I’ve wanted to put a list of chef blogs in the right column of this page for ages but a number of posts and articles about chefs who write have forced me off the couch. Mario and other chefs have decried blogs, viewed them with scorn at best (mainly chefs who own restaurants maligned by bloggers or commenters, often anonymously, a practice I find pathetic and regrettable and I hope short-lived). It’s an understandable response to this new anarchy. But what about chefs themselves who’ve embraced this new medium, whether by blogging or by reading and responding to blogs?
It’s exciting. Especially when done by Eggbeater and Ideas In Food, two blogs by chefs, pictured here, whom I have great respect for, Shuna Fish Lydon, whom I first met while she was piping gougeres onto silpats at The French Laundry (she stared at me with unconcealed disdain when I confessed I hadn’t read Jane Grigson, a situation I would go on to remedy–perhaps she’s a mystic), and Alex Talbot, whom I just met at the offal dinner (he blogs with his wife and fellow chef Aki Kamozawa). Shuna, based in San Fran, writes visceral emotional poetical (often instructional) posts about her work and life as a pastry chef; Alex and Aki, now based in NYC, write posts about ideas and experiments in cuisine. These are exemplary blogs.
Shuna recently wrote about responsibilities attending chefs who blog, and food writer and editor Regina Schrambling, herself a blogger, wrote a general story about chefs who blog in the LATimes. I’ll note many of the links Schrambling and Shuna mention below. And I’ll link some that I like. I’ll no doubt leave many out. But I’d love to have a comprehensive list—so if you’re a professional cook who has a blog, feel free to let me know and mention your blog in a comment. One of the most rewarding things I’ve done has been to chronicle the life of the chef, generally, to hang out in the kitchen and return with story. Now the chefs have a vehicle to tell their own stories, to indulge their own obsessions and, importantly, to teach.
“I really believe a blog is for us and can be for many chefs an instrumental tool in the kitchen and outside," Alex wrote in an email. "Even if nobody but the chef himself looks at what is written/photographed it, takes you a step back and helps you analyze food, ingredients, approach, aesthetics, etc.”
Chefs are becoming better understood for what they do rather than for empty celebrity, and blogs accelerate the process. It’s a good thing that chefs who want to write can now spread their ideas more easily and generously than they do their food.
Here are a few others, in no particular order:
Sean Brock, chef of McCrady’s restaurant in Charleston, SC
Ms. Glaze’s Pommes d’Amour: culinary adventures and
life in paris, food cooking and life in paris but i like best her
stories of life as a female cook in a Michelin 3-star in Paris.
Barbara Fisher, Tigers & Strawberries, chef at a small indian restaurant, blogs about indian cuisine, mainly.
Chad is a hotel cook in Miami trying to remain creative.
Matthew Tivy, Kitchen Confidence
My friend Michael Symon, Symon Says
Shola Olunloyo, Studiokitchen, sees chefs as artists and artisans, which I’m normally skeptical about, but he and alex and many others are beginning to justify the claim.
Adventures in Dessert, Lindsey Danis’s literary pastry chef blog
Andy Little’s Fresh Inspirations in Central PA
UPDATE: shuna posts many, many, many more intriguing blogs here.