While staring at the cursor, flashing in its own mind-numbing way, I tried most strenuously to write about what I enjoy writing (and raving) about, New Orleans’ food. But it wouldn’t come out. The cursor kept right on blinking while my mind kept right on churning about a recent scrape.
Y’all don’t know how difficult it is for me to write right now. My brain is playing this horrid game of back-and-forth between “Kim, just get it out, you’ll feel better” and “Don’t be such a Debbie-downer. No one wants to read that shit!” While I desperately want to talk about a great local restaurant, I’m so incredibly bummed that I let myself get crapped on … yet again … that I’m really not in that warm fuzzy-kind of mood. So here it is:
For free, I submitted 12- 100 word write-ups to a company once called Chowzter (now FoodieHub) on different dishes I thought people visiting New Orleans ought to try. The pitch to me was that they had designed an app and that once they stopped giving it away for free, I would receive 50% of the apps sold in New Orleans. My expectations were not high, but I thought it was a small price to pay to be included in this vast community of exuberant food lovers from all over the globe. Honestly, a lot of the people I’ve met through Chowzter are amazing photographers, writers and epic gourmands who have educated me on the cuisine of places I’ve never visited, and if my luck keeps running this way, likely never will.
In order to establish presence in different countries, Chowzter held frequent awards ceremonies in cities like London and New York … they even came to New Orleans and feasted at places like Parkway Bakery, Brennan’s, Commander’s Palace and more, exploring what our city had to offer. It pleased me to to see them revel in my home and grant awards to not only the city, but to Coquette in particular for their Smoked Pork Gumbo, which I nominated for consideration in “The Tastiest Feasts of North America.” I also wrote a few articles for their newsletter (for which I was paid, thank goodness) on po-boys, Creole vs. Cajun cuisine and our killer Carnival confection, king cake.
Just recently, I was going through my emails to discover that there was another awards ceremony, the “FoodieHub Global Awards” for which Willie Mae’s Scotch House won “The Tastiest Fried Chicken in the World” on my nomination. What’s so disturbing about this news was that I never submitted a nomination for anything. Additionally, I didn’t submit the photograph they used on the FoodieHub website, although it most definitely is mine.
So here’s what happened. Because I never responded to the nomination request for the “FoodieHub Global Awards” (emails I discovered in my junk box after-the-fact), someone over there at FoodieHub decided to take a photograph from my blog and nominate Willie Mae’s for me. So kind of them, don’t you think? Not only that … they took the articles that I wrote on po-boys, etc. and re-purposed the images and words into 100-word clips for the app.
When I finally worked up the nerve to call them out on this egregious error a few days later, I got nothing but push back — “But we sent you the nominations email and you never responded” and “here are the emails we sent” — all of which had no bearing on the fact that they essentially stole from me, used my name without my permission and thought it was okay.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad Willie Mae’s won, that the restaurant and our city got a little extra global recognition, but I really wish someone would have asked me first.