Tag Archives: Food Blogs

Congratulations to Madison A to Z

Way back in May of 2004(!), the folks at Madison A to Z had a simple goal: To visit every restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin, in alphabetical order, in order to determine which ones they liked the best.

It was only yesterday, after 779, restaurants, that they completed their task.

That sort of dedication (and, let’s face it, obsession) needs to be lauded. If you get a chance, give them a pat on the back!

Menu for Hope and the Food Blog Awards

December is more than the Holiday season, especially for those of us in the food blog community. It also happens to be the month where we look out for our fellow humans, and then celebrate the greatness that is food blogging.

In regard to the former, I’m referring to Pim’s annual Menu for Hope. Buy a raffle ticket or two (or ten) and then place your ticket in the virtual hat that corresponds to a prize that you desire. If your name is chosen, you win that prize! The money spent on the raffle ticket will go to the UN World Food Programme.

In regard to the latter, the Well Fed Network is once again hosting the Food Blog Awards. Head over to their fine web page(s) and let them know who you believe to have the better food blogs out there.

Another Article on the Evil Food Blogs

Jeez, talk about your overblown title -

Restaurants vs. Bloggers: Rage Against the Machine
In the 21st Century, High-Powered Chefs Are Forced to Listen to the Little Guy — as Long as He Has a Keyboard

Ugh. There’s so much wrong here that I’m not sure where to start.

First and foremost – Yelp and Chowhound are not food blogs. Please oh please stop confusing the mediums.

Secondly, not all food blogs deal in restaurant reviews, for every Adam, there’s a Clotilde; for every Pim, there’s a Heidi. The difference between them is that Adam and Pim write about restaurants, and Heidi and Clotilde do not.

I find this above comparison striking, because while the publishing world lauds Clotilde and Heidi for their writing and their food knowledge, chefs and restaurateurs dismiss Pim, Adam and others for the lack of food knowledge. Where’s the logic? A food blog is only as good, only as knowledgeable, and only as trustworthy as the people running it. Passionate people tend to know a lot about the items they are passionate about.

Finally, are food blogs really that much of a threat? The biggest criticism I hear about food blogs is the lack of knowledge and understanding the blog writers have in discerning a restaurant’s intent.

Let’s ignore the premise for the moment that anyone who dines needs to know who Escoffier and This are in order to “get” food. Instead let’s focus on communicating the food’s “intent” (whatever that means).

If I’m served a dish that has what I believe to be too much butter in the sauce, but the recipe for the sauce was a traditional one used in Cuisine classique,  am I at fault for not getting the subtle tastes of lemon or whatnot in the sauce, and how it complimented the dish it was presented with? Or is the chef at fault for not effectively communicating the the sauce used goes well with fish or that the dish was an attempt to play with ideas of balancing the delicate with the bold? Whether I have an educated palate or not, I’m still going to think that the sauce has too much butter.

Because taste is subjective, there is no right or wrong answer to the above questions. And because restaurants are first and foremost a place of business, it’s up to a chef and restaurateur to create a place the keeps customers coming into the front door. Customers which include food bloggers who can afford meals with price tags of forty dollars per plate or more.

What I think it comes down to is this: Restaurant reviews from Food Blogs offer a reflection upon a momentary experience. And if that moment carries an unfortunate event, that event is either an indication of something systemic going on within the restaurant, or an anomaly. If it’s an anomaly, there’s little a chef or owner can do about it except apologize. If it’s something systemic, then the chef or owner should already know about it and be working on fixing it, or realize it is a problem…and then work on fixing it.

Because let me tell you restaurant owners out there something that should be readily apparent – 100% of your clientele are food critics. It’s just that only .001% (give or take) get paid for it.

(Note to self: Must remember that “Uneducated Palate” would make a great punk bank name.)

The Return of the Bon Vivant

Welcome back Viv – We’ve missed you!

International Blog Day

Today, being International Blog Day and all, is the day where we pimp other blog sites that we feel deserve a larger audience.

From the instructions:

BlogDay posting instructions:

1. Find 5 new Blogs that you find interesting

2. Notify the 5 bloggers that you are recommending on them on BlogDay 2005

3. Write a short description of the Blogs and place a a link to the recommended Blogs

4. Post the BlogDay Post (on August 31st) and

5. Add the BlogDay tag using this link: http://technorati.com/tag/BlogDay2006 and a link to BlogDay web site at http://www.blogday.org

Here are the blogs I am reading that I think you out there may enjoy -

Medium Large: No other Web comic out there makes me laugh out loud than this one. If you follow comics at all, this one needs to be number one on your list.

