I have been blogging for over 5 years and somewhere along the way when I first started I came upon something online about Gastropost and how people were posting photos from Mission Challenges that the people at Post Media/The National Post were creating each week. I thought it would be a fun thing to do to post my photos to the online community and join others. I thought it might be fun to see if my photos got published in the National Post once a week from a selection of the photos that were posted online by a growing food loving community.
For about 5 years I posted photos of food I made and food I ate at restaurants and events around town and shared them with the Gastropost community.
This was probably my first post that got into the newspaper. I was told I was the only one at the time that included myself and a friend in the photo. That's because it was so new I didn't know exactly what everyone else was doing. Mine is the 4th image from the left in case you can tell my popsicle stuffed face.
I never imagined what it would grow into and how it would affect my life. In about 5 years they created over 240 different weekly challenges and I probably submitted photos for over 200 for sure.
My photos were probably published in the National Post maybe over 60 times. I lost count but the first time it was published I ran out and picked up the Newspaper because I thought it was such a cool thing.
My dentist who is also a family friend commented about seeing my photos in the paper and my cousin thought it was the coolest thing.
I have even had people come up to me at events and know who I was because of seeing my photos in the paper because they were accompanied by a sketch of my face that Gastropost would create for everyone at the beginning that would be posted under the photo along with our Twitter or Instagram handles.
The Gastropost team would organize events at restaurants in the beginning and I can remember going to Little Anthony's for the first one and meeting the team at the time and them knowing who I was and presenting me with a Gastropost pin to wear so that each of us could meet each other and know who we were in relation to what was posted in the online and in the newspaper.
There were a handful of events where we got to know fellow Gastroposters face to face and the most notable one was for the 100th Mission that was held at a now defunct huge restaurant on Jarvis Street. Our Gastropost sketches were posted on the walls and on tables around the restaurant. There was a screen posting live tweets and a presentation of some of our work.
There was also contests to win things like Food Movie tickets, tickets to Food events and things like a Chef apron and a smart phone which I won.
But most of all I met some really great friends because of Gastropost and at a Tea Party that I hosted in my home recently someone pointed out how many of the people were Gastroposters. I think there was about 6 of them. I didn't even think of that when I invited them. They were just my food loving or blogging friends.
That's the thing that happened. From posting random photos online to having life long friendships in real life.
I am truly sad that it is the last week for Gastropost because it has brought so much creativity and friendship into my life. It has challenged me to seek out interesting food and create more interesting plates of food.
I will miss the Gastropost team and the weekly missions but at least I have some great friends to continue sharing great food with.
THANK YOU GASTROPOST for 5 Great years.
(Image from the National Post/Post Media)