to the beautiful design and online or printed presence of Gastronomica. Your issues are beautifully laid out and the marriage of food and culture reflect the exact style and expertise I would like to develop and in turn offer back to your readers.
I appreciate your time and hope to hear back from you soon.
Kind regards,
Kelsi Farrington

I got an email back from Lissa at Gastronomica who said this a few days later:

Dear Kelsi,
I’m the new editor of Gastronomica. Jeff Hester forwarded your email on to me.
Thank you for your interest in the journal. At the moment, I already have several graduate student research interns working behind the scenes. But if you’d like to submit something to be considered for publication, I’d be happy to look at it. I also saw from your blog that you’re interested in interviewing chefs. This is something I’m considering adding as an occasional section, so I’d be happy to consider something like an interview. I’m very interested in the larger cultural dimensions (politics, economics, history, etc.) of food beyond the immediately aesthetic aspects, if that helps give a sense of where I’m taking the journal.
I hope that helps. I look forward to hearing from you!
Lissa Caldwell

I emailed her back pitching the two pieces and proceeded to send her the finished drafts of them including photographs but have yet to have a response:

Dear Lissa,
Thanks so much for getting back to me and for taking the time to look through some of my blog posts- really appreciate that!
I’m still planning on doing several interviews with chefs, particularly the owner of a vegetarian cafe of its own kind. It’s run by a white British woman and its placement in Cornwall, UK would make it seem quite out of place. Cornwall is not best known for its cultural variety and acceptance! Regardless, Nicola (the owner) has ignored stigma and seems to have converted many locals to traditional Middle Eastern and Mediterranean meat-free dishes. She also does a lot of creative spins on things like quiches, pies and baked goods that all embody healthy yet comforting traits. (This may have been one of the interviews you already read about) I’ve just recently been in touch with Nicola and plan on doing this interview paired with a photoshoot very soon – possibly within this week or the following.

Another piece I am doing the background research on is ‘The Art of Gluten-Free Baking’ and how independent bakeries are having to adapt and rethink their recipes to attract the ever-increasing number of celiac sufferers. And beyond that, those who have decided to cut it out of their diet (similar to the low-cal diets). I definitely have hopes of interviewing a baker / bakers who’ve particularly been affected by this and the effects on the economy of bread making in particular. There are three independent, artisan bread bakeries in Falmouth (the town I live in) alone and being all quite picturesque in their bread making style and interior layouts, this piece could be altered from a more economic/ business to a more photographic piece.
Let me know if either of these would be of interest and if they fit into your aims for Grastronomica’s content and I’d be happy to get them done to your specifications.
Thanks again and best wishes,
Kelsi Farrington

I’m not sure if I didn’t pitch them well enough but I did try my best to reflect their academic style for the Gluten-Free piece but decided after sending it to her and having requested a copy of their most recent volume from the library, I think it would be a publication I’d have to spend a lot of time producing content for. I decided to retweak the Gluten-Free piece for a UK-based bakery magazine: British Baker Magazine. Their style was much more akin to the B2B pieces we’d been shown in class so I tailored it to suit them. It originally was trying to do three things at once! I had started talking about the bakery as if I was going to do a review of it, then it seemed to be a profile piece on its owner Oli and then some facts about celiacs in there too. After re-tweaking it completely, I’m pleased to say that it did come out a lot better than anticipated. Although I didn’t have time to pitch it to British Baker Magazine, I’d like to even after the deadline.

The Pea Souk piece I pitched to Broadsheet Magazine in Sydney, Australia. I wasn’t expecting them to run it because the cafe wasn’t based in Aus. but I did want them to see that my style of writing suited their publication. Although I got a nice email denying that I could have an internship because I wasn’t currently located in Sydney, they said I’d be welcome to apply if ever I relocated. Pack my bags and let’s go!


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