A cute rocker chick with a "killer spice rack" is seeking a fellow foodie in Brooklyn right now, and there's a flyer to prove it. Leave it to the land-loving, can-my-own-vegetables, bake-my-own-bread folks in Brooklyn to bring back the most luddite of practices -- actually placing a personal ad on a public bulletin board to find love.
Last Valentine's Day, the purveyors of the Meat Hook started a single-foodies wall and lately, it's been gaining momentum. Wait, a singles wall at a meat market? We know, but this is the Meat Hook, an artisanal Williamsburg-version of a meat market where you can take classes on brewing your own beer, shop for jam and fruit preserves so local the farmer could be your next-door neighbor, and then buy your sustainably raised grass-fed New York strip.
The idea may seem targeted at meat lovers (it being in a butcher shop and all), but Taylor Erkkinen, one of the store's owners, said the wall does not discriminate: It's open to omnivores, vegetarians and flexitarians (meat-eating vegetarians). Those looking to find their culinary soulmates can fill out a profile card and affix it to a board at the entrance of the store (so you can people-shop before you shop-shop).
"It's a neat, nifty exercise in presenting yourself," said Erkkinen, who came up with the idea after seeing a literary soulmate wall at a bookstore in nearby Greenpoint, where, if interested, you can probably find other singles looking to curl up and leaf through 900 pages of David Foster Wallace.
Each card at the Meat Hook has a pre-written line you expand on to create a culinary profile. Last Friday, responses to the line "I'm going to make you ..." ranged from "Guinness chocolate pudding" and "bacon" to "drool."
Following the line "I don't want you to make me ... " one person wrote "bored" and another "paranoid." The aforementioned bacon lover asked that she not be prepared "anything without bacon" and two people insisted they didn't want "anything with olives" (such a divisive food).
Deven DeMarco, 36 and a waiter in Long Island City, recently gave the wall a shot. He was having no luck finding someone online, or through a dating app he tried. He joined a gay-foodie meet-up group but it disbanded that very same week.
"The universe is not making it easy on me," DeMarco said. A shared interest in food seemed like a good building block, and the wall seeming like a throwback to the olden days was part of its appeal.
"That’s what my reaction was: How great is it that this is pen and paper?" he said. "Once it's there, it's done. There's no going back, there's no editing."
The wall had a slow start, but two weeks ago, Erkkinen said she had to print out 50 more cards due its popularity.
As can be expected, the invitation for satire has been too hard to pass up for some: A request for comment to a thicknjuicypickle@gmail immediately bounced back and another seemed too sketchy to contact (666@thedevilsplayground anyone?)
There have been no reported matches as of yet, but Tobias Carroll, a 34-year-old web developer, did get a date. The date didn't involve cooking, though; it was just drinks. So far, there hasn’t been a second.
Katy Pellegrino, 27, a genetic researcher, was pushed into participating by friends, who posted a profile for her.
"They always read the cards that people post, since everyone's trying to set me up and get me married," she said.
Pellegrino has tried every channel to meet Mr. Right -- online dating, speed dating, at bars, at weddings, through friends and through friends of friends.
"I'm willing to try anything once so I kind of just went along with it," she said.
It's been a week and Pellegrino hasn't heard from anyone yet, but she's still open to finding a date this way.
"Online dating has become such the norm and so mainstream," she said. The wall on the other hand? "I don’t know, it seems more old-school, more romantic."