Anthony BourdainPassion for food is something a lot of people share, regardless of gender, location or cultural background. We all need to occasionally indulge our taste buds and linger in the flavors of a delightful meal, alone or in the company of others. Following that passion to get people to write and share their thoughts on food and what it means to be cooked well is bound to turn into a quite interesting social media project.

Chef and No Reservations TV show host Anthony Bourdain has had this wonderful idea of a crowdsourced library of essays on food and launched the Medium Raw Challenge. People are faced with an apparently simple, yet rather complex question – Foodies: What does it mean to cook food well?. They write their essays and post them on the challenge website and hope to win the Special Added Prize of $10,000 to the Grand Prize Winner and have their writing included in Bourdain’s latest book, Medium Raw.

Those foodies who enjoy cooking, eating and reading about food can still have a blast by browsing through submitted essays and voting their favorites. The social media challenge is powered by a vibrant Facbook community page that already has a 8,6000 user crowd around it.

Is this a smart way to promote the new book? Of course! Is it working? I’d say yes. And it’s working because Anthony Bourdain seems to be getting it. He actually reads the entries and posts comments expressing his opinion. He’s present and people don’t feel like they’re talking to some minion handling his social media presence.

The community engagement is indeed impressive and it’s easy to lose yourself while browsing through entries, especially if you enjoy food and don’t only eat stuff to keep yourself alive!

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