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:

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!