Media Monday: Naomi Bishop, The GastroGnome

Rosalind Brazel / April 9, 2013

Each Monday, we’re giving readers a chance to get to know the media a little better.

With a little flair.

Our goal is to give readers some insight into the work and style of area journalists, and get to know a little bit about the person behind the byline. Start your week off with an online networking opportunity through our Media Monday blog post.

This Week: Naomi Bishop, The GastroGnome

Media Monday - Naomi BishopNaomi Bishop is The GastroGnome, a freelance food journalist and author of a blog by the same name. The GastroGnome is about exploring every facet of the food world, and not standing idly by on the lawn of culinary cottage. The newer, the weirder, the rarer, the better, when it comes to the food she wants to eat. A native Seattleite, she loves the rain and doesn’t even mind skiing in it (between meals). You can find her musings on everything from head cheese to pig tail on the website Serious Eats, the culinary travel guide Eat Your World, and Voracious, the food blog for the Seattle Weekly.

Q: What’s your favorite kind of story?

A: I love to write about amazing restaurants that are just not on other people’s radars. Holes-in-the-wall, small neighborhood restaurants, places that look intimidating from the outside, but turn out to be wonderful gems of deliciousness inside, those are my bread and butter. The kind of place where people walk by and say, “I’ve always wondered about that place.” I want to give people the confidence to walk in and find a dish that they’ve never had before, but they’ll want many times more in the future. My purpose in reviewing a restaurant is not to rate it as good or bad, but to give the reader the tools to enjoy it.s your favorite kind of story?

Q: If you could have someone else’s job, what would it be?

A: I would love to travel more and see the foods that don’t ever make it here to the U.S. So, perhaps Anthony Bourdain? That guy’s got it good. I love that when he travels he spends equal time eating off the floor of a rural residence as he does at a Michelin-starred table. That’s how you see culture through food. It makes eating a learning experience and an adventure, not just a meal.

Q: Finish this sentence: “A good PR person is …”

A: … someone who does their research. I don’t just mean in knowing what it is that I write about, and how I write, but also if I ask a question, they’re always right on top of the answer. If I start down a path of information, they’re one step ahead, answering questions, bringing up additional points.

Q: What skills do new journalists need?

A: This is a hard one because I still consider myself a fairly new journalist. So I will just say the skill that I wish I was better at: pitching. My blog often becomes a repository for stories I am too chicken to pitch to someone else, so I just wrote for myself. Then I see some big glossy do a similar story a few months later, and I’m kicking myself for having convinced myself nobody wanted to publish that.

Q: What hidden talent or skill do you have that viewers/readers don’t know about you?

A: I also coach children’s ski racing at a local mountain. A girl I coached when she was 7 years old just won this year’s Slalom World Cup (she’s 17 now), and another gal I coached more recently is the 2013 U.S. National Junior Champion.

The PR Pro Takeaway: Bishop gives an important hint about pitching to her that applies to any pitch, make it specific to the style and focus of writing. For her, it must appeal to her goal of educating eaters. For daily musings, photos of her lunch and the occasional witty comment, find her on Twitter: @GastroGnome.