I wanted to go to Pie Party Live, a take on a food rave, in New York City on Oct. 15, but I wasn’t able to make it. My friend Lisa from Jersey Girl Cooks was able to head up there for the event, and I lived vicariously through tweets from her and others about the day.

What was Pie Party Live? It was an event, spearheaded by two passionate New York City foodies, Jackie Gordon (The Diva That Ate New York) and Ken Leung (Hungry Rabbit), who brought together more than 80 home bakers (and a few professionals) to share their pies — 74 of them in all — at NYC’s The Rodeo Bar.


Inspiration for Pie Party Live came from a virtual pie party Jackie and Ken participated in back in July. More than 1,500 bloggers made pies on July 5 and wrote about their creations. Jackie said, “I kept seeing all these tweets with amazing pies that were making me hungry so I thought the NYC folks should get together and taste each others pies.” She tweeted her idea and Ken got on board. Together they organized a pie potluck for the fall.


Jackie (pictured at right with Ken) was familiar with about two-thirds of the attendees because of her connections with them through social media. She makes it a point to try to meet her social media friends in person, and Pie Party Live was one way to make that happen. In talking with both Jackie and my friend Lisa, I got the impression that this party was just as much about connecting with online friends as it was about showing off baking skills.


Jackie commented that getting to “gorge yourself on pie” and “meet or remeet your friends from Twitter in person were very compelling reasons to come to Pie Party.” Lisa, who made Itty Bitty Concord Grape Pies and Autumn Fruit Hand Pies for the event, said she was willing to carry her pies from South Jersey to New York City because she wanted to meet up with her fellow food bloggers — some she had met before and some she only knew virtually.


I’m seeing more and more of these food events organized through social media that are bringing virtual acquaintances together to form live friendships. The Philly food swapping event I attended last was organized via Facebook, and I met several people who I was connected to on Twitter that night. 


I can get a little cynical that many people’s relationships are more virtual than they are real. Sometimes it seems like our culture is trading face-to-face interaction for Facebook interaction. But events like Pie Party Live and Philly Swappers show that relationships made though social media can lead to face-to-face friendships.


There’s always a chance for another New York City potluck party, so follow Jackie (@divathatateny) and Ken (@HungryRabbitNYC) for any announcements.


Have you been part of any live event that was a gathering of folks that originally connected through social media? Was it worth your time to attend?

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Pie Party Live brings virtual friends together
Social media paves the way for a social gathering when food lovers meet in New York City for Pie Party Live. Both the pie and the in-person connections turn out