A great deal has modified because 2017, when Stephen Satterfield introduced Whetstone as a journal about world wide foods origins. The motivation then, Satterfield has discussed, was his disappointment with food stuff media’s “incredibly myopic, unimaginative, and formulaic” perspective. In the yrs considering the fact that, Whetstone has developed from one journal into a media firm, acquiring also launched Rasa, a magazine about South Asian food items society, and a podcast community with 11 demonstrates. In 2021, Satterfield introduced his perspective to a enormous viewers: He hosted the Netflix docuseries Large on the Hog, an exploration of African American culinary history based on the e-book by Jessica B. Harris.
In that time, the media landscape has adjusted additional broadly. In its place of cooks and writers begging for magazine bylines, social media has ushered in an age of talent in which “folks have additional autonomy and a lot less friction in sharing their very own tales,” Satterfield states. These days, residence cooks, farmers, foragers, and all sorts of hospitality gurus can become TikTok stars who talk instantly to millions of followers, bypassing the require for acceptance from common media.
To assist this change, Whetstone introduced this 7 days that it is launching Hone, a new culinary talent agency. “When we very first arrived out, we were fundamentally suggesting that we could give enhanced accessibility to tales from all over the globe,” Satterfield says. “And now that individuals are broadcasting on their own, that is not truly what the entire world requirements.”
Like any expertise agency, Hone wishes to link persons with possibilities: brand strategies or Television set initiatives, for instance. But unlike other expertise companies, which could possibly also oversee athletics and entertainment and fashion, Hone is concentrating just on foodstuff. It hopes to supply an knowledge of the hospitality and cafe world and the breadth of its probable — both of those in conditions of who’s viewed as talent, and what initiatives they might want to pursue. It’s also “a likelihood for manufacturers and talent to find campaigns and do the job that is meaningful and not corny,” Satterfield notes.
Building up Hone’s original roster are Reem’s California founder Reem Assil, farmer Christa Barfield, writer and Eater contributor Alicia Kennedy, and sommelier Femi Oyediran. Hone’s intention to stand for producers like farmers speaks to its mission as portion of the Whetstone umbrella. “We genuinely want to exhibit that farmers have the exact place in our food items society and community that chefs do, and that the only rationale that they never love that position is for the reason that people have manufactured a final decision to not elevate the farmers in the same way,” Satterfield claims.
According to head of expertise Shanika Hillocks, “It’s a lot less about persons who like to go out to consume and make articles there, but [who] have genuinely been in environments like again of residence, front of residence, in wineries, on farms. That tactile, true DNA that’s within just somebody who experienced it vs . just wants to seize it is critical.”
Hillocks sees Hone’s purpose as currently being much less reactive than the standard company connection: not using a food talent and expressing “This is what we assume you can do,” but generating a route to the objectives men and women by now have.
What an company can supply relies upon, in aspect, on what it is aware of. “We genuinely know how to chat about food,” Satterfield states. In his expertise — with his Netflix present obtaining opened up alternatives — this is not normally the situation. “The extra broad my engagement was with folks in PR, media, and Television, their meals literacy was truly lower, which is not inherently a undesirable thing, but it does complicate items when you are in the organization of representation: You do not definitely have an understanding of the shopper and the earth from which they arrive,” Satterfield claims. “The subculture of so-called ‘food people’ and restaurant men and women and hospitality folks ought to have illustration with that position of see.”