eGullet announced today that they were becoming a not-for-profit organization and will become further known as “eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters”. To them I say: “Huzzah!”
Read over their announcement or the not-for-profit FAQ, and you can see that their primary goal is good food without expense. You have to love this approach, as it takes the basic premise of “open source” knowledge to its conclusion. I hope this really works out well for them!
Not-for-profits are required to have a statement of purpose, and eGullet’s is a doozy, making me giddy and weak at the knees while reading it (posted without permission):
The eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters
Statement of Purpose
The purpose of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters is to increase awareness and knowledge of the arts of cooking, eating and drinking, as well as the literature of food and drink. We carry out this purpose in many places and in many ways, but primarily through Internet food media. We seek to appeal to a diverse group covering professional and amateur cooks, producers, writers and consumers. The arts and crafts connected with food and drink take place in a wide variety of settings. We believe that:
- Good food doesn’t have to be expensive or esoteric â€“ just good. Good food and drink aren’t exclusive to the rich and well-traveled;
- People throughout the world and in all economic circumstances can be healthier, wealthier and happier by learning to eat well and cook well, and by thinking and speaking more clearly about their food and drink;
- Professional cooks and passionate amateur cooks, professional producers and hobbyists of food and drink, professional food and beverage writers and passionate amateur writers each have something special to bring to the table. The conversation is richer and more interesting when the worlds of the professional and the amateur are brought together;
- Food can both satisfy physical needs and engage the highest functions of intellect. It can be a commodity, a craft, an art. Though a source of bodily pleasure, food and drink are also worthy subjects for discussion, at practical, aesthetic and philosophical levels;
- The media do much to shape our perceptions about food and drink. We are better off when the media covering food and drink are informed, honest and passionate about their subject. Like all arts, food writing is worth doing well.
The Society’s activities are determined by its Board, which is authorized to pursue any program of activity that is aligned with the Society’s purpose. Our geographic scope is global. Activities of the Society include:
- Encouraging the development of talented writers on food and drink, through competitions, awards, fellowships and internships;
- Encouraging the development of quality food and beverage media, particularly Internet media, through direct publication and broadcast, printed new media collections, journalistic coverage of food media, competitions and awards;
- Encouraging the development of talented chefs and producers of food and drink, through competitions, awards, scholarships and internships;
- Developing and offering educational programs, including the eGullet Culinary Institute, an online learning program; and outreach programs about food and cooking to schools and underprivileged adults;
- Operating the eGullet Forums, which we aim to make the Internet’s most compelling, exciting and technologically advanced interactive conversation about food, drink, and everything related to them.
All I can sayt is…”Wow”(…and apparently “Huzzah!”). Good luck to the eGullet folks, and kudos for attempting to do something new.