I’ve been doing this blog for a little over a year now, and I thought a little reflection was in order.
I am not a chef. And I will probably never be a chef. I am simply someone who likes to cook, using recipes, and occasionally throwing in my own twist. I started this blog to express my creative side mostly – writing, photography, and random use of Photoshop. To do this I chose to write about food, which is an interest for me. I am not going to come up with any new genius ideas. Watching Chopped leaves me sweating cold. How do they come up with such great stuff? I have great admiration for all cookbook writers, chefs and all those other home cooks out there spinning creativity in the kitchen.
I do not follow all food rules. I know you are not supposed to refrigerate tomatoes, but I do. I know you are supposed to use top notch ingredients to create top notch foods, but I still use baking chocolate and yesterday I made a dinner using a Campbell’s soup recipe. I use vanilla extract, not the actual bean as I balk at the cost (I know you can buy them in bulk and split the cost, etc. but…) I keep my spices well past the six month mark. I know I am only hurting myself by doing this, but I still do and you know what, my food still tastes pretty darn good.
I still don’t get rotisserie chicken. Rotisserie chicken is big in Montreal. I don’t really know why. I mean it’s OK, but I am not going to go crazy over it! I’ve lived about 10 minutes away from Chalet BBQ and Cote St-Luc BBQ for about 4 years and still haven’t gone. Perhaps you felt my bias in my Laurier BBQ review?
Sometimes the food talk is too much. I can only debate the best place for brunch, truffles, or the merits of Meyer lemons so much. Of course, I can opt in or opt out of this quite easily. I rarely talk about food with my close friends, and my husband insists that we eat meatloaf once a week (we don’t). It is my choice to read near 150 blog posts a day (OK – I skim them on Reader and they aren’t all food related) and follow food lovers on Twitter. And most of the time I absolutely love it. But sometimes I don’t and just need a break.
I don’t really love reviewing restaurants. We go out so little these days that I prefer to just enjoy my meal rather than asking everyone’s opinion, trying to write down pricing and getting the details of the wine menu. What I do enjoy is shining a light on restaurant favourites deserving praise. There are many hard working people out there producing great food that no one really talks about. There are also great restaurants that people do talk about, but are such a special experience they also deserve their space.
So, at the end of this all I suppose I am going to get some comments from people saying, so you are not a chef, you have nothing new to offer, you are not even fully engaged in the food community, you don’t like reviewing restaurants and you don’t even lust over Chalet BBQ? Why should we or you bother with this blog? Because I do care, and I care a lot. I care about cooking and creating magic in the kitchen, even if it is from a recipe. I care about supporting local food events, restaurants, and producers who make our daily eating experience so much more special. I love being creative and this is an outlet for me to do that. I care about all the other food bloggers and food lovers in this city and have enormous respect for them. And I even love that we have such storied institutions in this city as rotisserie chicken joints, and smoked meat delis and world class bagels. This makes where we live so special and I am happy to be a small part of it.