The vision for tasteMAKERS began on a rainy Fourth of July weekend in 2017. I have a cabin out in the woods on the northern tip of the Ozarks in Missouri. I spent that holiday weekend streaming as much food television as I could on Apple TV, brainstorming the format for this new show.
I've been in media, magazine media in particular, for over 15 years. In 1999 I launched Sauce Magazine in St. Louis, Missouri, as a web-only restaurant guide and food 'zine for the St. Louis area. I spent many long nights hand-coding the site, building the platform for what would eventually become a well-respected monthly print magazine with a circulation of 80,000. I sold my interest in Sauce and its parent company in 2010 in order to pursue a new venture and launched Feast Magazine later that year.
The vision for Feast was to broaden the conversation about local and regional food. I loved covering the local food scene, following the work of the city's chefs, brewers and producers. In the decade that I'd built Sauce, I came to understand the impact that media coverage meant to helping to build and support a robust local food scene. It was a symbiotic relationship: without great restaurants and producers, we didn't have great content, and by telling their stories, we helped to expose their work to a wide, hungry audience and drive business to their doors. Knowing how important this type of coverage is to the success of small culinary businesses, when I developed Feast, I wanted to expand the voice of the publication beyond the city's limits.
Feast was designed to be a regional publication with a reach across the state of Missouri. We launched in 2010 as a St. Louis-specific publication but in a few years we expanded to cover the entire state of Missouri, going from a circulation of 70,000 in St. Louis to 150,000 across the state.
For about six years, while I was at Sauce, I produced weekly restaurant segments for the local CBS affiliate, KMOV, that aired on their evening newscast. This is when I fell in love with television production and the storytelling possibilities that video allowed. Every aspect of a media platform allows stories to be told in a different way, whether print, digital, social or video. Video allows