I heard about NoshOn.It from my freshman roommate.
Sarah, who is always going to be more on top of it than I, forwarded me a link to a call for food writers. It was for a small start-up, a recipe e-newsletter that sends “one hand-picked recipe, one amazing blogger and one expert tip” in an email for home chefs. At the moment, it was small: two Tufts grads, a mailchimp account and a wordpress. Nothing huge, but possibly something interesting. But what caught my eye was actually one of the application requirements:
“Tell us about what makes you awesome.”
Awesome is one of those words that my father hates. He is a stickler for the traditional definition: being in the presence of a higher being. Unfortunately (for him), awesome is used so colloquially, rarely do its users imply divinity when describing a Michael Bay movie or a move on a half-pipe. But it made me think: What makes me awesome? What have I done to deserve that adjective?
I wrote a short essay about an experience I had after graduating high school, driving across the country with two friends, eating our way through the South. I got an interview, and I was nauseous with nerves on my way there, legs shaking as I stood on the jostling T.
We met at a coffee shop I like on the Berkelee campus, Pavement. I sat in the corner and tried not to seem creepy when I saw the two men I recognized from the website walk in. Do I go up to them or is that weird? I should have planned this out. I should have told them that I’d be wearing a yellow daisy in my hair or a top hat or something. Then I would never be in this situation. Maybe I should start up a conversation with my neighbor about my interview, and they’ll overhear me-
Lucky for me, Alex extinguished my anxiety-babble by walking up to my table and asking me if I was here for the interview.
We sat in that coffee shop for about an hour, talking about coffee, hangover foods, our love of Le’s, Twitter friends and Nigella Lawson until I remembered my unwritten essay due the next day. As I shook their hands and stepped out into that classic Boston cold, I marveled at how there were people in this world who are as geeky about food as I am. More than I even wanted the internship, I wanted to be their friend.
But I wanted that internship. I wanted it bad. I checked my phone constantly throughout the week they said they’d be making their final decision: in between classes, during meals, in the middle of the night, in the middle of showers. And when I finally got that call, the happy dance that ensued was so embarrassing that if my then-future bosses had seen it, I might have lost the job altogether.
At my first meeting, all I could remember was feeling underqualified and eating mapo tofu. I was awkwardly sitting at the head of this table, next to grad students, women who had lived in Bali and Italy, and a college student who had started an entire food magazine before her junior year. I was by far the youngest person in the room, and what had I done? Eaten. I had just eaten.
But these people, with all their qualifications, were so down to earth that I soon felt much older, with much more experience that I probably had. I saw these twentysomethings as peers soon enough. I once made my boss Alex pull over on Atlantic Avenue, deep in the throes of a laughing fit, with a story involving suits and No. 9 Park. I send Vijay, my other boss, far too many texts about farmers market finds than I should. We argue about Banh Mis, food trends, and the culinary value of quinoa over as many technologies as we can. I swoon over Beth’s cupcakes, scroll through Nisreen’s website, ride Krysta’s motorbike, and after all the meetings, lunches, online conversations, chain emails, there are still those laughing fits we had over magic bullets, Game of Thrones, or Vijay’s former dance career. I consider these people my friends, and I have dreaded the day when I can no longer call myself a Nosher for months.
Because I have fallen head-over-heels for this company, this thing that I have watched grow and expand and improve over the months I’ve been involved. Now, a year after these two food geeks started this tiny e-newsletter, I can see how far they- we- have come, and I swell with pride. I’m constantly in awe of the content not only I, but my peers, discover and create.
Being a nosher – that’s what makes me awesome. Happy Noshiversary, folks. And thanks.