Thank You.

thank youThe past ten days have been a little overwhelming, but in a very good way. I think.

The other Saturday as I was getting ready to begin work, I found out from my friend David Leite, who was in Chicago at the time, that I had won the International Association of Culinary Professionals award for Best Narrative Food Blog.

And then I immediately had to shut my phone off for the evening because no one likes a waiter who’s constantly distracted by his own smart device. It happens to be one restaurant policy with which I fully agree.

But there was to be no celebration for the next several hours — I was far too busy taking care of other people’s needs. So I just walked around the dining room with a stupid grin on my face for the duration of my shift. And as a pleasant way to end the night, I opened a bottle of Krug for a table of four gay men, two of whom were friends and neighbors of Rita Moreno. I didn’t  take it so much an omen but rather an appropriate final touch to the evening. For those of you unfamiliar with Miss Moreno, the woman has won pretty much every award known to the Entertainment World– an Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Grammy, and Lord knows what else.

When I finished my shift and headed home, I turned my phone back on and found myself flooded with congratulations and well-wishes. It felt good. It felt energizing. So much so, that I had to stifle the urge to yell a Moreno-esque “Hey you guyzzzzzz!” out of consideration for my Uber driver, whose ears were less than two feet in front of my mouth.

I’d never won anything in my entire life. I was grateful and happy and a little confused, as if somebody had made a wonderful mistake. I had never felt closer to Rita Moreno than I did at that moment.

Until the following Tuesday morning, that is, when I heard my name announced as a James Beard Award finalist for Individual Blog, and the congratulations and well-wishes started all over again. It was a far too much for my brain to take in all at once. So instead of celebrating, I spent the next few days in quiet solitude to try and process the information.

And here, in a furry little nut shell,  is what I’ve come to think about all of this great stuff that’s happened over the past few days:

1.) I’m grateful that I was both fortunate enough to have been nominated for both an IACP and James Beard award last year, but I am even more appreciative of the fact that I won neither. I honestly believe it’s helped to make this year’s bounty that much more enjoyable. I’ve experienced the stress of awards nights, know what to expect, and can be much more relaxed about the whole hullabaloo this year.

2. I don’t really care who wins. Yes, it would be (very) lovely to win a James Beard Award, but I happen to both like and respect my co-nominees, Elissa Altman of Poor Man’s Feast and Lisa Fain of Homesick Texan. Whoever wins the award on May 2nd, I’ll be smiling and clapping. And it won’t be fake.

3. Most importantly, I am grateful to my readers– especially to those of you who take the time and effort to comment on my posts. More than you know, you’ve helped to pull me out of terrible funks and innumerable bouts with writer’s block. You’ve prevented me from giving up. You’ve made me laugh. You’ve given me so much encouragement. You’ve given me an incredible amount of joy.

A thundering amount of good has come into my life as a result of writing this blog. It would be nothing without readers. So thank you for your readership and your friendship. You are the best award. You make me happy. And, dare I say it? You make me feel– just a little bit– like Rita Moreno.

So, Hey You Guyzzz, thank you.

 

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About Michael Procopio

I write about food and am very fond of Edward Gorey. And gin.
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59 Responses to Thank You.

  1. pacalaga says:

    Plus we share your blog around to our friends who chortle, giggle, weep, and cook your stuff. Congratulations!

  2. Tamara says:

    Congrats!

  3. kitchenbeard says:

    Mazel tov Mr. P.

  4. lori galvin says:

    Badly paraphrasing someone who said it doesn’t happen until it does and then it’s awfully nice. Congrats.

  5. Avery says:

    What wonderful news! Another win for smart, wry oddballs – you deserve every second of love and appreciation.

  6. Brooke says:

    Amen, amen. I’m so happy for you and happy that you’ve been able to walk through the funk and into the world of light, awards, and Rita Moreno-level excitement! Your words thrill me every time.

    Go you.

  7. Mimi says:

    Wow! I’m speechless! Congratulations!

    • If you think you’re speechless, you should have seen me a few days ago. And that’s saying something, because it’s a hard thing getting me to shut up.

      And thanks, Mimi. Very much.

  8. Steve says:

    Michael, you give what you get. I always, always look forward to your posts; I know they’re going to leave me feeling lighter, give me something to think about and generally help me on my way to a better day. Plus, food! So congratulations — and thank you.

    • Sometimes food, at any rate.

      That was a very kind thing to say, Steve. Thank you. And it is precisely the knowledge that there are some people in the world who look forward to my posts that keeps me going sometimes. So thank you, too, for that.

      Michael

  9. Trevor says:

    You’re welcome.

  10. Laurie says:

    Congratulations! I love your blog, and, yes, it makes me chortle, too.

  11. Laurie Bell says:

    Congrats! Your blog makes me chortle as well.

  12. Kelly says:

    Kudos to you & much congratulations on a well-deserved win!

  13. Lindy says:

    Well, you are good!!! AND “we really really like you”

    • Lindy,

      I don’t mind the Sally Field reference. Really, I don’t. It’s just that, if we’re are to continue dealing in Oscar-like comparisons, I see myself as a slightly more obscure winner, like Dr. Haing S. Ngor, Joseph Schildkraut, or Katina Paxinou. They are people with far less popular appeal than Miss Field, but who get thrown a bone by The Academy from time to time, just to make it all seem legit.

