When Eat It and Like It premiered on Savannah television in September of 2011, it was the biggest deal in the world to us. A number of us who worked on that first episode about “Chocolate” woke up that Saturday morning to watch and celebrate a great accomplishment. Wow! Alright! One show in the books! Eight months later, Paula Deen had appeared on the show with me and we had an EMMY Award nomination under our belts. Many times back then I thought “Wow, I’d really like to work less than eighty hours a week, but can it get any better than this?” Of course it could and that is ultimately what we are working toward. At the time, however, we were on top of the world.
Fast forward almost two years to the day and we are absolutely more excited than we have ever been about Eat It and Like It. Back in February we were the highest rated local television show (excluding newscasts) in the market, by a long shot. Our ratings were better than Rachel Ray, The View, and The Chew. With any luck, we’ll get that third EMMY nomination on Friday night and we’ll all make the trip to Atlanta next month to bring that trophy home. But even if we don’t, we will still have tonight, a tremendous celebration of food in our area. The first ever Eat It and Like It Foodie Awards at The Mansion on Forsyth Park.
By now you know the winners and runners up in over thirty categories. Best Burger, Best Wings and Best BBQ are obviously on the list, but so is our choice for Best Female Chef, Best Locally Sourced Restaurant and Best Restaurant Group. The Foodie Awards are about recognizing the best in this city regardless of whether or not they advertise with us or self promote themselves. In fact, I will go on the record and say only one Foodie Award winner this year is a sponsor of Eat It and Like It, and they were a sponsor before we announced we were doing Foodie Awards. The point? In our estimation the best is the best and that’s the bottom line in our opinion.
We’ve asked the Savannah Morning News if they’d print a special pull out section in Thursday’s newspaper for you to keep. In there you will find the list of winners, obviously, but you’ll also find information about the process. Who were our voters? Who had a say? How did we arrive at our conclusions? And how close was the voting in some cases, very. I can also tell you that some are the winners are not my favorites. I think you should know that. Do I love them all? Absolutely and would recommend them to anyone who asks. Did I get a vote and in some cases was out-numbered? Sure did. And I am fine with that. The seven people that were asked to participate in this voting were brought in because they frequently eat out, know their stuff and are always objective about their experiences. The 2014 Foodie Awards is a solid guide to this area’s best. That’s why we are celebrating at The Mansion.
I’ve been to a lot of parties in this town, but I don’t think I have ever seen the group of people we will have in attendance tonight all together in one place. It’s an honor to have them all as our guests. At the end of the day, this party is for them. It’s a chance for a group of people doing amazing things in this city to celebrate a job well done.
A huge thank you to all that made this possible. Dr. Jerry Williams and Urgent Care 24/7 as our title sponsor of tonight’s event, the Savannah Morning News for their seemingly endless displays of support and all the other sponsors who are making tonight possible.
See you on TV.