Eggbeater: Out of the many food blogs out there, Shuna is the one who continually entertains and educates me.

U.S. Food Policy – I can count on Parke Wilde and his blog to provide me a piece of information on Food Politics that I either hadn’t heard of before, or an opinion that I hadn’t thought of before.

Megnut – I’ve promoted her newly minted food site before, with good reason. She’s thorough, knowledgable, and also provides daily links worth reading.

By Ken Levine – This is not a food blog, but a blog about the entertainment industry from a writer’s perspective. Mr. Levine has written for M*A*S*H and The Simpsons, and played a large part in the success of Cheers. Reading his site is like having DVD commentary on every sitcom you remember on your computer screen. If you like the behind the scenes looks at Hollywood, this is worth your time.

Technorati Tags: BlogDay2006

Mostly About Food and Megnut – Link Love

I get link requests nearly everyday. I wish I could like to everyone as well as mention them in the posts, but sadly there’s not enough time in the day to give mad props to everybody.

However, I do want to send some link love to Mostly About Food, a new Food Blog done in the Comic Strip format. It’s a rather neat concept and done very well.

What caught my attention was that the author of the site, Kalle Räihä, saw fit to play to my sense of narcissism by creating a comic strip about yours truly and then sending it to me over e-mail. Apparently he’s also been courting other sites as well, which I think is great. Head over to Mostly About Food when you get a chance. The guy put a fair amount of work into his request.

* * * * *

While in the midst of giving out the link love, I wanted to also thank Meg over at Megnut, who helped get this site some boingboing love a week or so back. Meg, for those of you not prone to following the Blog Underworld, co-founded Pyra Labs, the company behind Blogger. She even has her own entry in Wikipedia and everything! She recently converted her blog into a full time food blog, because she knows a good thing when she sees it. Please give her site some love as well, as her posts have been provocative and fun, two things I like to see in any writing.

Technorati Tags: Food Blogs

Net Neutrality – A Day without Food Blogs

I’m gonna put off food posts for the time being as I want to touch upon something that most certainly not food related.

Big service providers -or the Pipes as called in the Telecom jargon- such as AT&T, Comcast, and others, are lobbying Congress and the Senate to allow them to create two tiers internet, essentially a fast and slow one. The fast one will be used by companies who are willing to pay for the über speed, while the rest of the little guys can move at a snail’s pace on the slow lane.

This is not the same as the varying types of Internet access that people have. Currently, consumers can pay at their end for different connection types at varying speed, DSL, dial-up, etc. Once they are connected to the internet, reaching a little blogs or the big Food magazine sites will be just as easy. But this new law, when passed, will change things completely. It will allow the Pipes to dole out different sites at different speed. It will even allow these Pipes to exclude sites or blogs that they don’t like out of their services altogether.

How does this threat to Internet freedom affect you?

  • Google users—Another search engine could pay dominant Internet providers like AT&T to guarantee the competing search engine opens faster than Google on your computer.
  • Innovators with the “next big idea”— Startups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay Internet providers for dominant placing on the Web. The little guy will be left in the “slow lane” with inferior Internet service, unable to compete.
  • Ipod listeners— A company like Comcast could slow access to iTunes, steering you to a higher-priced music service that it owned.
  • Political groups— Political organizing could be slowed by a handful of dominant Internet providers who ask advocacy groups to pay “protection money” for their websites and online features to work correctly.
  • Nonprofits— A charity’s website could open at snail-speed, and online contributions could grind to a halt, if nonprofits can’t pay dominant Internet providers for access to “the fast lane” of Internet service.
  • Online purchasers— Companies could pay Internet providers to guarantee their online sales process faster than competitors with lower prices—distorting your choice as a consumer.
  • Small businesses and tele-commuters—When Internet companies like AT&T favor their own services, you won’t be able to choose more affordable providers for online video, teleconferencing, Internet phone calls, and software that connects your home computer to your office.
  • Parents and retirees—Your choices as a consumer could be controlled by your Internet provider, steering you to their preferred services for online banking, health care information, sending photos, planning vacations, etc.
  • Bloggers— Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clips—silencing citizen journalists and putting more power in the hands of a few corporate-owned media outlets.

You can read more about Network Neutrality at Wikipedia, or the Free Press.

If you want to add your voice against those who would like to remove the open-access standards that the Internet has evolved into, head to Save The Internet.

Many thanks to Pim and Save the Internet for the content above.