Food Blogging

I’ve been blogging about food for about 4 months now and still have not really gotten the hang of it. I hope I have entertained a few of you foodies and offended much fewer. I’m sorry for my blurry iPhone/Blackberry pictures and my shaky hand syndrome. I hear there is a vaccine in the works, but it’s still in clinical trials. I’m sorry for forgetting to take food pictures, because all I want to do when the food arrives, is to eat while it’s hot. I know pictures of half consumed dishes is not very appealing, but would you rather have no picture at all? I’m sorry that my posts are often a week late, but some of us have considerably full schedules and blogging from an iPhone with “sausage fingers” can be painstakingly slow. I’m sorry for the lack of graphically rich content and slick, stylized professional formatting that good blogs have. I’m sorry for all the quotation-ed sayings and inside jokes, but “that stuff is funny to me.” I’m sorry for making excuses about my blog, when in fact, I’m actually enjoying it, I find it therapeutic and I’m genuinely proud of the work I’ve done on Chef’s Night Out. Boy, I sound like Catherine O’Hara at the 2010 Olympic’s Closing Ceremony.

The truth is, I should probably check out some successful food blogger’s websites, see what they do well and since imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, I should copy it and put my own spin on it. Unfortunately, who’s got time? Between the time I spend at Tapenade, the work I do at home and the time I spend with my family, my days are getting relatively short and “Monk” constantly reminds me about watching my health and how I ignore our well equipped gym in the basement. I barely have time for my favorite reality TV shows and forget about me slipping into my “LuluLemons” and spending an hour doing yoga every morning. When it comes to my actual blogging, I try to write quickly, stay pure and true to myself and though I’m influenced by many things, I try to write from the heart/stomach. I tell it like I see it and consider myself a pillar of gastronomic fairness.

My question is, how do food bloggers manage to get out to 7 + new and different restaurants a week, “wax poetically” about food and wine and still remain a respectable member of society? Is there not a level of dine out, burn out? I know I experience dining fatigue rather quickly and find myself craving simple home cooking and comfort food after just a few meals out. How about the cost? Sure, I know that some bloggers do this professionally and are writers/social media gurus by trade and I also realize that successful blogs can generate reasonable income through driving traffic and ad-serving. Heck, when “Monk” and I were a couple of DINKS, (Dual Income No KidS) I guess we had our fair share of disposable income, but dining out was purely reserved for days off. We both have time-consuming careers and we were too busy saving our “hard-earned ducats”, so that one day, in the not too distant future, I can retire and I can become a full-blown eater and “Jazzy’s” full-time “court gesture.” Don’t worry. I know it’s supposed to be spelled jester. Nowadays, with a couple of mortgages, a couple of cars, big dreams and the responsibilities of a middle aged breeder, I have a hard time justifying a mortgage payment for an extravagant dinner at my local bastion of fine dining. Don’t get me wrong; we’re getting out there, “livin’ life and lovin’ it” and we deny ourselves very little. Maybe I’m just jealous of the decadent, seemingly care-free life of a successful food blogger. They say that the grass is always greener on the other side and though I find continual eating, writing, mingling and travelling quite appealing, I can’t complain too much, life is good and I would never trade away what I got. Just don’t tell “Sales Mix,” I’ve got to keep him on his toes and it’s not necessary to ruin my curmudgeon reputation.

Thanks again, for your continued support of Chef’s Night Out. Spread the word, inform me about my multitude of spelling/grammatical errors, let me know if you have any suggestions and feel free to suggest restaurants for me to check out in the near future. Feel free to leave comments on the site or email me directly. “On that note”, what’s for lunch?

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7 thoughts on “Food Blogging

  1. Thank you for your truthful and real post. Trust me, many many bloggers can identify with what you’re saying. Blog fatigue is a popular subject at blogger meets. I often wonder myself how people eat out so often and find the time to blog.

    I used to stay up til wee hours of the night blogging. When it began to put a strain on my relationships, I’ve decided that nothing is more important than the people around me. I’ve chatted with many other bloggers that had to make the decision to shut down at a certain time. Props to you, chef, for keeping it in check.

    A very popular 604 blogger informed me that he sneaks out to eat during work. haha. I still don’t get it.

