About the Internet Food Association

Hello. We’re from the internet. And we’ve come to help you cook.

We come, it should be said, from all corners of the internet. We are music reviewers and online organizers. Political pundits and network security experts. Health policy writers and programmers. But we are united by a shared recognition that all those things suck, and we’d much rather talk about food.

So this is where we’ll do it. Where we’ll offer recipes and review restaurants in DC. Where we’ll liveblog Top Chef and get all teary and lyrical over bacon. Where Texans will whine about how their barbecue is the one true barbecue and New Yorkers will complain that everything is better where they come from. Where we’ll try and build up a big enough audience that Le Creuset will beg us to accept this free set of cookware in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, we’ll deign to mention it.

Ahem. (No, seriously Le Creuset. We’ll totally plug your shit.)

This is the Internet Food Association, and we’re now serving.


Spencer Ackerman

Hometown: Brooklyn.
Bloggingchefs record: One win, one loss, both with the assistance of Ezra Klein.
Known food heresies: Indian sambal powder to flavor beef.
D.C. favorites: Oyamel, Commonwealth, Kotobuki.

Ben Adler

ben_adlerDay job: Urban policy writer, see here.
Hometown: Brooklyn.
Favorite Dishes: real pizza, real bagels, Nathan’s hot dogs and fries, sweet potato ravioli with butter sage sauce.
Edible Weaknesses: Cookie dough, extra crispy bacon.
Favorite D.C. restaurants: Al Crostini (but it’s no Al Di La), Radius (but it’s no Roma’s), The Regent Thai, Florida Avenue Grill.

Kriston Capps

kc_ribsDay job: Art critic.
Hometown: Texas.
Favorite Dish: Q.
Favorite Cooking Tools: Smoker, Chinese butcher knife, immersion blender.
Known Weaknesses: Gephardt’s chili powder, Mexican vanilla ice cream, red magick.
One Time I: smoked 300 lbs. of pork shoulder and one 75-lb. butchered pig.
D.C. Haunts: Hank’s Oyster Bar, 2 Amys, Thai X-ing.

Ezra Klein

ezra1Day Job: Wonk writer guy. See here.
Hometown: Irvine, California.
Kitchen essentials: You’re nothing without your knife. Also, Ben Miller, who can reach the really high shelf.
Food crushes: Salmon nigiri. Chocolate chip cookies.
Special Cooking Power: Kung pao!
DC Favorites:
2 Amys, Kotobuki.

Amanda Mattos

amandaDay job: Advertising Copywriter/Music Reviewer/Blogger
Hometown: The Virginia end of the Orange Line.
Edible Weakness: Cheese. Any and all cheese. Which is a cruel fate, as I’m lactose intolerant.
D.C. Haunts: Big Bear Cafe, Hank’s Oyster Bar, Bar Pilar
Favorite thing to cook: Beans and fish. Not necessarily together. But sometimes!
Will probably die before I: See the end of my Netflix que or the backlog of recipes I have saved on del.icio.us

Sara Mead

saralobster1 Day job: Education wonk.
Hometown: Washington, D.C.* (by way of Michigan)
Edible Weaknesses: Candy, Candy, Candy, Cheese, Wine.
Favorite Food Reading: I own a 1975 edition of The Joy of Cooking. Its explanation of how to make traditional Christmas Boar’s Head is the most fascinating and disturbing thing I’ve ever read.
Food that disturbs me: Pig Uteri at Eden Center Grocery Store
*No, I didn’t grow up here, but I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else, and to me that makes it home.

Ben Miller

benmDay job: Ed wonk (shameless link promotion here). Being tall.
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland. Crabcakes and football, hon.
Favorite Cooking Equipment: Weber Charcoal Grill, Cuisinart Food Processor, and a nice hot pan.
Cooking motto: If it’s not complicated, at least I can make it spicy.
My ideal kitchen would have: High countertops. It’s time to cater to the vertically unchallenged!
D.C. Favorites: Cafe Atlantico, Rasika.

