Thursday, September 16, 2010

Project Food Blog Challenge #1: Me, Food Blogger for the People

*UPDATE* In all of my blogger soul-searching, I somehow forgot to mention that this post is part of an interactive competition where thousands of Foodbuzz Featured Publishers are competing in a series of culinary blogging challenges for the title of FOOD BLOG STAR.  Starting Monday, September 20, please click on my face to the right, sign up, and vote for me.  Thanks for reading, Friends!  *END OF UPDATE*
   

If you look at the archives of my food blog, you'll see I started this, reticently, in 2006.  It was named for my underground restaurant in Washington D.C., where friends and strangers came to my house for dinner and the only thing they had in common was that they expected to dinner to be good (I think I may have disappointed them once, due to a Cuisinart mishap with 10 lbs of onions and a crummy, store-bought, cinnamon-heavy mixture of garam masala).
On my food blogging reticence: I have no professional culinary training whatsoever, nor did I grow up eating home-cooked meals worth blogging about.  I prefer good food over bad, but my closest friends will attest to the fact that I have been known to eat complete merde with much shame and little complaint.  So, humbly, I didn't think I had anything important to say about food -- I like to cook it, eat it, and share it.  That's it.

As a result, my blogging was inconsistent over the years.  But my love for food has never wavered.  Ever since I discovered that wonderful, delicious food could be made by my own two hands, I have cooked.  Even when the meals went unblogged, I cooked for myself, my loved ones, and a few dozen total strangers who wandered across the threshold of my kitchen.
And then I had the opportunity to meet with some brilliant kindred spirits in Los Angeles and they encouraged me to share my love through my blog.  So here I am.

The thing about Speakeasy Kitchen is that it simply shares my love of food.  There is no snobbery, no elitism, no exclusivity.  I probably don't know more about any food subject than you, but I'll tell you what I'm up to in the kitchen because I hope you find it interesting/amusing/refreshing/resonates with you.  Because it resonates with me.  I make mental notes of my horticultural successes, jot down recipes for my culinary triumphs, and practice foodtography on a daily basis, all so I can share my observations with you.
It's important to me that you feel like you've been welcomed into my kitchen.  I recently found myself among some people (whom I refuse to dignify by identifying them in any way) who were real experts and enthusiasts in their field.  At first, I felt honored to be invited to join them, but very quickly felt excluded as they name-dropped and talked over my head.  I never want to be those guys.

I aspire to inspire you, but will settle for a little camaraderie amongst food-lovers.  Speakeasy Kitchen, as an unlicensed, underground restaurant, was a place to enjoy a good dinner with good company.  With my current day job, I can't be running crosswise with the Department of Public Health, but I hope that Speakeasy Kitchen, as a blog, is still a place where everyone can enjoy a good meal.

25 comments:

  1. Nice post! And, cool picture of Ben's...I love the Bowl!

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  2. Great post! It's been so much fun learning about everyone!

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  3. Speakeasy Kitchen was my absolute favorite dining destination in Washington, D.C. I've wished that I could find a similar place since you/I moved away from the District, but then I realize (with great admiration and fondest memories) that only YOU could create Speakeasy Kitchen's unique atmosphere.

    Nowhere I've ever dined have I experienced such surprise-the-palette, satisfying flavors, met such non-pretentious fellow food-loving/Charmaine-loving people, and felt such a sense of welcome to participate in the one human experience that is celebrated the world over - the sharing of food.

    The Speakeasy Kitchen blog provides more than a sense of nostalgia. It's a way to see you regularly and share in something that you clearly love. It would be challenging to think of you and not think of passion for food and the sharing of culinary creations. I'm glad I don't have to. I am, however, glad to know you, Charmaine, and to have the privilege of visiting Speakeasy Kitchen.

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  4. Really great post about why you blog. I, too, cant stand to be one of those namedropping people--I'm not a chef groupie but I love food and learning about it.Good luck my fellow attorney in pfb!

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  5. Love how you've captured your motivation behind food blogging! I'm so glad to have met you and can't wait to see the speakeasy kitchen soon! Yay for food competitions ;)

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  6. Oooooooo - where's your underground restaurant.

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  7. Very nice :) You certainly do come across with a passion for food :) Good luck with the competition :)

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  8. hurray for lawyers-foodbloggers! :) the article's short sweet and heartfelt. all the best for you! :)

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  9. @Cook in a Bar: I used to live around the corner from Ben's. Not sure how I escaped Washington without having a heart attack!

    @Lisa & Magic of Spice: Ditto. Thanks for reading!

    @Travis: Love you and miss you (you're my best PR friend!). Looking forward to your visit.

    @Out of the Kitchen: Thank you. That's high praise and I appreciate it.

    @Belinda: It was in Washington DC. Locals in Denver are begging for a Speakeasy Denver revival... my sous-chef is in London so we've only had one, when she visited... we shall see...

    @all the laywers: Solidarity outside of the courtroom and in the kitchen! Looking forward to reading your PFB blogs too!

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  10. I love your blog and that you have an underground restaurant!It's something I've fantasized about myself and to read about someone who's actually done it.

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  11. What a cool idea- your post is approachable and for me that is one of the best things about foodblogging- it makes cooking at home attainable for everyone.

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  12. @Kathy: It's a LOT of work, but you can do it! Good luck!

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  13. Great entry. I came to check out the competition and got so much more. I love the honesty and the easy way you have with words. You look strong. Good Luck. GREG

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  14. I love the idea of underground/hidden restaurants. I thought about doing something in Bulgaria where I live. Great post! Good luck with PFB!!!

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  15. @GREG Thanks. It was good to get it off my chest. :) See you in the next round! - Charmaine

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  16. Great post! I voted for you! =)

    Good luck!

    Check out my PFB post : http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/1/view/503

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  17. Stopped by to say hi :) And I voted...Have fun and best of luck with the future challenges. I will be here :)

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  18. Thanks to you - and of course you have my vote! I mean, you like Ben's Chili Bowl!

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  19. Thanks for the vote. You have mine with bells on. Underground restaurant and 1554 (one of my favorite beers from one of my favorite breweries). Thanks for leading me to your blog. I love it! Good luck :)

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  20. thank you for sharing :) it is great to find people as passionate about food as i am. you got my vote!
    Lick My Spoon

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  21. It's great to discover your blog and learn more about you! I love that last shot! Good luck in the competition - congrats on making it to the next round - you have my vote.

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  22. Speakeasy Kitchen was my absolute favorite dining destination in buy balenciaga Washington, D.C. I've wished that I could find a similar place since you/I moved away from the District, but then I realize (with great balenciaga admiration and fondest memories) that only YOU could create Speakeasy Kitchen's unique atmosphere.

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  23. hello.
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