June 05, 2018

Chef Letter Writing Campaign

Chef Letter Writing Campaign

I have two boys and they are both great at a lot of things. But like most of us, there are a few things they could improve on (above and beyond getting their dirty laundry actually into the hamper as opposed to on the floor beside the hamper). Both of my boys are math and science whiz-kids like their father, so I try to improve on their literacy and writing skills (you can read that as “impose some of me onto their personalities”). One thing we periodically do throughout the year is listen to and analyze song lyrics in the car. This is something I would have majored in during college if it had been offered and it’s also something I highly recommend (because they can’t escape). The other thing I get them to do during the summer is write letters. There are a few rules to these letters:

  1. They need to mail (at the post office with an actual stamp) one letter a week. 
  2. They can send a letter to anyone, anywhere in the world.
  3. They have to ask at least one question in their letter.
  4. They have to include a self-addressed stamped envelope along with a notecard.

The hope is that the receiver of the letter will be able to take a moment to scribble a fast answer or write a quick sentiment or even just send an autograph on the notecard, and then easily return it in the included envelope. It’s exciting to walk to the mailbox in hopeful anticipation of a returned notecard.

Late last summer my youngest suggested, probably as I was trying to influence his choice of letter recipient, that maybe I should try writing my own letters. And so I did. There were only 3 weeks left in the summer at that point and I wrote to a writer, a musician and a comedian. I only received one response and it criticized my use of the word “journaling” in my letter, but I was so thrilled to get a response, I didn’t care! In fact, I’ve bragged to multiple people about the criticism.

Summer is here again and my kiddos have begun thinking about the letters they will write.  And I think I will join them!

This summer I'm going to write to chef’s across the country to ask them questions. But which chef’s should I write to and what questions should I ask?

“What is the most memorable food that’s surprised you?” or
“What was your go to snack food as a child?”

Or maybe it should be something more original like…

“Is there any single cooking ingredient that could be wiped off the face of the earth, making the world a better place?”

I wonder who will respond. I can’t guess, but summer is here and I am ready to start writing!

Have some suggestions? Comment below!

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