Meet Charlotte Mielziner, CM of Cuisine & Food

Charlotte, who hails from Springfield, IL,
has been a Helium member since 2007
and the CM of Cuisine & Food since 2010.
She has written more than 100 articles on Helium.com.


How did you first learn about Helium.com and what’s your favorite aspect of the site?
During a simple search for some little item of interest (I don’t recall what) I came across a Helium article. I was impressed with the depth of knowledge and nice crafting of the piece. I perused Helium’s site and signed on. I’m one of those people who get an interest, study the subject and want to share it with everyone they know—even some guy you randomly meet in a coffee shop. Helium fills my yen to start a conversation with a stranger about a totally random subject. And it gives me the freedom to work around the numerous other irons in the fire of my life.

Why were you drawn to the Cuisine & Food channel? 
Many years ago a boyfriend’s mom was kind enough to introduce my rural farm girl palate to fine food. While I could make fried anything, she opened the world of French cuisine to me. When she passed on, I was given her Gourmet Cookbook from the 1950s. It’s one of my prized possessions.

Over the years, I’ve taken more than 100 cooking courses, taught a few courses, started a couple of cookbooks (still working on them) and collected hundreds of cookbooks. I read them like some people read novels. One of the things I love about my husband is that he eats my mistakes! Unfortunately, when I create a new dish particularly well, he bemoans that I don’t cook with notes, so we’ll probably never see that dish quite like that again.

Well, writing and cooking…what wouldn’t draw me to the Cuisine & Food channel? A call for channel managers went out and I jumped at it. Here is where I belong.

As the Cuisine & Food CM, you’re the one to ask: Where’s your favorite place to eat?
About a mile away, nestled in a little house that is more than 120 years old is Stone Soup Cottage, the restaurant of world-class chef Carl McConnell and his wife Nancy. My favorite meal is whatever Carl is making; I’m always thinking I’m going to try to duplicate it.

What’s the best part of being a Helium channel manager?
I like rating articles against each other. It’s a great learning experience that has taught me about writing for an online audience. Plus I’ve gotten to see how Helium and its writers have grown, expanded and matured.

What is your favorite article you’ve written and why?
It might be Cookbook Reviews: The French Chef, by Julia Child. Her show made fine cuisine. She didn’t mind making mistakes like flipping an omelet and having it land all over the place. She truly enjoyed good food.

Who are your favorite Helium writers and what do you like about their writing?
Barry Parham is a hoot. He is the Dave Barry of Helium. Go read him! Rachelle de Bretagne and Gordon Hamilton are both excellent writers. They write cleanly, clearly and concisely. Rachelle keeps beating me in contests. Girl, you’re going down next time!

What tip would you give to a new Helium writer?
Go explore the site. Get lost. Find your way out. Rate some articles, and then rate a few more. Find your area of expertise and write to it, but explore other channels as well. Write for fun or write for extra money, but write because it comes from inside you. Oh, and always, always, always strive to improve.

How do you promote your Helium writing?
Social media is an excellent source for promotion. I go to the “My Articles” page and find articles that, although good, just aren’t getting views. Then I mention them on Twitter, Facebook—wherever. There are some new sites I want to make part of promoting as well, like Pinterest. My aim for April is to organize my promotions and make them a daily ritual.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re away from Helium?
Work the dogs. I train in obedience, rally and agility, three companion dog sports. Dogs provide a connectedness with a world outside of our understanding. Every once in a while, we cross the species and communication gap and are of one mind. It’s a beautiful thing. They are the embodiment of my favorite quote by Mother Theresa: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Dogs do just that. I also like to spend time with my hubby and daughter. It’s a good life.