It is with great pride and great sadness that I announce that Felicia D'Ambrosio
, who's been my cuilinary co-conspirator here on Meal Ticket since the day it began in October 2008, is leaving our little blog for an exciting full-time gig. (She's actually been gone for a bit, but was unable to officially discuss her new job until now.)
Just a little about the lady before we get into what she's doing a Temple grad and grizzled local bar/restaurant vet, Felicia interned for me at City Paper
in 2007 and quickly proved herself to be a fun, funny, whip-smart and outright invaluable asset in the realm of food and drink it's subject matter that very few people can handle adequately, let alone extremely adeptly
, as Felicia does. When the opportunity arose to bring someone on board as a co-editor here on Meal Ticket, she was my first and only choice. I've been very lucky to work with her, both on Meal Ticket and through City Paper
in print, for as long as I have, but the time has come for Lil' Flea take on something new.
I was able to stop crying and hyperventilating long enough to catch up with Flea for a quick Q&A earlier today. More about her new job, plus me repeatedly begging her not to leave and other wistful blog-related minutiae, after the jump.
First question: Are you really leaving? Noooo, don't go!
Yeah, gotta do it. As much as I love Meal Ticketing, this is more of a full-time challenge.
Sigh, fine. Tell us about your new gig. What will you be doing, and where will we be able to find you?
I'm the new Community Manager for Yelp Philly
, replacing Monica S, who is movin' on up in the company destination: Oakland, Cali. I'll be on the site daily, writing reviews and the Weekly Yelp newsletter
, as well as planning badass Elite and Open parties where the booze will flow like Lil' Wayne after a sixer of syrup.
You can always hit me up on email email@example.com
or leave me a message if you're a Yelper at fmd.yelp.com
What has been your favorite part of working on Meal Ticket? How about least favorite?
My favorite part of Meal Ticket was you, Drew! Seriously, can we get a round of applause for this guy? [Ed: Aww!
] Moving on, it was amazing to wake up every day and get to write about only the stuff I was interested in, and interview people who are killing it in their fields. Writing and testing recipes (especially cocktail recipes) was tons of fun, too, and making videos with One-Take-Wonder Neal Santos
. Basically, anything we did for MT equaled brain challenge-then-destruction with bourbon. Least favorite? Having a bad meal and then having people ask me about it. Since MT is a feature-focused news blog and we don't write reviews, I'd much rather keep mum about a bad meal than broadcast it. You'll notice on Yelp I tend to write mostly about things that I like.
Any favorite posts?
Too many to count of Drew's! I never watched Top Chef
, so the recaps were especially amusing. Of mine? The entire Eat This Immediately category
is close to my heart/stomach, especially J-Mac's pulled pork sandwich
. The 2009 Philly Cooks! Yearbook Superlatives
was fun to write and an absolute bitch to format; it still has weird paragraph breaks. Last but not least, my geographically brilliant guide to eating/drinking along the parade route
when the Phils won the Series is my sleeper.
What skills/abilities you applied to your position with CP/MT also apply to your new gig with Yelp?
The top one is writing, of course, as well as a broad and deep knowledge of the local restaurant scene and the players both major and secret. The weird ability of a waitress to do 371 things at once helps; the Yelp job is a multi-faceted one and there's way too much to do to get bored or clock-watch. Mostly working for City Paper
turned me from a directionless service industry drone into a person with motivation. I simply wouldn't be here without the opportunities City Paper
offered. Natural optimism and a sense of humor doesn't hurt in any job people can be pretty nasty in their comments and you can't take it personally. My favorite was the guy who decided anything I wrote was invalid because I misspelled "prosciutto."
I think it's safe to stay that some local bar and restaurant owners aren't too keen on the Yelp concept. What is important for them to know about the site?
Claim your page so you can be involved in your business listing it only takes a few minutes, and then you can use all sorts of free tool, like photo slideshows and adding deals and special events to the top of your page, as well as making sure your hours, website and phone number are perfect Also, remember that readers don't focus on just the bad reviews the way owners tend to there is a democratic consensus that is reached after a number of reviews are posted. You can check out what certified curmudgeon Anthony Bourdain said about Yelp
last week when he was in NYC on his book tour.
OK seriously, come back, I'm gonna cry again.
Aw dudes, I already miss you too! Hit me up on email for reals!