Jeff Akin and Emily Farris ran their food blog Feed Me KC for the better part of two years — writing about the dining and drinking scene in Kansas City. Their latest venture, Feed Me Creative, is a culinary marketing agency, where they dabble in recipe development for Food & Wine (the duo and their cookies are featured in the April edition) and web development and branding work for local restaurants. The Recommended Daily caught up with them via e-mail to find out about what they’re currently got cooking.
1. What’s the story with Feed Me Creative? Some people might know us from Feed Me KC, the (sometimes ridiculous) local food blog we launched in January 2012. Unfortunately, ridiculousness doesn’t pay the bills, at least not every month — and especially when neither of us had much faith in the traditional advertising model. So, last summer we quit our day jobs to try and make a living combining what we love (food) with what we do well (branding, marketing, design, and content development). We still have a blog, The Feed, which can be found at thefeedmeblog.com. It’s mostly recipes, with just a little ridiculousness.
Jeff’s fancy title is Principal, and Emily is totally cool with that because he does most of the paperwork, accounting, and other business stuff that Emily loathes. Emily is the Creative Director and does a lot of the website and print design. We both handle client relations, website management, copywriting, and social media management. In the studio Emily does the food styling and Jeff takes the pictures.
2. How did you guys get started with Food & Wine? Emily has been a freelance food writer for about 10 years, and when she was leaving her last (hopefully ever) day job to start Feed Me Creative, an editor at Food & Wine mentioned that they were looking for contributors to help with a huge recipe development project. Given the kind of work we wanted to do — which included creating original content for restaurants, bars, and food brands — it seemed like a perfect fit. The volume (100 to 150 recipes a month!) also forced us to build out our culinary studio much sooner than we probably would have. We’re still working on getting the vintage appliances hooked up, but we have a fantastic food photo studio set up behind Emily’s house just east of Brookside.
3. Which recipe that you’ve done for them is in your regular rotation and why? To be completely honest, the peanut butter cookie featured in the magazine isn’t really a standout in our rotation and we’re not entirely sure why they chose to feature that one over any other. It’s a totally fine cookie, but it’s not all that exciting. In fact, Emily has a three-ingredient recipe for gluten-free peanut butter cookies that’s just as good, if not better. There were also two other cookie recipes featured in the print version that you can find on our new food blog, The Feed.
Otherwise, our kale salad with cranberries, almonds, and goat cheese is really simple, delicious, and healthy. It’s a good Monday night detox dinner. And some version of the baked quinoa and steel-cut oats is a go-to breakfast when hosting a group of overnight guests. It’s really flavorful while still being somewhat neutral, it’s gluten free, it can be made the night ahead, and it will keep a crowd full until lunch.
4. What’s the secret to a great cookie? The secret to a great cookie, like most things in cooking, is balance. Just a hint of saltiness can go a long way with pretty much any dessert — think sea salt and caramel. An extra pinch of salt isn’t something you necessarily detect, but it can make a world of difference. Balance can also come through texture, like with our recipe for white chocolate-cherry cookies with macadamia nuts. The chocolate is sweet and soft, the cherries are tart and chewy, and the nuts are salty and crunchy.
[Images via Feed Me Creative]