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Twitterview with Rachel Hutton, @rachel_hutton

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hello, and welcome to today's Twitterview of @MNMOmag Senior Food Editor, @rachel_hutton. Lets begin!

Rachel: Good morning, @JoelECarlson! Ready for your questions!

Good morning! To start off with, share a little bit about your background. Where did you grow up and go to school?

Rachel: I grew up in the Twin Cities, went to college at Stanford, and then spent a couple years in New York before returning to Minnesota.

What did you study in school, and what helped develop your interest in writing about food?

Rachel: Well, I'm the only food critic I know with an engineering degree, which sounds a little less weird than it sounds if I explain

My degree is in product design, and I found that the first part of that phase--the design research, to understand the product's user

isn't so different from reporting. So after a couple years at a design consultancy I got into magazine writing @MNMOmag

I started out as a general interest writer--business, arts, travel, profiles--but I always liked cooking, had served at restaurants

How did your experience as a server go?

Rachel: Long story short, the previous critic left, all the other staff were doing @weightwatchers, so I volunteered myself for the food gig

In fact, the three restaurants that employed me all shuttered within a year or so of my tenure there...hoping I wasn't the cause!

How long did you handle the @MNMOmag food writing responsibilities? What were some of the things you wrote then?

Rachel: A couple years, doing reviews and features, including one on @SlowFoodMN back before, well @MNMOmag had online archives

i.e. before I felt like I wrote the words "local" and "sustainable" every other sentence--I consider this repetition a good problem

After @MNMOmag, where did you go, and has your writing style and food critiquing changed at all over the years?

Rachel: I was at City Pages for about four years between my first stint at MNMO and my current one. At the weekly, I had more space

for writing "scenes" into my reviews, which I think can give a piece more energy. The more I learn about who's doing what in the

local food arena, the more I have a sense of what's truly interesting. More than writing change, I'd say my idea curation is pickier.

I also understand that you've branched out into bathroom decorating for restaurants. Care to elaborate?

Rachel: Ha! Yes, I did buy a new toilet seat for the Nicollet Ave Barrio—theirs was "worn"—but I'd consider that less decor than function!

Here's further explanation: minnesotamonthly.com/media/Blogs/Twin-Cities-Taste/May-2012/Why-I-Bought-Barrio-a-New-Toilet-Seat/

I see. To close, what can we expect from you over the next few months, topic wise?

Rachel: More reviews, both brief and extensive, of new or changed restaurants, including a couple of great destination spots near Brainerd.

plus trends in food and beverage... Two art directors just walked into my office so I had better skedaddle, but thanks very much!

Thanks for you time and comments today. Welcome back to @MNMOmag!

Rachel: Enjoyed our coversation, @JoelECarlson!

Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 in Permalink

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Follow @MNMOmag and #MNMOtv for weekly interviews conducted via Twitter.

Joel E. CarlsonMNMO Twitterviews are led by @JoelECarlson of Sociability, a social media consulting services and community management company in Minnesota. He is very active in the social media community and has conducted over 300 Twitterviews with people like Elizabeth Ries and John Hanson of Twin Cities Live, Frank Vascellaro of WCCO-TV, Genevieve Gorder of HGTV, and Rebecca Jarvis of CBS' The Early Show. He truly enjoys connecting with new people and places and sharing their story with others.

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Twitterviews generally last about an hour and consist of 10-15 questions. With only 140 characters per tweet, guests may use anywhere from one to five tweets to answer, and are encouraged to look up key Twitter handles before their interview, that are relevant to their lives, and then incorporate in their answers. Using the #MNMOtv hashtag in every question and response is important so that the public can easily follow the interview live.


In the “Search” or “# Discover” box of Twitter, type in #MNMOtv and then hit enter. A list of tweets using this hashtag will be displayed. Next to tweets there will be a highlighted tab that says “top” or “all.” Click “all.” This will then create a seamless stream that will display the Tweets in the correct order as they are posted.