Friends and strangers alike have asked me things like, “why in the world did you scrap years of work in building an Instagram following as Charm City Cook?” or “but you ARE Charm City Cook, why walk away?” (and lots more in-depth, sometimes really awkward questions…)

Here’s the thing. In the IG food world, 15,000 followers isn’t huge — yet in a town the size of Baltimore with a very specific focus like food + drink, it was significant. That said, I started this IG in 2012 because I had fallen in love with cooking years before and had started my blog in 2010 as a way to document my kitchen adventures. Fast forward to now, the Instagram food scene is pretty well saturated, and it’s a lot of sameness. I mean, look at the biggest cooking IGs and they tend to just all wash together, their feeds are so similar. Super styled. (It’s also a lot of white women!) Then there’s the over-the-top food porn, the “hey, look at me” people, the mindlessly checking of stats and so many people now often scrolling, scrolling, scrolling without reading at all.

The more my numbers grew, the more “out there” and known I became, the more uncomfortable I became. And, I have to say managing Facebook was way more intense than Instagram. On Facebook, there are more opinions and a lot more snark. A restaurant closes, I post about it and inevitably, that angry guy would comment, “It sucked anyway.” And that’s just not something I wanted to have to navigate anymore. So, I made the easy decision to pull the plug on both Instagram and Facebook.

And while the actual deleting was easy, the first week or two after were so weird. While I didn’t “miss” my old persona, I questioned myself and felt a bit, like maybe I was too rash. Then — deep breath — I started to relax. And, more of my old followers found me on my new account. That felt nice.

So, now, my new account (@amysaysheyhihello) is still pretty food-focused, mostly my own cooking and telling you about recipes, seasonal ingredients, what the farmers markets look like, etc. I’ll still be going out to see my favorite people in food + drink — I mean, I love my people and this city so much! And, now I feel more free to post about issues that are very important to me. Oh my God, real personal opinions and feelings will be shared! It just feels like this new account is simply more ME.

Tell your friends, this is kinda like Charm City Cook 2.0.

Here are few favorite things from my little confinement kitchen this summer…