Andrew Thomas Lee
On a specified working day, Stephen Satterfield is managing. “I’m a runner. That is definitely significant to me,” states Satterfield, writer and founder of Whetstone Media. “I like to go for quite lengthy operates to crystal clear my head at the conclusion of the working day.” For Satterfield, working his possess race is both of those a follow in self-care and in business enterprise. Since launching his flourishing food stuff media company in 2017, Satterfield has been bucking the food stuff media position quo, centering forgotten narrators and topics in Whetstone’s hallmark longform journalism and storytelling. As a result of nuanced insights on origin, ancestry, and preservation, he employs food and drink as devices for us international citizens to cultivate a deeper knowing of our spot in the human expertise.
The Whetstone moniker is a nod to Satterfield’s a long time expended doing the job in places to eat in which the former sommelier who studied culinary arts would observe the nightly procession of cooks whetting their knives. “It is about ritual. It is about obtaining sharper.” Without a doubt, Whetstone is Satterfield’s simply call-to-motion for all of us to sharpen our perceptions of a single yet another and our empathy for just one yet another.
The host of Significant on the Hog: How African American Delicacies Remodeled The us, the floor-breaking Netflix docuseries primarily based on James Beard award-profitable author and historian Jessica B. Harris’ reserve of the very same title, remembers what the food media place was like just a handful of several years in the past. “The environment was a large amount of lists, a lot of ‘best of this,’ a ton of ‘cheap eats,’ a large amount of ‘top restaurants.'” Satterfield recounts the cyclical and myopic coverage that normally only revolved all over dining places and chefs of European origin.
But Satterfield, who has been finding out food items media considering that he was a kid in his hometown of Atlanta absorbing cooking exhibits on Foodstuff Community and PBS, sought the form of inclusive and expansive origin tales linking society, food stuff systems, and politics that Whetstone has grow to be recognised for. The poeticism that threads Whetstone’s words and imagery is directly tied to Satterfield, who has been crafting poetry since he was a middle university student toting a journal whole of poems. Now his poet’s sensibilities — the slowing down, reflecting, and reimagining — are distilled through food items, and have turn out to be the ethos of his brand.
Possibly which is why Satterfield’s voice has been a central 1 in the gradual foods media identification change going on now. “When we glimpse again five years in the past, actually, the ecosystem now is so a great deal additional mature. The dialogue is a good deal additional intricate.” It truly is a response mainly shaped by a synthesis of discussions throughout social media, “our societal h2o cooler” as he calls it, but Satterfield underscores that right up until extra men and women of colour have rank and possession, extra adjust is however required.
He turns any nervous electricity into gasoline and retains on operating.
What commenced as a quarterly print and digital journal has blossomed into a multi-sensory storytelling system covering a lot more than 100 international locations. Whetstone Media is comprised of the celebrated Whetstone magazine Whetstone Radio Collective, a podcast community featuring quite a few weekly shows these types of as Spirit Plate, which pays homage to Indigenous communities and foodways and El corredor del néctar, a Spanish-language present all about mezcal a video clip storytelling outlet and a electronic marketplace that intersects agricultural and artisans offering handmade products like ceramics and Oaxacan textiles. But Whetstone becoming a full-blown media corporation was generally Satterfield’s eyesight, and he assures that you can find a lot additional to appear.
“We’re functioning a quite successful immediate-to-purchaser journal organization. Which is exactly the issue I was instructed would not be attainable when I was inquiring folks for money on the front conclude of this journey.” Satterfield has been clear about his quest for capital and the pushback he is been given over the yrs. But in early 2022, Satterfield declared that Whetstone experienced eventually elevated $1.3 million in funding, which signifies far more cinematic storytelling is on the horizon. It truly is a really hard-gained victory for Satterfield, but also for some others functioning independently owned media stores in a sea of conglomerates, and significantly for Black foods and beverage publishers, for which there are just a handful.
“It is really been thrilling to just take this leap and to definitely be capable to know, at the very least for now, the operate that we’re making is funded. We can move how we want to from a resourceful standpoint, without the need of imaginative limitations.”
As Satterfield writes this new chapter for Whetstone, he’s also penning his own. Superior on the Hog, which gained a 2022 Peabody Award in the documentary group, has been renewed for a 2nd time, and he’s performing on his ebook, Black Terroir, about wine, land, and id. Satterfield admits he however receives a tiny anxious each time he launches anything. But he turns any nervous energy into gasoline and keeps on jogging.
Fulfill the 2022 Foodstuff & Wine Match Changers
Alexis Nikole Nelson | Bento Box | Chintan Pandya and Roni Mazumdar | Dwyane Wade | Ghetto Gastro | Jenny Dorsey | Momofuku Packaged Items | No & Lower | OXO | Key Roots | Patagonia Provisions | Sanzo | Stephen Satterfield | Environment Central Kitchen | Yannick Benjamin