Don’t be a hater

The food world seems to harbor it’s share of blog haters. I first encountered this back in mid-March at a panel discussion on campus. I was mildly put off by comments then, especially considering the panelists are involved with blogs in some form or another, or the publications they write for publish blogs. Then, last week during a panel discussion co-hosted by the Experimental Cuisine Collective and the Umami Food and Art Festival, some of the panelists were explicit in their distaste for the blogosphere. I found their comments considerably more offensive and inflammatory.

At this point, I’m reluctant to publish their names. I respect the work they do, and I’m not interested in starting a war or making enemies. But here are some of the comments they made, and my response to them.

Most bloggers are desperate to get food writing jobs.

I am a blogger and I also have a food writing job. But both are jobs with their respective obligations and responsibilities. When I was offered the paid food writing job, my editor commented I would see a transformation in my writing, for my site and for all writing I do. Who wouldn’t want this opportunity.

I am not desperate. I have made deliberate and steady advances building a new career trajectory that has evolved over five years. I am rather educated and experienced. Food writing offers are the natural progression to what I have accomplished and where I am going.

They don’t sign their name at the bottom; if you’re out there, you should be out there; if you sign your name, it’s a civilizing process.

I write and publish Daily Prandium anonymously for a specific reason. For every creative endeavor I’ve been involved in, there have been creeps and groupies that pursue and stalk for unprofessional reasons. So, I’ve become a private person in that sense. On the flip side, when I attend food seminars and conferences, and meet new friends and colleagues, I absolutely introduce myself as the writer of Daily Prandium. If that’s not good enough, read the site. You’ll find my name published in a couple places. Eventually, I’ll likely publish my name. For now, this will do. And I aim to be civil and professional. Daily Prandium is not a vehicle for slander.

They [bloggers] aren’t reputable; they’re not credible; they’re not bound by any rules; they’re not interested in checking their facts; how to value what’s not fact checked.

I am reputable and credible. My former career and the personal-professional ethic and values I’ve upheld, and in most of my life, can speak on my behalf. I also stand by what I write. I am interested in rules of grammar, style, syntax, and fact checking. With Daily Prandium, I am developing a journalistic acumen and ethic.

The Society of Professional Journalists are promoting an Ethics Week April 21-27. Cyber Journalist also published a Bloggers’ Code of Ethics. I’ll consider these especially in the coming weeks to ensure I honor these rules. I have a feeling I’ll be tapping about this issue again.

Bloggers dine anonymously and don’t make themselves known at restaurants they write about.

This comment is especially interesting. There’s actually a longstanding tradition of restaurant reviews being conducted anonymously. Reviewers are interested in the most authentic dining experience possible, in order to write about it for the restaurant-going public.

During this part of the panel, I distinctly sensed the chefs want to control what is written about them. They came off somewhat like divas and also having a bit of god complex in their kitchens. But they are creators and I’m learning that creators, in general, may require a bit of divine spirit.

Everyone’s a critic.

Isn’t this one a cliché. Isn’t everyone their own biggest critic? But seriously, when you put yourself out there, especially in creative trades, we’re ripe for praise and shredding.

Buen provecho..

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