We’re thrilled to welcome Erin Chambers Smith, the chief content officer for San Diego magazine to our November panel. Get to know her a bit better below!
1. Where does your inspiration come from? It’s my job to talk to people, experience things and then tell people about it. And the people I meet almost always inspire some kind of story or idea. Whether it’s a chef or a software engineer, an architect or a chemist, most people have something interesting to say or teach. I’m also inspired by our staff. Our writers, editors, and designers are always being brilliant in one way or another, and that inspires me to work hard and help them do great work. Outside of work, I’m inspired by my parents, grandparents and extended family. Raising a family is a wild ride (my husband and I have two young boys), and I’m blessed to have great role models and support. I was lucky to grow up in a big, happy, fun, loving family and I’m doing my best to give my kids the same thing.
2. What is your big why? What keeps you going professionally? Professionally what keeps me coming to work every day is the ability to be of service to people in my community, to tell stories and provide information that helps people live better in San Diego. I love nothing more than hearing from readers via email, on social media or at just at the grocery store about how something we published struck them, made them think, helped them find something or solve a problem. I feel like San Diego as a place is a part of who I am, so to be able to help people get to know it and love it more and more each day is a pleasure. And I get paid for it! I believe in that concept of “when you know better, you do better,” and that’s a big driver for me as an editor. I think if I can help people know more about their city, we will all do better to enjoy it and steward it.
3. Favorite San Diego restaurants? Cantina Mayahuel. Bencotto. Cowboy Star. Café Chloe. Old Venice. Blind Lady Ale House. Mona Lisa. Pizza Nova. Hector’s (for breakfast burritos).
4. Favorite guilty pleasure: French fries and ice cream for dinner! I recently moved back to the part of San Diego where I grew up, and the same Fosters Freeze is still there (I think it’s more than 50 years!). They have the best salty, crinkle-cut fries and old-school soft serve swirl cones. YUM.
5. One random fact: Off the clock, I’m often on a boat. We have a small fishing boat that we use to cruise around the bay, drop hoop nets for lobsters off Zuniga jetty or dock at the Bali Hai for a drink. My dad always said that if you live in San Diego and don’t use the water, you’ve got rocks in your head. I agree!