So i’m entered into this contest Foodbuzz is hosting called Project Food Blog and the first “challenge” is to define myself as a food blogger. I’m supposed to explain why I have what it takes and what sets my blog apart from other food blog brands… It’s tough because I’m really conflicted about the whole food blogging thing. A lot of food bloggers drive me absolutely nuts. If I owned a restaurant and every person who sat down whipped out a camera and let their food get cold before eating I would go crazy. I would probably flip my shit something like the old curmudgeonly architecture professor trashing your month-long model project in one swift kick to the cantilever. I hate even thinking that I might turn into one of those people and at the same time, I understand completely the desire to want to share food experiences with every single person in the entire living world connected to the inter-web. I mean, who doesn’t??
I guess the best way to define myself as a food blogger is to start by explaining the philosophy behind how and why I cook, which is the reason I started my blog in the first place. The name of my blog says it all – when I cook, I freestyle. I improve. I make it work, however possible with whatever I have – and I do it my way. It is unavoidably, unimaginably just plain impossible for me to follow a recipe from start to finish. When I try to, the food suffers. Maybe it’s my A.D.D. but I like to think it’s because I just know how to do things better. There are very few cookbooks that I trust completely and utterly to the core. One of those few is Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking. I know some people need recipes to cook and I understand the benefit – but I see a recipe as more of a guidebook than a map… it tells you some things about the place you’re going but doesn’t necessarily point you right there and tell you every single thing to do – it should give you options. You have to taste what you’re cooking to understand where it’s going and I think that any dish can go any number of ways. As a food blogger, my goal is to convey this to my friends and readers.
I would say that I have what it takes to become the Next Food Blog Star because, while my full time job prohibits me from writing three blog posts a day and responding to eight million comments immediately, people still enjoy reading about my culinary adventures. My friends bug me daily to post more and to cook more. If they’re this interested then I can only hope that other people will want to read about my creations and experiments too.
And what sets my blog apart? Good question… First, I guess I’d say that my photos and my blog look nice – this is what people tell me, anyway. Looks aren’t everything but in a sea of thousands of food blogs from all over the world, readers have to narrow somehow and they’re going to focus on good looking content first – my blog doesn’t just look like every other blog out there.
Second – there are plenty of bloggers out there writing about “healthy eating” and dieting and documenting every single bite that enters their mouths in hope of encouraging other people to follow their leads. While these all have their place, and are very useful – they’re not me. I think I bring an element to the food blogging world that is underrepresented.
- I write about the food I love to eat, the food I love to cook and the adventures I have getting there. It’s not “health food” but it is real food and in my opinion, cooking for yourself and using real, fresh ingredients is the healthiest way to eat regardless of what it is you’re eating. It’s also about mental health and nothing satisfies my mental health like a nice thick piece of pork fat!
- I break down why I do what I do instead of just listing ingredients and quantities. When you’re inexperienced and making something you’ve never made, just having the quantity listed doesn’t teach you anything about why you’re using an ingredient or that quantity, etc. While I don’t always address everything, I try to always include some discussion of the why to help people learn.
- While I may use recipes and cookbooks as guidance and inspiration, when it comes down to it, the dishes I create and write about are my interpretations of the dishes that inspire them. I use my experience to help me improve on the recipes.
Some day in the not-too-distant future I will own a restaurant that you will want to eat at. Wouldn’t it be nice to say you knew me back when I was just a blogger and you helped me get there? Have you ever tried getting reservations at Momofuku Ko? Give it a shot and then tell me whether or not you want to be friends -cos that’s what it’s gonna be like! Vote for me and help me win! Starting September 20th you can vote via the “Project Food Blog Official Contestant” link at the top right on this page.