      But, all kidding aside, I very much appreciate your congratulations and your active participation on my blog. Thank you.

  14. Annie says:

    Lindy beat me to it! Congratulations and big cyber ((((((hugs))))))

  15. Adri says:

    Congratulations. The accolades, kudos, nominations and awards are well deserved. You are unique in the world of food blogging/writing, dare I say you are sui generis.

    • Adri,

      I don’t believe anyone has ever referred to me as sui generis before. Or perhaps they have, but in less complimentary or academic terms. I can’t tell you how delightful it is for me to know that there are people who feel I deserve such things as accolades, kudos, nominations, and awards.

      Thank you, my dear lady.

  16. Taress Hsu says:

    You rock star. Congratulations! I always get so excited when a new blog post comes through to my email – I savour reading them like I savour my morning cup of coffee: you both help me see things more clearly :)

    • Taress,

      I prefer to think of myself as a jazz stylist who has a small but loyal following in the café circuit.

      It makes me so happy that my posts are savored. It really, really does. Thank you for telling me that.

      xom

  17. Nikki says:

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for you. I love your blog.

  18. queen artoeat says:

    Every thing is crossed for you, legs, eyes, and fingers. In all honesty your turn of the word and caress of the language is a delight to read.
    Thank you!

  19. Mary says:

    I agree with Taress, I savour your posts when they come through my email. I LOVED the last one and any that you tell childhood stories. You absolutely crack me up! You are an exceptional writer and I happen to think you deserve winning both awards. I hope this isn’t going to turn into a Susan Lucci;P

    • Well, Mary, I’ve got a thousand more childhood tales to tell. I only have to figure out how I can relate them to food.

      And I don’t think being Susan Lucci is such a bad thing. I mean, she always got invited to the party, didn’t she? At two nominations, I think I’ve got a long way to go before I become like her.

      But I do thank you for your lovely words.

  20. Thea says:

    You are gifted in your way with words and in the construction of the arc of your posts.
    No surprise in your awards. You deserve them all, every one.

    • Thank you, Thea.

      Now if only I could figure out how I do construct those arcs. I once got an email from a woman who was (believe it or not) studying one of my essays in her “Advanced Expository Writing” class. The class was asked to examine how I blended theme A and theme B together, or some such business. I wanted to respond with an honest “If you figure it out, I’d love it if you’d please explain it to me.

      Extremely flattering, but at the same time, very confusing.

      And, speaking of flattering, thank you for that lovely comment.

  21. Susan Lemay Mason says:

    Congratulations! As a newcomer to your blog, I find that reading through the past blogs makes me want to be more thoughtful in how I express myself and treat others……like you.
    You are truly inspiring.

  22. marylou says:

    whoop-whoop-whoop and good for you! all those nice things you eloquently stated above are also true for those of us with whom you share your thoughts and your twisted humor. you have reached us at times when we needed to laugh – badly. and boy did we laugh, and smile and feel good. so don’t forget – thank you. thanks for sharing and thanks for distracting us from life’s unpleasantness – if only for a moment here and there.
    let yourself be enraptured in the glow of it. you are a gifted writer – accept it! : )

  23. Lene says:

    Congratulations! So well deserved!

  24. carole says:

    WOOHOO! time to do cartwheels! i swear i can still do one if only someone would let me. your blog ROCKS, Michael. it’s the only food one i read. i love it. you deserve the honors!

    • Carole,

      With a bit of stretching, I can still manage a cartwheel or two. Thank heavens for all those years as a gymnast.

      You know, I’ve heard from more than a few people that I am the only food blog they read. I consider this one of the highest honors possible. So thank you for telling me that.

      Michael

  25. Susan says:

    This is such good news!

    Your blogs have been so genuine and have given us so much joy. I really look forward your blogs, and no matter how badly I am feeling, you manage to help me feel a lot better.

    Thank you, Michael and Congratulations!!

    • Susan,

      I’m glad to know that I help you to feel better, because you’ve been improving my spirits for a few years now. Thank you for that and for your marvelous support.

      Michael

  26. Michael, I have been beaming for more than a week out of genuine happiness for you. It’s wonderful to see you receiving all of this much deserved recognition. Connecting with you this last December meant a lot to me, and all of this seems a beautiful follow-up to a lot of what we discussed then. I couldn’t be happier than to also share in the Saveur finalist distinction with you. It feels like we’re hanging out chatting at each other all night over there on their website. We’ve got to yell across categories at each other, but shit is it fun to do.

    I voted for you, love. Looking forward to seeing you again, soon I hope.

    -Elaine

    • Elaine,

      That was a marvelous conversation and one I think I needed to have badly at that particular moment of my existence.

      I am so delighted that you, too, are nominated for a Saveur award! I voted for you, too If we both win, I look forward to painting Las Vegas red with you. (I voted for you to help this along.)

      xo Michael

  27. Magda says:

    Congratulations Michael!!

  28. Heidi Wolff says:

    A very well deserved nomination. I don’t comment nearly enough, especially since you’ve managed to help me out of a funk or two. It’s always a pleasure to hear a sane voice in the wilderness.

  29. Gail says:

    Having met the inimitable Rita Moreno a number of years ago, I can safely say you are every bit as classy a human being as she is.

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