@intoxikatefoodie | 1,427 Posts | 8.5K Followers
When it comes to featuring Westchester’s incredible edibles (the gastronomic kind, as opposed to the Cheech & Chong kind), Kate Schlientz keeps it real. “My mission is to inspire people to dine out in their own backyards, with the most authentic self that I can put out in social media,” shares Schlientz. “So, I don’t spend a ton of time playing around with taking out backgrounds or photo editing. I really try to present the dish and the environment just as you would see it if you walked into the restaurant.”
The founder of CommuniKate Media, Schlientz views @intoxikatefoodie as “purely a passion project, which has really moved into advocacy, in an effort to help restaurants with promotion and to make a really great connection between diners and restaurants,” she says. With the dawn of the pandemic, the Yonkers-based blogger found no shortage of local eateries in dire need of her assistance.
First, Schlientz created a live Google document detailing all the local restaurants offering takeout. It was a major resource in early 2020 and was used by this magazine, several other media outlets, and countless area residents. “I loved that getting that information out there became a collaborative effort,” says Schlientz. The intrepid influencer then began connecting local hospitals with area restaurants that were in desperate need of work, which could then “put together proposals for the hospitals if they needed lunch or dinner deliveries to help feed staff,” she explains. “It was really wonderful to make that connection and help local restaurants.”
Schlientz also recently wrapped IntoxiKate’s Eating for Orange campaign, in which participating chefs created an orange-colored or -flavored dish during the month of September that customers could then tag on their social media accounts. “When anybody goes to a participating restaurant and takes a picture of that dish and shares it on social media, I donate a dollar to Feeding Westchester,” explains Schlientz. “So, we are really using social media to not only promote our local restaurants and support a local charity but also to spread awareness [about hunger]. It’s a collaborative effort, and it is a really wonderful thing.”
“So, we are really using social media to not only promote our local restaurants and support a local charity but also to spread awareness [about hunger].”
Aside from her charitable work, Schlientz is also developing a video series in which she asks local chefs four questions about the pandemic’s impact on the restaurant industry. For Schlientz, social media is more about lifting up those in need than simply posting selfies. “I am really trying to educate, not entertain,” she says. “I never refer to myself as an influencer. I really consider myself an advocate.”