Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Indy Ethnic Food Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Longtime readers of The Ethnic Hoosier, the monthly newsletter of the Nationalities Council of Indiana, may remember when Drew Appleby told the world he'd been collecting a list of Indy's ethnic and regional restaurants (we included it on our NCI website until it went "live").

That personal quest, begun in 1999, has grown into an online database launched in May 2003 that (as of this morning) includes 816 restaurants, 150 markets and bakeries, 141 festivals, 2,958 restaurant reviews, 2,654 recipes, and 697 registered patrons.

IndyEthnicFood.com now is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation with no commercial sponsors. It's a direct result of the partnership between Dr. Appleby, Director of Undergraduate Studies in Psychology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and John Baldwin, Director, Information Technology for Riley Children's Foundation.

Drew began compiling comprehensive lists of the international and American regional restaurants, markets, and festivals in the Indianapolis area in 1999 and distributed them to a group of approximately 350 Indianapolis food enthusiasts via E-Mail. John converted these lists into a database system in the Spring of 2003 and connected it to a dynamic web site.

Its mission statement is simple: IndyEthnicFood is an educational website designed to increase public awareness of the cultural diversity of cuisine in Indianapolis and its surrounding communities.

Full disclosure: Your favorite blogger is a member of Indy Ethnic Food's advisory council and maintains its list of ethnic and food festivals.

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