One of my favorite people in the whole world has launched a new website and it's brilliant, in the most Etonian sense of that word. Check out Dishola. It's billed by its creators (Minnesota native and Cowgirl Chef extraordinaire Paula Disbrowe and Austin, Texas, tech wonk Lindsey Simon) as a hunger-pang-problem–solving web-based community for the food-obsessed. Restaurant guides will tell you where to eat, but not what to eat, and as someone who spends half the year on the road, I can tell you that even when I am at home, we are more concerned with the ‘what’ than with the ‘where.’ In our family, this is how it goes:
Rishia: What do you feel like eating tonight?
Me: How about pho and spring rolls. Does that sound good to you?
Rishia: Great, where should we go?
See what I mean? We are always looking for the best sizzling Hong Kong–style ho-yu-gai poo or fettuccine Bolognese, not necessarily the best Chinese or Italian restaurant. And something tells me we are no different than most of you. People who love (and live) to eat think food first and restaurant second the majority of the time. At least the Zimmern family does.
According to Simon and Disbrowe, “Dishola is a dazzling new user-driven website devoted to the best dishes in top gastronomic destinations across the country. And it’s fun. Users can sign on to track down what they’re craving, read smart reviews by Dishola editors, industry professionals (cooks, bartenders, dishwashers), and members—passionate eaters across the country. Then they can add reviews of their favorite dishes, and they can even upload photos of them.”
Dishola also has something called a Celebrity Disher component; a “Spotlight Dish,” complete with the lowdown—and definition—of everything from pad thai to enchiladas de mole rojo to panna cotta; and pages where Dishola members can create a running list of “future feasts,” learn about cool food safaris, and, as the Dishola index grows, find the best dishes by location and descriptive tags with reviews and ratings from real people.
Disbrowe, who is a food writer with Food & Wine and The New York Times bylines to her credit, has a new cookbook titled Cowgirl Cuisine, that will be published by HarperCollins this spring. She is the real deal. I have seen galleys of her book, which is loaded with great recipes as well as the passionate musings of a great writer who left Minnesota for a career in New York, only to find her bliss in the hill country of Texas where she has lived for the last five years.
Both the website and the book are taking up a lot of my attention these days. Check them out.