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Posted on 11 January 2014

Today is the ninth annual International Soufflé Day. I’m not normally one to mark made-up days, but this one has a soft spot for me.

Four years ago I had just started at CBC on a trial basis. I had virtually no experience. It was a big chance to prove that I could bring something to the table.

One of the most important assets in any sort of newsroom is story ideas. Particularly original ones that aren’t just going to be found all over the place.

Fortunately for me, someone on Facebook (remember this was four years ago— Facebook was still fairly new) had invited me to something called “International Soufflé Day.” It was a movement started by Vanessa Keitha in Prince George, who had decided that as a way to combat January doldrums she would start inviting people over for soufflé. It would be someone new each year, and the hope was that people who had attended previous sessions would host their own soufflé dinners.

2010 was year five, and I pitched it as a story. It got picked up for a small, two-minute segment, which was a big deal to me. I interviewed Vanessa and had to cut up the tape. I remember Chris Walker sitting down to show me how I could take my own voice out and use some French background music to make the whole thing more interesting.

(I was going to embed the track here but Soundcloud is having trouble right now, so here’s the webcache)

I thought it was a pretty big deal to have a story picked up for a regional morning show, but then my producer showed me how I could submit the piece to syndication. In doing this, you give the tape out to shows across the country to use if they want to.

What really surprised me is that they did. The tape was played on the east coast, the prairies- all over the place. Again, this was my first piece in my first week at any radio station- I was pretty dang excited.

It’s a small story, the sort that I toss out on a regular basis now, but I feel like International Soufflé Day helped push me over the top in my bid to get more work at CBC. I’m not sure what I would have pitched if it hadn’t been for that Facebook invite, so the timing was fortunate. It’s just one of those little moments that stands out for me.

So if you’re trying to think of something for dinner tonight, join the movement: try a soufflé.

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