Kate Steadman

Day job: Health Policy Wonk.
Kansas City BBQ fo eva’!!!
Favorite Kitchen Weapon:
A good, large, sharp knife
Cooking Motto:
It’s ok if it doesn’t work, but figure out why it failed.
Place in D.C. that never disappoints:
Least Favorite Food: Canned Tuna.
Favorite thing to cook: I’ll try anything once.

Kay Steiger

kay-drinking-margurita-small1Day job: Editor, Campus Progress
Hometown: Thief River Falls, Minnesota (up nort’ dere).
Favorite Cooking Equipment: my new immersion blender.
Biggest Kitchen Disaster: When don’t I make a disaster?
Cooking Motto: I will absolutely help you make me delicious food!

Emily Thorson


Day job:
Getting my PhD
Hometown: I live in Philly: suck it, DC! (ok fine, I spend half my time in DC).
Favorite Dish: Soft pretzels, breakfast sandwiches, whiskey
Favorite Cooking Equipment: Beer
Favorite other thing related to cooking:Mark Bittman


kingofwines Hometown: Dallas.
Current Location: Portland, Oregon.
Favorite Wine: A good New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc reminds me of fresh-cut grass, and the fact that I’ve never operated a lawnmower in my life.
Culinary aspirations: To make a real deal, true blue, balls-to-the-wall cassoulet at least once in my life.
Qualified to Comment on the Authenticity Of: Tex-Mex, guacamole, and how incredibly delicious Texas brisket is. What’s the big fuss about pizza and bagels, anyway?


73 responses to “About the Internet Food Association

  1. Hell yes. It’s about time. This blog will probably take up my workday like women do for Don Draper.

  2. This is going to be wonderful.

  3. This is awesome. I may have to look into launching a Boston version. Very cool idea.

  4. I’m going to love this blog.

  5. Things I cannot believe: Oyamel and Thaiphoon are on the list of favorite restaurants. WTF IFA?

  6. I don’t know about Oyamel, but personally I like the drunken noodles at Thaiphooon, they actually make them spicy and also include a lot of vegetables in it. Plus I didn’t want to be the sixth person on there with 2 Amys, which is delicious.

  7. hey, Oyamel is pricey but I really like it. But Miller — thaixing and thaitanic are way better than thaiphoon.

  8. You’re also forgetting that I can see thaiphoon from my office window.

  9. don’t be all ethno-dc-centric, damn it. Texas and Kansas City are a little better, but New Mexico green chile is truly the gods’ food…..lets get us some southwest stuff up there too………pretty please?

    rock on with your bad selves.

  10. southwest food = unbelievable. renegademom, wanna do a guest post on your favorite something or other?

  11. give me some time, I’ll dig out my old faithful green chile stew recipe……..get my three kids back today (pesky joint custody thingy), so in a couple weeks i’ll check in……thanks for askin….i’m not a wonk, though…….just a single mom…….

  12. Who would have thought with everyone’s busy lives…*cough* blogging *cough* they would have the time to produce this invaluable service?

  13. huh, probably should haven’t put the work blog in that post, if i’m going to make such a potentially hypocritical argument. much better now.

  14. Spencer, I hate to break it to you, but “sambal powder” ain’t Indian. The word “sambal” is derived from the Tamil word “sambar”;’ and indeed, “sambar powder” can be found in any Indian market.

    However, “sambal”, as in “sambal olek” or “sambal belecan” is a Southeast Asian condiment made primarily from chilis.

  15. I feel so late to the party, but damn! This is gonna be awesome! I’ve been kitchenblogging off and on for a couple of years, especially during farmers market season, and meant to do a kitchenblogging post today, but forgot my camera when I went to the green grocer. Maybe next Thanksgiving…

    By the way, Kate…question for you, and answer carefully…Gates, or Bryants? (There is only one correct answer, Hon, and I live a block from the Midtown Gates…if there must be pollution, let it be BBQ!)

  16. Blue Girl — neither — OK Joes!!

  17. You just passed the test! It was a trick question!

    Best. Fries. Evah! Besides, I like my BBQ served out of a gas station…adds authenticity, I think.

