Free Tickets to Seattle Food and Wine Experience and a rant

UPDATE: Thanks for playing! Sean has won the tickets. I hope you all make it to the event regardless, you’ll have a great time!

As I have done once before, I must again combat the evil things on the internet with wonderful things. So in response to being criticized for taking free stuff, I am giving away a pair free tickets to the Seattle Food and Wine Experience.

I get offered a ton of free stuff in the course of writing this blog. They fall into three main categories: free tangible things (such as cookbooks, products etc.), free meals or event tickets that come from the restaurant or their representative) and lastly what are called ‘media passes’ which are free tickets that are through a third party (usually the ticketing company). And yes, on my blog you can find all three types accepted: a coobook, a meal from a restaurant, and an event I went to on a media pass. What similarity do you find in all three of them? I declare immediately, before passing any judgement, that I took this item for free and exactly who gave it to me.

As I get my name dragged through the mud for accepting free things, I must pause and double check my ethics. When someone offers me a free item, they receive a letter in return explaining that I will accept it but that I do not promise to write about it and if I do I do not promise to write anything particularly good. In reality, if I thought something free was horrible, I would simply not write about it. Things you haven’t read about on this site include a number of horrific events, meals, food products I won’t even begin to try to describe and cookbooks that do not deserve to have been published. If I do write about it, you can assume it is because I liked it. This blog, for the most part, is about things I like.

So despite what’s being said, I stand by my ethics and I will continue to accept free things and tell you about them, including this lovely pair of tickets I accepted to the  Seattle Food and Wine Experience, but will now not be able to use. I went last year (as a freelancer, with a media pass from that employer, since you didn’t ask), and you can read about it here.

Ok, how do you get the tickets? Leave a comment below and I’ll draw comment numbers on February 5th to decide the winner. You can comment on whatever you’d like, but if you need inspiration, tell me about your favorite food or wine moment from a recent event.

Also, want to double your chances of wining? Rebekah Denn of Eat All About It is also giving a way a pair here.

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30 Responses

  1. My favorite food at a recent food event/party was a Memphis wonton prepared by a Masterchef hopeful.

  2. Best food experience recently was at Sitka & Spruce closing party. Matt Dillon certainly impressed me.

  3. My favorite food moment recently was eating a piece of pork belly my friend made – the belly came from the Swinery’s butcher shop. Can’t wait to try more things from them.

  4. I had the perfect amuse-bouche at Spinasse – crisp toast, super-buttery-butter (not redundant, I assure you) and pickled beet tops.

  5. Don’t add this to the ticket draw (I live in Vancouver, BC and while not far from Seattle I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere cool at this time due to work) but just wanted to comment that I’m amazed that you get picked on for taking the freebies when you’re so up front about them. I really don’t see it as a conflict of interest espeically when following your guidelines. Here’s to tons of more freebies coming your way in 2010!

  6. These days, some regulations against taking products/support have gotten to be a bit ridiculous (just look at the NYT)—but perhaps you should consider just listing every free thing you get? I personally don’t mind too much, but then you’d avoid the potential criticism re: things you don’t like.

    Either way, I’d love a ticket!

  7. My favorite food moment recently was having delicious herbed goat cheese and wine with friends. Food is an experience best shared.

  8. I know that in the music biz you get tons of free CD’s and show from bands.

  9. Bun Cha in Hanoi. I’m the one who told you about it, after all.

  10. I have a contrary opinion about accepting, then writing about freebies, but I am not in this business, and allow for the possibility that my viewpoint is naive. It seems distasteful to accept them, but only write glowing reviews of the products, meals and services you enjoyed, but then again, it must be appear distasteful to you to accept a freebie, then slam it.

    It certainly affects the weight to which I assign opinions. I extend much more credibility to someone who paid out of their own pocket for a product, meal or service and genuinely liked it, or genuinely disliked it. The authenticity of the opinion is compromised when there was no investment of the author.

    But then again, I adore Frank Bruni. I guess the standard is different for professional critics, most of whom are meticulous about maintaining their objectivity and integrity, often to an absurd degree.

    All that said, more power to you.