    • Hi Melody. Thanks for the insight into the dark world of food blogging. It almost soundsworse than a bad heroin addiction?!?! I look forward to reading your work and I’m sure our paths will cross in the near future.

  2. Hi Chef Alex:

    I had always enjoyed your writing and it is refreshing having someone on the “dark side” writing about food. LOL! You write well and is engaging. A great blog does not need to be graphically rich and you have shown us how. Keep it up and am looking forward to more posts from you … and maybe even Monk?

    Ben

    • I appreciate your support Ben. I asked “Monk” if she was willing to write a guest post for Chef’s Night Out and she pretty much laughed. First of all, she hasn’t even read the past few updates I’ve penned. Second of all, she was wondering if the request for her to blog was to verify my truthfulness, eccentricities and to discuss the “luxurious benefits” of being marrried to a chef. She swears I’m telling the truth, I’m borderline crazy and “I’m a big pain in the ass”.

  3. My question is, how do food bloggers manage to get out to 7 + new and different restaurants a week, “wax poetically” about food and wine and still remain a respectable member of society?

    Assuming you have three meals a day, that means 21 chances of eating out a week. Now, taking breakfast aside (which I usually eat at home because, well, it is too early for most places to be open), that still leaves a lot of opportunities. The main difference between yourself and the rest of food blogging community is that our daily grind is completely different from yours – specially your thoughts about halibut after you filet the 10th halibut for night service will be completely different from ours.

    As for the second part, being a member of society means socializing with them in some activity and, unless you are in a league of sorts, that usually means going to restaurants. Translation: we make it part of our daily lives. The difficult part, however, is to “train” them to let us take pictures of the food before they start to dig in!

    Is there not a level of dine out, burn out?

    Unlike watching TV, you have to eat at some intervals. I mean, you won’t die if you skip a full season of Survivor or Lost. Heck, I didn’t realize the current season of The Amazing Race has already been in for a couple of weeks already! The key here is what you make out of those meals. Having said that, I do cook when I know I have enough time (sorry, most of us don’t have the same mad skillz as you prepping everything before cooking) and having an electric range does not help at times…

    In the end, it is a juggling act and see how you balance things out and set up your priorities. Having a co-writer helps but that depends whether he/she has the same dedication or drive as you. My best piece of advice here is that, you don’t have to be nuts like some of us *cough*Sherman*cough* and blog 7 days a week. As long as you show signs of life every couple of days or a week, most of us will appreciate what you write.

    How about the cost?

    Again, balance. In my particular case, since I am single and after setting my (usually fluctuating) food budget, I have to juggle how much I cook (the effort for cooking for one is the same as cooking for two or three), have leftovers for the next couple of meals, avoid palate fatigue (too much leftovers and I don’t like to freeze meals) and so on. Once that is taken care of, it is a matter of deciding where I want to go to eat. I mean, it does not have to be a high end restaurant everytime – specially considering those have its share of media publicity and, a lot of times, blagging (no typo here). Instead, I prefer to go to holes-in-the-wall, out of the way places, and undiscovered gems. After all, that is part of the fun.

    Now, as for media hired guns and blaggers (specially those whom, not even for their lives, can say something negative), well, as you said, they are getting paid. What I do not get, though, is how those whom (as far as I know) don’t write for a living, yet manage to write several blog posts a day (usually short) and tweet 100+ times a day…

    Having said all that, here are some places you might consider trying – some of them extremely cheap, greasy spoon; others really out of the way.

    Burger Burger (in New West, for cheap burgers)
    El Inka Deli (in Burnaby, for non-Mexican Latin American food. If you go, you *must* order ceviche)
    Wally’s Burger (in Vancouver, near Killarney Market for some blast from the past)
    Ah-Beetz (in Abbotsford, for pizza)
    Rehanah’s Roti (in Port Moody, for some Caribbean roti)

  4. I enjoy your story telling as well. I prefer blogs written with an honest, humorous, and intelligent perspective…like yours!

    It takes a tremendous amount of effort to write and keep up with regular posts. I do however sometimes think that content saturation, unless you are a professional writer, can drain that creative flow and create stale content. I wouldn’t worry about frequency so much and just keep what you are doing.

    For me mine is recipe and event driven because of a restricted diet so not so many reviews but having said that I write about what fancies me.

    Why? Because ultimately it for my enjoyment.

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