I was walking through the restaurant today when a server shouted out to me, “Hey Penny, do you know anything about some new food blog that’s out there right now?” and my smartass manager said, “Psshhh she probably writes it!” which was actually not regarding this one (they don’t know about it, thank God), but a website on which I write restaurant reviews. Anyone can do it, it’s not anything major, but people in various industries are very well familiar with this site. It can help and hinder many businesses, so business owners have a love/hate relationship with it. I don’t flaunt my contributions to the site, and in fact I’m a little more than horrified that word got out to my work that I even do it, given the industry’s relationship to it.
As I crossed through the dining room again, I overheard my chef say something along the lines of, “…people that do those things….losers…nothing better to do….”
Which, as I walked down to the office, I immediately internalized and fretted over. Was he talking about me? Was he talking about the website? Surely he must know I write on it since the GM, at least one owner, sous and chef de cuisine all know (and make fun of me for it). What if they find out about this web journal, will it put me in the lameass food blogger category? And moreover, what is up with the total animosity that chefs have for bloggers, anyway? What is so wrong with documenting something you’re interested in? I mean, even Chef Michael Ruhlman posted a lovely letter from a chef blogger who chose to defend her sort.
I just found this interview between Charlie Rose and Thomas Keller in my attempts to find his thoughts on food blogs (he doesn’t share them here). He hits on Old Chef vs. New Chef and I think it’s nice to hear a seasoned (still practicing) vet talk about the subject. Frankly I’m so used to seeing Bourdain crack wise about the changes and downsides, it’s nice to hear about the growth, determination and advancements. It’s also impressive to watch him hurdle Charlie Rose’s poor, interrupty interviewing style.
It wasn’t until I started working where I work that I began to truly grasp ingredients as The Thing Itself, and for people who have perhaps realized that late like me, it’s exciting and worth documenting – I think. It’s something you want to tell people, a gospel of sorts. Tomorrow, my mother and sisters will be joining me at my work for lunch and while I worry the experience may be lost on them by no fault of their own, I do hope something sticks. Flavors absolutely, but truly great service at the hands of one of our best as well. It’s a bigger treat than they may understand, and maybe it’s the city snob in me, but it’s nothing they can experience without traveling far away from their homes. They’d have to recognize quality first though, and ideally tomorrow will begin that for them (presuming they’re even remotely interested in it – and I dare say, they aren’t, not nearly as much as I). But part of my food enjoyment in general is the enjoyment of others. When the servers set down an amuse in front of a new guest, the looks on his or her face is fantastic. Anticipation, excitement, it’s so lovely and that part I love.
Hmm, maybe I should bring my camera to lunch with me and a notepad…