    As for my favorite recent dining event, it would have to be Spinasse. I went with a friend on a busy weeknight and we ended up sitting next to another couple of friends (we didn’t know them prior to dinner) who were like-minded in terms of dining style. Our twosome became a foursome, which doubled all of the things we got to try, and the conversation was fascinating. The crisped pork belly tortelli was so good, we ordered seconds, the squab made converts out of the suspicious, and the service was near perfect.

  11. I think you approach PR/free stuff with dignity and class. Your ethics should not be called into question on this subject.

    One surreal food moment was having the opportunity to watch Keith Luce of Herbfarm prepare a meal for 100 at the International Food Blogger Conference. I couldn’t stop staring and he was kind enough to pause his chiffonading to take a photo with me. That makes the Top 10 ultimate food moment list.

  12. My favorite food dining event was a recent dinner with 7 friends at Canlis. I had a duck dish paired with an amazing Pinot Noir from Oregon. With the wonderful ambiance and good company, it was a very special evening!

  13. I just stumbled on this blog and found out about the Seattle Food and Wine Event. Is this an annual event? My most recent foodie experience was driving down to PDX to sample some of their food carts. It was a lot fun!

  14. Ethics are over-rated anyway. 🙂 In all seriousness, I feel that your full-disclosure is awesome, and all anyone could every ask from a writer. Besides, I know you’d never lead us astray by endorsing something crappy.

  15. My boyfriend brought six whole, freshly slaughtered, all natural chicken (don’t ask…) two days before my sister had to leave for college after her winter break. So for the first time in my life, I did couple things. I skinned a whole chicken, and I dissected them without mercy. Can you believe that I’eve never cut out a chicken breast from a whole chicken? yeah… We made chicken katsu with the breast meat(delicious), and we chopped up the rest and put it in freezer. Another whole chicken got turned into Korean Chicken and Rice soup. I plan to roast a chicken this weekend . Who knew whole chickens would be so useful? My sister said it was the best chicken she’s ever had. My My.

    • That is SO cool. I do want to ask though. Why doesn’t my boyfriend come home with freshly slaughtered chickens?? Huh, I’ll have to work on that!

  16. Mama’s Kitchen in Paia on Maui. They tell you the name of the Boat the fish was caught on that morning. The food and ambiance allows one’s mind to wander to what dreaming while awake feels like. The Mahi Mahi was the best I’ve ever had.

  17. We really enjoyed the Kao Soy at Spice Room in Columbia City–a surprising dish that we don’t often see at Thai restaurants in Seattle!

    • Congrats on the tickets! I LOVE Kao Soy so I will have to get myself down there. Rumors of good kao soy in Seattle have never panned out for me, so I’ll keep looking!

  18. Honestly, I think there’s no better way around the freebie issue than the way you’re handling it. The “new rules” of marketing via social media have pretty much changed the game for everyone!

    That said, I have not been to too many food events lately (trying to change that!), but at the first Foodportunity event last summer I had a crostini with sardine from the chef at Olivar that truly knocked me out. I was embarrased to tell him it was the first sardine of my not-so-young life, but he was happy to hear that it won’t be my last. 🙂

  19. I recently discovered Garlic Pork at the deli in Viet Wah on MLK in South Seattle and am hooked. Pork rules and always will.

  20. I recently went to the Grays Harbor Seafood and Wine festival. It was their third year doing it a I found it to be a lot of fun. I love festivals like these because I get to try a lot of wines, and food, I normally wouldn’t run into.

  21. I’m visiting London this week and had my very first “pre-desert”… PRE DESERT! love it.

  22. My favorite recent food and wine event was Christmas Dinner. We went West Coast classic with dungeness crabs and champagne. A very merry day indeed!

  23. I’d love to send my sister-in-law and her husband to the Experience. Thanks for the opportunity.

  24. Hi, I just created a new blog page, unfortunately I cannot manage to build a good number of subscribers. I can tell that you’ve got a bit of responses. Could you give me some guidance in order to get more subscribers and in what ways to boost feed-back? Appreciate it !

  25. Bummer about the backlash. If you are out in the public comp’d items are part of the process.

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