Hey and Hi CNN!

So, hi! You heard about us on CNN and you’re checking out our site!

[This Just In: Lady Rogue Was Awkward on CNN!]

Awesome.

It’s a little dusty around here; I’ve been dealing with some health issues and blogging has taken a secondary role in my life.

rogueApron is just one of the many projects I’m happy to be a part of.

If you’re a ATL-type interested in joining our unsucky network of entrepreneurs, check out the Lady Rogue Business Network.

Liking robots and farmers? Yeah, me too. Check out growBot Garden, a project I’m deeply involved in at Georgia Tech. (Made Ham’cado sandwiches for two weeks at 01SJ, a whole story unto itself.)

And if you’re interested in attending a dinner … or hiring this girl to help you with things food, event planning, technology … join our mailing list to the right, follow us on Twitter, or shoot me a note at ladyrogueATL @ gmail dot com.

Finishing my master’s degree in digital media this spring and open to collaboration opps!

best,

Lady Rogue

Q & A with the AJC

Bob Townsend, AJCBob Townsend of the AJC [pictured at left] sent me a list of questions for an upcoming interview on underground restaurants.

OK, the story is up on AccessAtlanta.com [an AJC publication], so I’ve posted the interview in its entirety.

Generally, I’d like to get your take on the scene, especially anything you think has been missed or misconstrued in previous stories.

Great question! Thanks for asking.

Most of the news coverage on the underground scene is either a trend/style piece or food porn. Writers paint these scenes of fancy meals or secretive meetups. These are seductive details; I understand why most writers stop at this level. But I think there are much more interesting stories to be told. Who goes to these underground dinners? Why have 2,000 people joined the rogueApron mailing list? What is missing from people’s experiences with food – in restaurants, in their grocery stores, in their meals at home – that so many of us are excited join a underground dining community?

I think we are a point in which we crave authenticity: food that is sourced ethically and cooked with care, the chance to meet other people who are passionate about their lives and active in their communities. I think that this is the most compelling aspect of the underground dining scene – it is truly the guests.

Then I’d like to know what inspired you to start Rogue Apron and what’s your food/cooking background (chef? home cook? in other food groups or organizations?)

I identify as a cook – I do not have formal training. I have worked in the restaurant business as a cook with some enormously talented chefs – I respect their craft enormously and would never claim that title for myself.

As for why rogueApron started … oh, sometimes I don’t know! No, the more honest answer is that I was at a place in my life where I had absolutely nothing to lose. And thankfully, I quickly met a lot of other people who wanted to be a part of it.

Lisa Hanson tells me you were involved in last Labor Day’s picnic for better food in schools…..(movement started by Alice Waters and pioneered by Michelle Obama)….How does that tie in to Rogue Apron?

1/3 of children born after 1990 will develop Type II diabetes; 1/4 will end up overweight or obese. These are startling facts, but it’s no surprise if you look at a school cafeteria tray filled with processed foods, sodas and chips. It’s a sad truth that fresh vegetables are more expensive than junk calories. Children from low-income families should not suffer life-long health problems because our food system is skewed. Essentially, the more I learned about the Farm to School movement (Thanks Erin Croom at Georgia Organics!), the more I felt that it was just the right thing to do, to help out as best I could. I knew that the rogueApron community would be eager to get involved in such a worthy cause – we had about 80 rockstar volunteers who passed out fliers, informed their community groups, and recruited friends to attend the protest.

Lady Rogue Business Network in Piedmont Review

I understand you also organize entrepreunerial meet-ups to help people share resources and ideas….

Yep! The Lady Rogue Business Network was a natural offshoot of the rogueApron community. We are all about supporting sustainable local businesses, especially those that are run by female entrepreneurs – although men are welcome! “Loconomy” is the term, and we’re all about supporting our fellow entrepreneurs – including farmers, designers, crafters, shop-owners and jam makers.

[Above, L-R: Lionel Flax, Amy Herr, Jennifer Peté, Rebecca Kern, Lady Rogue, Elizabeth Beasley & Shari Margolin at the November Sam Flax meetup. Photo courtesy Piedmont Review.]

I hear you have a fairly small house and kitchen (as we all do in this part of town), but you obviously love to entertain… Was that an impetus for Rogue Apron?

I didn’t have a place to live when I started rogueApron, so this place seems very big to me! Three years ago, the recession nabbed my job; I didn’t have much besides a wok, two wooden spoons, my laptop and a suitcase of clothes. I tried to get back on that corporate job ladder but the ladder didn’t want me – so I had literally nothing to lose by trying out my own ideas.

I think you’ve collaborated with East Atlanta Brewery. Do they try to pair the beers with the menu? Have you done anything with Georgia wineries?

Yes, we have collaborated with them – they are close friends of ours, and we usually pair beers with the menu. Either they brew something to fit a theme (for example an Irish Red Ale for our St. Patricks’ Day Feast) or we plan a dinner around their brew (a Coconut Extravaganza based around the delicious Roasted Coconut Porter).

Nothing with wineries yet; I love beer so the dinners stick in this realm :)

rogueApron at the Drive In

What is the most exotic/unusual place you’ve held a dinner?

The Drive-In gets my vote for the most unusual.

rogueApron's debut event: St. Paddy's Day Feast

Have there been fiascos/crashers/cooking problems/weather issues?

We’ve been really lucky … the only problem we ever had was with our first dinner, scheduled literally the day after the March 2008 tornado. Our corned beef had been aging for weeks in EAB Porter, and we had to scramble in downed power lines, trees, and ferocious rain to fetch ice to keep it nice and cold. We rescheduled the dinner, and all was well.
[Above: Heath & Berit at our debut dinner.]