  18. Cocinero Cubano

    Hell yah! This here’s going to be fun.

  19. I would love an rss link so I could subscribe to this Blog!

  20. Saw the post on Serious Eats. This is going to be great. Welcome to the neighborhood.

  21. Mmmm …. bacon. I can’t wait for the songs about swine.

  22. capitalspice

    Congrats on the shout-out in Brightest Young Things! And major points for Steadwoman’s Okie Joe’s pick…definitely the best ribs I’ve had in Kansas City.

  23. My nerdy food blog totally has a crush on your nerdy food blog.

  24. Hey–any insights on how to get Tofu to brown? I just can’t seem to get enough water out. Enjoy the blog


  25. @Vanessa: start w/ the really dense high-protein tofu. Browns like a charm. Wildwood is one brand I’ve had good luck with; Trader Joe’s brand browns well, but tastes a little plainer.

  26. Can’t find a general contact area, so I’ll press this About page into service….

    Are you looking for other, somewhat random, participants?


  27. I heart the IFA. I too am from the internet. I too think my day-job as a commercial kitchen designer sucks. I too would like to associate.


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  29. I get paid to write about another place, but I live and eat mainly in this place. This place being here. Would love to contribute too!


  30. 19thandfolsom

    Amanda, most (~95%) of the lactose is removed from milk during the cheese-making process, so you can probably still eat cheese without any unpleasant side effects. If they persist, then it’s probably not the lactose that’s causing a problem.

  31. Sounds like fun! I know you don’t need anymore volunteer amateur foodies, so I will just shamelessly link to my almost dormant food blog from here. Oh, and make you jealous of my Le Creuset collection. My husband just got me a honkin’ French oven for my birthday.

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  33. this looks like fun. where do I sign up?

  34. how do i mail you guys.
    well actually Tom Lee.
    Its for a school project.
    i need an adress to mail a persuasive letter.

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  36. Enjoying your site and wondering what a blog has to do to make it onto your list of IFA Endorsed Food Blogs? Take a look at http://www.passion-4-pizza.com/Pizza-blog.html. You might enjoy some of what we’re doing over there.

  37. See prior comment

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  40. I just moved from DC to London. Good for you, for admitting that you’d much rather talk about food; I know I would!

  41. Hilarious. I wanted to read you guys just based on the About page.

    I’m trying to get an underground restaurant culture in DC so I started HUSH Supper Club –


  42. Oh wow! Finally, a collective food blog that’s not totally controlled by chicks – Hey, I don’t have nothin’ against chicks; I love chicks – whenever I can – which don’t happen much anymore. But I digress …

    How do I know this blog isn’t controlled by chicks? Hey, would a bunch of chicks allow a masthead made from two gigantess bras? No way!

    Yeah bro, let’s get it on!

  43. Hey, fantastic site! Hope you’ll consider my blog as a contributor. I went to D.C. once…


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  45. adriana caligiuri

    I am an assistant producer for ITV’s ‘Britain’s Best Dish’ and we are currently looking for amateur chef’s to come to our Glasgow auditions on Saturday 29th May.
    The audition offers the opportunity to compete on the TV show and be in with the chance to win £10,000.
    If anyone is interested please don’t hesitate to contact me. My contact number is 0207 157 4751 and my email is adriana.caligiuri@itv.com


  46. We are fellow food bloggers from Greece, organising our first camp! The 1st Greek Food Blogger camp will take place in Athens, October 16th 2010. We have scheduled a full day with tutorials from chefs and tv presenters, a food photography workshop, a lawyer’s talk about legal rights and some guidelines about wine matching. Last but not least, there will be a big session for open discussion amongst bloggers and attendees.
    Greek Food Blogs

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  48. Great Blog. I am also a food blogger and would love to contribute NY Restaurant Reviews if you would welcome a guest blogger now and again. Please let me know. Thanks.

  49. I’m Mark Jacob, co-author of the new book “What the Great Ate.” As Election Day approaches, our book blog (whatthegreatate.org) offers dining facts about famous conservatives and liberals. Read about Sarah Palin’s caribou cravings, Glenn Beck’s carrot-stick threat, Nancy Pelosi’s chocolate-ice-cream breakfasts, and much more.



