Five years ago today – June 4, 2007 – I made my first post on a little Blogger site I set up and called “Breakfast With Nick.” It was a Monday. The post is a short rumination and justification on why I felt like writing about breakfast. The week before, I had submitted my 200-page dissertation for grad school, but I still had the writing bug. I mentioned to my wife that I was thinking about writing a blog about breakfast. I liked recording the unique places we had visited while traveling, and I loved having a specific focus while exploring Columbus. Do it, she said.
The Sunday after that first post, I walked across the field at the Ohio Stadium, where my adviser hooded me, the Provost read my name, and President Holbrooke handed me my diploma, smiled, and said, “Congratulations.” As I strolled across the stage, I craned my neck to glimpse Bill Clinton and John Glenn chatting in the seats behind the podium. Stepping off the stage, I was officially “Dr. Dekker.”
It wasn’t until later that month that I posted my first “review,” focusing on the Gingerbread House Bakery in Frisco, North Carolina. Frisco is one of many small towns lining the Outer Banks. Following graduation, we took the annual family vacation to the Outer Banks, and I had my sites set on this little bakery and pizza shop. The word “breakfast” was now on my radar, and I immediately spotted the breakfast sign there. Like my second review – of a Bob Evans, of all places – this early post had one washed-out picture and a large textual description of the food. I knew very little technical language about preparing and eating food, but I plowed ahead, figuring I could learn as I went.
(Picture from my Bob Evans post. Why did I crop this down so much?)
I’m humbled and pleased that a simple blog based on my favorite meal has grown and expanded. The past five years have been a delightful little journey. I’ve found that many people love breakfast, too, and they’ve shared stories, ideas, and secret favorite restaurants with me. I’ve been fortunate to do some some paid writing for a couple magazines, meet some of the great folks in local TV and radio, write for other excellent blogs, win a couple awards, appear on a snippet of national television (PBS, baby!), and even write a book!
People ask if I’m done with breakfast in Columbus. Definitely not. Writing the book showed me how many more places I need to visit around town. New restaurants open monthly; old classics still beg to be visited. But I’m trying to keep the momentum forward, so here’s a few what’s next items:
1. Events! I’m trying to schedule some more book-signings, talks, and food events in the coming months, and there are some very exciting collaborations ahead. On Saturday, June 30th you can enjoy a mobile breakfast with me at Dinin’ Hall. In July I’ll be cooking and judging at the Ohio State Fair. August will bring an (almost-confirmed) book signing at Barnes & Noble, and this fall I’m doing an event at the Thurber House.
2. Books! Sales of the book have been going well, and I’m excited to reach more people with it. Many of the events will double as book-signings, but look for more spots carrying the book, too.
3. Lunch! Wait, what? Yes, you read right. Many people have joked that, now that I’ve written the book about breakfast in Columbus, am I going to start the blog Lunch With Nick? The short answer is a resounding no. But over the past few years, as we’ve learned to explore and appreciate more styles of food and types of restaurants, I keep finding places that I wish I could write about and share. Sometime in June or July, look for a new series of posts called Beyond Breakfast With Nick. The blog will most certainly still be breakfast-focused, but I want to share the love about some other favorite places to eat.
I’m very grateful to all of the readers, e-mailers, and breakfast companions over the past five years. It’s been especially exciting to see Columbus’ culinary scene grow, and to be part of a dedicated and active food blogging community here in town. Everyone has helped turn a breakfast aficionado’s hobby into something much more, and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. Can’t wait to see what’s next.
So… are we doing breakfast tomorrow?
P.S. I’m sharing the breakfast love this week! Look for a bunch of breakfasty giveaways on Facebook and Twitter.