Monday, February 08, 2010

Dear Food Bloggers, Hear my small rant

If you are going to go to a restaurant or a cafe or diner and review food there are a few ground rules those of us firmly ensconced in the culinary world ask of you.

1. If you are going to rant or rave about something; know what it is and what the ingredients are. Nothing is more annoying when a self proclaimed "foodie" says they enjoyed or hated something and can't describe what about the item or preparation they didn't like. Which brings us to number two.

2. Learn to cook. You don't have to cook well. You don't have to be a master chef, baker or BBQ boss. However you should be able to know how sauces are thickened, what common spices are used for what, and the names of some universally used meats, vegetables, fruits, grains, and how to prepare them in theory at least.

3. Be willing to try it. I have myself sampled so much wine, that I am now allergic to it and can't even eat dried fruit, drink grape juice,or anything with sulfites. I am also allergic to shellfish. But the way I found out how much I was allergic to shellfish was when I tried fresh caught oysters on the half shell with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a shot of hot sauce. My sister had to inject me with my epipen and I had to take a weeks worth of prednisone. Was it worth it to be able to say I have tried fresh Oysters? Hell yes. Unless its the local drinking water in a third world country be willing to take palate risks. This is how I found out I absolutely LOVE fried caterpillars and sun dried crickets in lime and salt.

4. When speaking about experiences with food keep perspectives clear. When you dine alone it is easier to describe food. Do not try to describe your dining partners experience! Not only is this impossible to do, but it is boring to read about. If you must let your diner relay his or her experience make a clear distinction; "Sally ordered the Corn Fritters. She ate half her order leaving the rest saying it was too rich but good. She described the fritters as crispy without being over fried with a soft bread like inside that was not the least bit goey...I sampled them as well and found the spices to a great compliment to the crunch of the corn meal crust. I could taste the black pepper, and a hint of oregano in the seasoning"

To sum it all up Foodie reviewers at large. If you are going to review food you need to do more than shove it down your gullet and describe what it tastes like and how it makes you feel. My father is a chef and my Nana a master baker and cook in her own right. I grew up around food and have spent years refining and spoiling my palate, and learning from both of them as well as some top chefs in the world who came to learn from my dad or came to visit the animal rescue I run with my partner. I love seeking out restaurants "known" for their award winning or famous entrees or desserts and taking friends with me. I've put in my time and have my chops and can call myself a foodie and not feel I have not earned the title.

Ask yourself Foodie blogger, if you are bragging about the restaurant PR invites you scored because you give good reviews even if its sub par food, are you doing well? Have you juggled four pans over a stove, cooked for 12 people, had 6 people all tell you they hated your food, or have 20 people clear you out of your appetizers? Have you written a review about someones restaurant that was so bad you were worried that they might send you a bill for the PR invite?
Unless you can say yes, in this foodies opinion you have not gotten your training wheels off yet and have more work to do.

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