    “What the Great Ate: A Curious History of Food and Fame” is written by Matthew and Mark Jacob, and is published by Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House.

  50. I meant to add that I love the Internet Food Association. Keep writing!

  51. Contact: Keith Campbell-Rosen Tel. 240-672-3462

    E-Mail: georgetown@spiceandtea.com


    New concept store encourages customers to “Come in and Smell the Spices!”

    Georgetown, DC – October 9, 2010 – The Spice & Tea Exchange Franchising, LLC is proud to announce the opening of our latest store in Georgetown, Washington DC, located at 1069 Wisconsin Ave., NW (just below M St. next to Rugby). The Spice & Tea Exchange of Georgetown is owned and operated by Keith Campbell-Rosen of Germantown, MD. The Grand Opening is scheduled for October 23, 2010. There will be a cooking demonstration by acclaimed chef, Tom Crenshaw, from Paolo’s Ristorante at 2:30 on October 23rd and the opportunity to sample the teas will go on throughout the day.

    Located in the heart of this vibrant neighborhood, Georgetown with all of its history, culture and charm, The Spice & Tea Exchange features over 150 exotic spices and herbs from around the globe, more than two dozen of the world’s mineral and sea salts, an assortment of fragrant and unique loose teas, naturally flavored sugars and a variety of accessories. Complementing these selections is the highlight of the store – 60+ custom spice blends, including rubs for beef, pork, chicken and seafood, as well as pasta seasonings, curries, salt-free choices and much more. All of these delicious and intoxicating blends are hand-mixed on the premises with our own in-house recipes to ensure freshness and flavor.

    Amy Freeman, one of the founders of The Spice & Tea Exchange says, “We are very pleased that Keith has decided to open up The Spice & Tea Exchange store. His passion for cooking, entrepreneurial spirit and customer friendly personality distinctly qualifies him to undertake this venture. We are proud to join Keith in bringing our unique concept to the wonderful community of Georgetown.

    According to Keith, “Customers are thrilled when invited to open the jars and experience the culinary fragrances for themselves. It’s great to watch the excitement….and the aromatherapy is FREE!”

    With an intriguing and nostalgic interior design that harkens back to earlier days, this new store joins 16 others located in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas, Oregon, Louisiana and now, Washington DC. The Spice & Tea Exchange shops display their spices, herbs, blends, sugars and teas in hand-blown apothecary jars, which allow the customers to open and embark on a truly unique sensory journey.

    If you would like more information about the Georgetown store, call Keith at (240) 672-3462 or e-mail to georgetown@spiceandtea.com. For ordering on-line or to find store locations, go to http://www.spiceandtea.com.

  52. Thinking about heading into the internet route to finish up a associates degree. What do you guys think of distance learning schools?

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  54. Hey kids,

    I hope IFA is not dead. It was really my favorite food blog for what it was… and the variety of contributors was awesome. I had a good time submitting photos to the flickr pool too. Please tell me you’re all just busy and will kickstart this blog again?

  55. It’s dead, Jim.

    [I guess cooking has stopped being cool.]

  56. Ha, I was about to leave a comment poking you guys to add new content and saw that I wasn’t the first. I had forgotten about the IFA blog until I was cleaning up my recipes bookmarks on Google Bookmarks and came across it. As a food blogger-slash-government employee I know how hard it is to maintain a food blog with a day job and a life.

    Also, methinks that you need to start moderating comments. There’s a lot of spam here! And you need to add some Canadian content when the site comes out of hiatus. (Pick me! I can procrastinate on writing blog entries with the best of ’em. Er, maybe I shouldn’t volunteer…)

  57. Mark Falcon

    Just giving notice that I’m in the process of writing a rabbit recipe cookbook….yeah, don’t get all soppy about bunnies, now. I’ve researched recipes from the 1600s to the present and found some neat stuff: chocolate rabbit (and it’s not candy either), which is not unusual in mediterrenean cooking.

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