I really, really shouldn’t be a food blogger, and here’s why: I have absolutely no authority on what is good food and what isn’t. Whenever I walk into a restaurant and start talking about the quality of the food, I feel like I have the same level of expertise as my dog who will eat a week-old charred chickpea off the kitchen floor.
I’m obsessed with Netflix food documentaries, and came across one titled “Foodies”. The documentary followed several self-proclaimed foodies across the world who enjoyed eating at the highest of the high restaurants, and rating them online via their personal blogs, websites, social media channels, etc. At one point in the documentary, a chef spoke about his frustration with foodies, and their unprofessional opinions on food. This hit home.
For a lot of food bloggers out there, they have some form of experience in the foodie world, and therefore, a level of authority on what is good food and what isn’t. Me, I’m more of a flopping fish in the foodie world of experts, trying to swim my way upstream. It feels strange to walk into a restaurant, order food, and critique the freshness, the presentation, the flavour, later on an Instagram post or a blog post.
To give you some background on my food experience, I once tried to make a tuna pasta salad for a work potluck. I was afraid to boil the water (I’ve gotten better, trust me), and I didn’t know that you’re supposed to wash the canned tuna. I also wasn’t super clear on the specifics that there’s paper on the inside of the tin can, and ended up mildly freaking out because I thought the manufacturer had messed up in a severe way.
You’ll be happy to know that I am not that bad or oblivious at cooking anymore. Thanks to Chris, I’ve had my hand in recipes and have finally learned how to properly hold a knife. And if you’re wondering, yes, you’re correct, I never learned cooking from my mother because she doesn’t cook that much.
Another anecdote that is complete foreshadowing of my tragic cooking skills is when I was four, I really wanted to help my mom in the kitchen. But, I was four and typically, four year olds shouldn’t hold a knife. My mom ended up giving me a plastic knife to cut some small tomatoes, and what do you know, I cut myself with a plastic, toy knife.
What this blog post all boils down to is whether or not my food blogging is an accurate representation of what makes good food or not. After watching the Netflix documentary, I had a minor existential crisis, but I’ve come to a realization throughout my blogging journey.
Food is a shared human experience. We create food not only to supply a basic need, but for enjoyment. If food was just for sustenance and not for that wonderful quality of bonding over a delicious meal, then we wouldn’t even have restaurants in the first place.
As a below-average cook and above-average food lover, I don’t have an authority over what makes good food, but I can certainly tell others what I think. After all, dishes are created to please patrons, and does it really matter if I have insider knowledge to what makes an amazing meal? Eating, tasting, and enjoying the restaurant and its food is as equally important for a professional food critic as it is to a regular person who wants a meal with some friends. So, should I really be stressing over the validity of my food reviews and posts?
What I’m trying to get at is my lack of expertise is incomparable to my love of food. I’m an average human being, and like everyone else, I’m trying to find my next favourite place while sharing my experiences via a blog.
It really doesn’t matter whether or not I can boil water, or that I can’t hold a knife without straining my wrist. For me, what matters most is enjoying the food I eat, being honest, and sharing. Besides, we do that every day whether we’re food critics or not.