Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

Whenever I tell people I have a food blog, they often follow with the question, "So how'd you get into food blogging?" To which I usually give a quick, cookie-cutter answer somewhere along the lines of "I love to eat, and I started taking photos of stuff I ate, and voila! The food blog was born."

The longer answer to how I got into food blogging is a bit more interesting than that, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a more personal story and give thanks to those who have inspired, and continue to inspire me to write and shamelessly indulge in food.

I've always loved writing; this most likely developed during my childhood years as I spent too much time immersed in books and journal-writing in an effort to get out of ESL class and bring my English up to par with the kids in my grade level. I briefly entertained the idea of becoming a journalist, but I couldn't shake the desire - unwavering since fifth grade - of going to law school. (There are days when I question the sanity of my decision, but for the most part, I find legal practice to be a compelling career. Plus I have a bit more leeway in my Fine Dining Fund.)

I've never been a picky eater, and growing up in a family that almost always had Chinese food for meals made dining on any other kind of cuisine seem like a special occasion. Sad to say, I've had my share of craptastic food before I knew any better. And even when I studied abroad in Japan when I was 19 (which would be flavor heaven for me now), many of my meals consisted of packaged ramen, Yoshinoya beef bowls, and cheap alcohol. When I trekked over to the Tsukiji fish market one chilly morning, I didn't even think to order toro or uni or hamachi (although the sashimi I did have was still out of this world).

My introduction into the foodie world began when I came back from Japan and moved in with a young married couple who still had a lot of contacts at UCSD. The year and a half I lived there was an apprenticeship of sorts -- Mr. Lauren Leung gave me a foundation from which I learned to appreciate food, wine, and other indulgences. From him, I also picked up the habit of photographing particularly delicious-looking dishes, but I never did much with the pictures besides sharing them with friends or posting a couple on my personal blog at the time.

As I started taking more photos and developing more opinions about what I tasted, I toyed with the idea of starting a food blog. I had been following some well-known blogs for awhile, but starting my own seemed like a daunting commitment, especially as a stressed-out law student. The usual questions popped up: Will anyone read this? What if the photos aren't great? Do I need a theme? Isn't Yelping good enough? How often can I realistically update this thing?

Then during a semester externship gig, I met Passionate Eater and became addicted to her blog. I figured if she had the time to do something that great, I should at least give it a try. So I started this blog and have, thankfully, stuck with it for over two years now. Thanks Passionate Eater!

What I love best about food is how it brings people together. While I enjoy a quiet meal by myself now and then, everything always tastes a little better when you're in good company. So I think of blogging as an extension of that desire to share good eats with others. Plus it's kind of neat to think that if you mention a specific dish at a particular restaurant, someone you've never met will know exactly what you're talking about.

I never cease to be inspired by other foodies and food bloggers out there, including all the ones linked in the right sidebar. Some are old friends (Alex Eats World); others are new connections from Foodbuzz (Kitchen Wizard). It's pretty sweet dating one too (WongCo Food)! Thanks to everyone who has ever given me a foodie moment.

And with that, I'll sign off by saying Happy Thanksgiving! Eat well and be well!

13 comments:

Mari @ Secrets of a Kitchen Wizard said...

What a great idea to write about Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving... Happy to see my name on it too! Happy Thanksgiving to you too... Do you guys have Chinese style, American style or combo?
(BTW, nice photos! Did you take them on your own, or??)

taste tester said...

@Mari: This year I'm trying an American-style meal with the boyfriend's family. And yup, I took these photos with my little point and shoot!

Alex said...

now, if only i could write half as well as you, or if i even liked to right half as much as you.

see you when i get back next month!

Alex said...

thanks for the shout-out!

Anonymous said...

Hi Great Posts and Pics! came across ur blog awhile back! Was wondering, would you respond to questions sent via email?

Cookie said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story! I always wondered how other food bloggers got started. I've just recently discovered your blog and love reading it! It must be great dating a fellow blogger. I hope you'll keep updating!

Alex said...

ah, cookie meet taste tester, taste tester meet cookie. what a small world

foodhoe said...

How fun to read about how it all started... I found your site via Passionate Eater, so we all have to thank her for the intro! Very cool you are dating a fellow blogger. My SO is barely tolerant, I am always jealous of couples who blog!

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