Mecca Bos

is creating Freelance Food Writing & Culinary Storytelling

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Taster

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$5
per month
  • Support a starving artist:
Fact: Journalism in the blog economy doesn't pay much. Even when you are working for the big time titles. True story: 

When I had my first piece in the New York Times placed last July, the editor I was working with said: 

"We're not the biggest money bags in the industry," when we broached the subject of what they could pay. I laughed, and said I had heard that somewhere before (read: everywhere.) 

I don't know who the biggest money bags in the industry are, but I've never met them, just like I've never met a rich man I could fall in love with, but that's another story. 

Or, maybe it isn't. Because the truth is, I've fallen in love with this industry, and just like the food industry, journalism can be a cruel mistress. You rarely reap what you sow, but you accept that fact as the cost of doing business, and of being in love. 

At this tier, you will help me offset the general expenses of what it takes to try and be a freelance writer in the blog economy during a global pandemic. (Just typing that made my bank account whimper.) 

  • General podcast support:

UPDATE: Thanks in part to the support on this Patreon page, I am co-producing a 4-part radio series on the Forgotten Black Foodways of Minnesota. It will begin airing on KFAI's Minneculture in late spring of 2021. 

  • Gratitude:
    Please know that I take none of this for granted. Each and every dollar of your support makes me feel like someone cares. And it keeps me going. And that is priceless. 
*Surprises in all levels can (and will!) include essays and updates, bonus musings, peeks into my kitchen, recipes, kitchen tips and tricks, edible and audible pop-ups, more. 

Slurper

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$10
per month
  • Weekly blog updates (with recipes and kitchen tips!) from my office (my couch)
At the beginning of the pandemic, I started writing "25 Minute Quarantine Stories," that were meant to be quickly digestible vignettes from the scared parts of my heart and brain as seen through the lens of food. The pandemic has gone through lots of cycles since then, and like all of you, I've cycled into other ways to create through the pandemic. One of those ways is these weekly blog updates/ essays from my couch, and my kitchen, and my busy brain. Just like every part of my life, they're seen through the lens of food, but maybe sometimes they'll also be about love, or heartbreak, or politics, or toenails. It just depends. I hope you like them. 

This space is also a landing page for larger projects that I am working on, so you get a sneak peek at first drafts, ideas, thoughts, and brain dumpings-- please be kind! 

UPDATE: MY LARGE PROJECT PLAN FOR 2021 INCLUDES SEEKING A PUBLISHER FOR A BOOK OF ESSAYS WHICH WILL INCLUDE THE 25 MINUTE QUARANTINE STORIES. YOUR SUPPORT HELPS TREMENDOUSLY TOWARDS THIS EFFORT! 

  • Plus everything in previous tiers. 

Food Lover

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$20
per month
  • Plates! 
As the dining landscape changes more rapidly than we can keep track of, people who cook for a living (like me) are left in a bind. Meanwhile, we are all stuck at home more than ever, with the question of what's for dinner (and lunch, and brek, and snax) looming over us, constantly. 

That's where you come in, and where we help each other. 

In communities all over the US (and beyond) people, but mostly Black people, support each other with plates. 

"Plates" are just that: a simple (but delicious) plate of food, shared among community members for a reasonable price, usually cooked by a mom or a grandma. I'm neither, but I am an auntie, and that counts, too. 

At this tier, you'll get a monthly plate (you pick it up) which will be fancier than the average plate, but not too fancy. It will be whatever I'm cooking (like the above, my awesome jerk chicken) no substitutions please, and will be enough to serve two adults. Sometimes it will be a hot sauce, a cake, a spice rub, tamales-- you just never know, and that's part of the fun, I hope. 

This tier will also help me as I plan for a more involved culinary project to come. 

Come over and grab a plate, baby. 

  • Plus everything in previous tiers. 


70

patrons

About Mecca Bos

If you've made it this far, you probably already know me a little bit, but if not, here goes: 

I’m an unlikely dining critic, because I know too much about what goes on beyond the plate. I’m a reluctant food blogger because click bait is cheap. I’m a passionate chef, who, like so many in this moment cannot feasibly or safely ply my trade. I’m a reluctant influencer, because my grandparents taught me to be humble and self-effacing, and the thought of self-styling celebrity makes me recoil. I mix real life into social media, because I believe reality is more fascinating than any facsimile by a long mile. 

For six years, I conceived and wrote the food section of the long, lost, but beloved Metro Magazine in what was still the golden age of magazines (no blogging!); I spent nearly three years as food blogger and dining critic for City Pages, and my list of bylines and contributions locally and nationally is long: Mpls. St. Paul Magazine, Minnesota Monthly, GoMN, MEAL, MPR, Twin Cities Live, Travel and Leisure, VICE, TASTE, PASTE, NYT, others. 

While I'm grateful for these opportunities, many MANY of my ideas die an unnatural death because there's no home for them-- mainstream media is still filled with strictures and gatekeepers, and if there's one thing I've always demanded it's FREEDOM! Seriously, like Braveheart level shit. Come to me and read, so that neither of us have to be chained to the unnecessary shackles of corporate media (or even "alternative" media, so many of which are becoming Covid casualties. 

I'm a black woman cooking professionally for twenty years-- for this alone I deserve a medal of endurance, believe me. I've worked in many of Minneapolis' most lauded restaurants and other kitchens, most recently as chef of Eat for Equity, but also Grand Cafe, Lucia's, The Birchwood, and many more that have come and gone; and I can't forget some thrilling moments behind cheese counters (yes, cheese is thrilling!) on farms, in refrigerated delivery trucks, under tents, on canoes, in firetrucks, in broom closets--all while slinging food. Well, mostly slinging food, anyway. 

With one foot firmly planted in the newsroom and the other in the kitchen, I’ve found it maddening to have to choose, so I haven’t. Why would I? I get to make the tamale pie and write about it too. My self-styled career has often led to a do-things-my-way approach to life which often results in one-way plane tickets and travel blogs to nowhere. Now they're going to have a somewhere. When the world opens back again, I'll take you with me. Won't you come with me?

Come with me to get scoops (I got 'em! ) 25 minute quarantine stories, longer quarantine stories, forget-about-the-quarantine-stories, things about my industry that I REALLY HATE (these would be hot takes) hot tips (from my kitchen to yours) recipes, hand-delivered (from a distance) edible surprises, audible surprises from an upcoming radio documentary I am co-producing, and more stuff that I haven't thought of yet. 

Since we can't go to the restaurant, the bar, the dinner party like we once did, can we gather together, like this? Let's have each other's back until we can raise a toast again. 

Cheers! 

PS: IMPORTANT: SEND ME YOUR INSTAGRAM HANDLE SO THAT YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO WEIRD INSTAGRAM STUFF THAT I DON'T SHARE WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC. 

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