EAT Boutique…?

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Yes, EAT Boutique.

It sounds simple but when the words spilled from my lips, I knew eating boutique was far more than just dining at fine, one-of-a-kind restaurants. I have dined at some very fine restaurants – like so many hard-core restaurant fans – and I’m a big fan of fine food and service. But this little endeavor of mine is about much more than fine dining.

To eat boutique is to eat local and sustainable and with true knowledge of where your food originates – you know, all the things that are hip in food these days. It’s also about supporting small business owners; it’s about independent restaurants (not big-company chain restaurants); it’s about supporting your local restaurateurs who love food, love service and want to know you, truly know their customers.

Ultimately, EAT Boutique is about nurturing a community of food fans who care about what we eat and who want to know the people behind the restaurants.

Who am I?

I like food. I spend my spare time reading cookbooks, researching recipes and menus, and actually cooking some very simple and some not-so-simple meals. I have folders full of menus I’ve planned and cooked, along with task list breakdowns, arranged hour-by-hour, with easy tasks for my husband, more challenging tasks for me, tasks for guests who offer their help, etc. Yes, I’m a little obsessed.

I also care about real food. Whole food. The good stuff. I’m not into that stuff you can buy at the drive-throughs – which Americans do more and more these days. I’m not into those big business restaurants where people file in for quick, prepackaged, microwave-warmed meals. I yearn for and need real food – vegetables, fruits, grains, natural sweets and protein. I joined a community supported agriculture program this past Spring, and get excited when pick-up day arrives and I get to enjoy everything an organic farm in New England offers during our few precious months of harvest. I love to pick up the food and engage with my friends there – to share recipes, tout recently discovered veggies and swap dining experiences.

I am not a professional cook. Let me be clear – I did not attend culinary school (like so many of my friends) and I do not cook in a restaurant (though I do help in the front of house of a fine dining establishment in Cambridge, Mass. a few days a week). I was attracted to that gig because I wanted to be closer to food, but closer from a service and community perspective.

My background is in community-building. I built some of the largest online communities that have existed during the short tenure of the Web. I love connecting with people online; finding folks you identify with; sharing your life, your experiences, with folks outside of your immediate geographic location.

I took a mini-break from technology several years ago to spend time exploring food, fine dining and the community experience of old-fashioned hospitality working in the hospitality business. Now I lead dual lives – that of online community diva and off-line food fan. I hope to join both passions in this little web site.

What should you expect to see here?

This site will cover the gamut of my food and fine dining explorations, and showcase the actual food fan and restaurateur community. To me, food matters most in context of the people who care about it. I hope to engage with other food fans and hear about your food experiences – the food, the service and the people you’ve met.

Now on to posting…

Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic StudioFollow Maggie Battista on Instagram.

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