You have people host events in their home/business, correct? What does someone need to do/provide to be a host for an underground dinner?
Good question, and yes. It’s more of a timing/space/personality fit than anything else. [Hosting FAQ]

Where do you like eat when you’re not underground?

Bookhouse Pub, Noni’s, Gato Bizco, Bone Garden Cantina, Antico Pizza.

Sam Flax Exclusive for LRBN Dec 3

samflax_lrbn

Hey all,

We’re revamping the Lady Rogue Business Network slowly but surely … adding features to the site, providing more structure for events, and working to bring you even better tools for connecting with your community.

Our informal board has been brainstorming meetup ideas … and Jen Pete’ of Zifty.com; and ;Stories of Gen really hit the ball out of the park with this one.

Lady Rogue Business Network is excited to present an exclusive after-hours night at Sam Flax on the West Side. Two generations ago, Sam Flax operated a pencil cart in New York – today his grandson Lionel is revamping the brand for a new audience and new community.

Come hear Lionel’s story … enjoy some vino-powered crafting, exclusive LRBN shopping discounts, and snag your very own permanent LRBN discount card for future purchases.

Make a night of it by stopping by Urban Cottage – they’re having a very special holiday party; that night featuring LRBN members Farewell Paperie, Holy Vino and  Concrete Lace.

See ya there!

Lady Rogue

AGENDA

7:30-8pm Mix and mingle

8-8:30 Sam Flax’s grandson shares his story

Meet Lionel Flax, grandson of Sam, and hear how he plans to transition the company into a new era. Followed by a Q & A!

8:30-9:30 Crafting And Shopping!

Craft holiday chains with your LRBN pals …. paper, glue & scissors on hand. 15% discount throughout the store.

BONUS: Lionel is giving everyone in attendance a 20% off shopping card for anytime going forward that they want to shop at Sam Flax!

9:30-10 Tidying & Departing for Afterhours

Since we anticipate that this event will book very quickly, we’ll be using an RSVP system similar to the rogueApron dinners.

rogueApron Shoutout in Atlantan Magazine!

Woot, woot! The November/December edition of Atlantan magazine is out, and rogueApron gets a shoutout! Check it online at media.modernluxury.com, on pg. 108, or check the snaps below.

The text is hard to reproduce, so I typed it out here:

Since March 2008 Georgia Tech digital media grad student, “Lady Rogue” (she prefers to conceal her real name), has been staging quirky traveling dinners at farms and private gardens with themes ranging from Alice in Wonderland to a Great Depression breadline. The rogueApron (rogueapron.com) underground dinners are as much Sixties-style happenings as food events, and a way to intersect with like-minded people in the manner of social media like Facebook. LadyRogue calls her club, which attracts a devoted group of socially conscious diner and often features random acts of kindness, like free pie giveaways, “the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me.”

rogueApron in Atlantan Magazine
rogueApron in Atlantan Magazine

Thanks to Katie Kaiser.com for helping with them images up above.

For more screencaps of our media coverage, check out our rogueApron.carbonmade.com. Word!

rogueApron introduces growBots

Hey guys …

Looking at the site I’m realizing it’s been a super long time since I’ve updated. Well – you know how life is … things have been all over the place. Although we’ve been lying low at rogueApron HQ, we’ve been planting the seeds for some really cool harvesting in the spring.

I thought I’d take a moment on a breezy, chilly Fall afternoon to share this little hint of the future with you.

Introducing … the growBot project

What happens when you get roboticists and growers together? When organic farmers detail their production processes to technologists who might have simple, small scale improvements?

The growbot project is about what happens in that conversation space.

We hope to create fertile ground for these imaginations.

And, yep, we’re motivated by finding an alternative to industrial production.

And robots. Awesome, awesome robots.

<3
Lady Rogue
future growBot owner
founder, rogueApron.com

growBot Links

growBot on Twitter | growBot.wordpress.com

Introducing: rogueApron Postcrossing dinners

Send a postcard to a stranger. And get one back, from some random part of the world.

Postcrossing.com members fill out profiles, indicating what type of cards they’d like to receive. And somewhere across the world, a complete stranger thinks about it, pokes around for them, and decides upon The Card to send.

rogueApron has requested to receive recipes from around the world. There’s no guaranteeing when the postcards will arrive, or if they will include recipes.

But when they do …

Introducing: rogueApron Postcrossing dinners

rogueApron’s Postcrossing Dinner Series

Guidelines:

  • Each recipe will be made as written. The only adjustments made will be to scale the recipe to feed more, or if an obvious step has been left out.
  • Only the front of the postcard, and the national origin will be displayed on our site.
  • We anticipate that most world recipes will include meat, dairy or gluten; we will post if something does not.
  • Dinners are limited to a small group of adventurous diners, comfortable with experimentation.

Our first dinner will be posted soon …

Awesome Picnic Gear … Gearing Up for Sept 7th!

Ever have one of those days when the universe treats you right?

First, Dave of East Atlanta mmm-mm-good hops-based-beverages brings by this awesome Picnic Packer.

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And then I get a surprise visit from @Stories of Gen! I was the lucky recipient of a Surprise Twitter Treat! Check this hot totebag from kit+lili!
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So not only did I receive two very thoughtful and nice presents within hours, but they go together perfectly and will be the absolute bestest picnic gear for the upcoming Slow Food picnic on September 7th!

Major shout out to Jen (of @zifty) whose side project Stories of Gen custom selects gifts for your friends based on your parameters. I’m one of those folks who is super hard to shop for … she nailed it!

Word, just thought I’d share.

Lady Rogue

p.s. Beth. Word.