Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wherein the Protagonist Reflects Upon His Time as a Food Blogger and What the Future of Web-Based Food Writing Should Hold

I've been doing this a long fucking time. I've been blogging since 2001 and food blogging since 2006, longer than most of these other fuckers out there.

I'll admit that those early posts do look a lot like current food blogs. Course by course critiques with photos, vital details about the business, an overll evaluation, and a cost recap. Reasonably well written but dull.

I quickly moved away from that because an attempt at critical evaluation of restaurants is pointless. It's also steeped in exoticism and mysticism, of the bizarre otherness of food and dining. It reinforces the notion of restaurant dining as a bingo adventure, marking off cuisines and chefs like they're merit badges for your Boy Scout sash. But no amount of merit badges can hide the fact that you were diddled by your scoutmaster.

So I changed my approach. I decided to write about extremes, loves and hates. Anything I like, I love. Anything i dislike I hate. Mild annoyances I portray as inexcusable affronts, simple pleasures are worthy accomplishments. And crucially i try not to write about the in betwen or when I do I attempt to put it on its ear. I fuck it up at least half the time, but I think when things click it's pretty entertaining.

So I spent a night out a little while ago eating my through late night LA on a semi-organized junket that included foodies, bloggers, Yelp!ers and a bunch of other annoying people.

We bounced around town and I quickly found myself needing to fight the urge to gouge my eyes out with a chopstick. From the orgasmic fawning over the pork belly slider (good sure, but it's fucking pork belly in sweet barbecue sauce--not exactly a tricky feat of tastymaking. Like being an Asian woman with clear skin. It's easy) to the delighted squeals over the raw wriggling octopus, I was engulfed in a cloud of self-congratulatory ether.

The octopus squeals were the worst. I'm all for adventurous eating but eating sliced, raw, convulsing octopus isn't that. It's Fear Factor. It's a food dare. I've had octopus countless times and like it. This dish tasted like chewy nothing and chewy nothing is not good food.

At it's heart, eating is about fulfilling that basic human need. Ideally that act should be as pleasant and stimulating as possible but you aren't a special person for enjoying it. You're just a living thing. You aren't a great guy because you spent $300 on dinner at Bouchon. In fact you're kinda retarded. And I've been that retard numerous times.

Enjoy your food. Go out and have a good time and experience your meal for the simple transitory pleasure that it is--nothing more than that. Don't go out collecting Michelin stars and throwing up point scores and star ratings. Start being part of the solution and let's change how we talk about food and dining.

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