In 2007 I did what was then a cutting edge thing – I started a food blog. My tagline spelled out my mission statement, “Pithy Comments from a Cynical yet Passionate Foodie and Wine Lover.” My goal was to incorporate my extensive food, cooking, wine, and restaurant knowledge into short but salient helpful information to educate and inform people with similar interests (mostly my friends) insights on my varied experiences.
I never wanted to be the blogger that wrote long diatribes on everything they put in their mouth with full details on where the cow took its naps and whether or not that same cow was the source of fertilizer for the lettuce I ate on the burger from said cow. And I never wanted to be one of those annoying bloggers that drive the chefs and other patrons crazy by taking tons of photographs while their food got cold.
I did want to tackle what others did not: Emperor’s New Clothes topics like observing how many of the popups are often overpriced and overrated. How celebrity chef restaurants often go downhill when the chef is not in the kitchen. Why Michelin does not always equal good. Yes I do a lot of reviews of some of the top restaurants in the world, but sometimes the more interesting and delicious story is with the family-run ethnic hole-in-the-wall or perhaps my latest cooking experiment.
In 2011 I decided the world was saturated with food blogs, and honestly thought my point of view was not unique enough to warrant a foodie’s attention. I kept up the commentary but restricted it to Facebook and the occasional Yelp or Chowhound post.
So what changed? Recently, friends have been asking me about restaurants I visited in Spain, Tokyo, and other places. I have had to dig through facebook posts to find the info, and it is not easy to share. I realized how much I missed my food “journal” and toyed with bringing it back. More recently, in the process of planning another foodie pilgrimage to Japan, I started reviewing other blogs of target restaurants in great detail. And then learned how many of them are just awful. Don’t get me wrong, there are some excellent blogs. But I ran into a plethora of people littering the interwebs with their rambling soliloquies that not only committed unspeakable acts to the English language (the native speakers) but clearly did not fact-check some of the claims. And what I found most offensive was their obvious ignorance of culture, ingredients, and technique. In one memorable review of a Japanese Michelin-Starred Kaiseki restaurant, someone described a subtle broth as “boring” and on that basis said they did not deserve the star.
So my blog is back. I went through five years of facebook, yelp posts, and hard drive backups to salvage what I could of my reviews. I didn’t bother with carrying over the individual dish descriptions, I just left the takeaways. The photos are nice and large so everyone can taste them with their eyes.
This time around I will no longer feel beholden to the invisible blog bosses who seem to whisper to me to document every dish, every ingredient. When I dine out it is to enjoy the experience, not to generate homework. Sometimes my blog posts may not have any pictures because I was having too much fun to take them, or maybe I did not want to annoy the Chef. Sometimes I may include pictures of my dining companions. No rules. I hope you like my new blog. If not, there are lots and lots and lots of other options. But none as pithy (except for this post), cynical, and passionate as mine. 🙂