Food For Thought

To Whomsoever It May Concern.

Don’t we all remember the days, when we would watch Floyds India, where he would travel our country and enjoy our local food. Inevery episode, he made his own version of an Indian dish, be it from the south, west, east or north. I remember Floyd because he was such a nice person. All he said were good things about this country’s food and people.

Picture Credit: Amazon

That was then. Nowadays everyone seems to be having a little bit of Floydd in them, let it be students, post grads, office goers, lawyers, stay at home mothers or even bank clerks. Everyone just decides one day that they are foodies, and start writing a blog about the different restaurants of our city. The term foodie according to Dictionary.com means ‘a person with a particular interest in food.’ According to Merriam-Webster it says that a foodie is a person ‘a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads.’ Not someone who reviews restaurants.

In our city it has become a new trend, I must let people know that writing a review on Zomato.com is very different from writing a review on your blog. Like I said, that everyone wants to write about food and reviews on their blogs, people who have minimal or maybe no qualification in the Culinary background, and this review if written by a famous blogger, who again maybe having zero knowledge about food, goes out and becomes viral, the future of the restaurant is at stake. Many bloggers do not know what it takes to run a kitchen and what goes behind making a menu or even a particular dish. I as a chef, know what a difficult business this is. Yes I agree, as a customer you are paying for the service or for the food and it isn’t your problem, to know how a kitchen or restaurant works, but as bloggers, we need to give a place 2 maybe 3 or sometimes even a 4th try. As a food loving community we need to help build a restaurant, instead of taking it down (Yes, I agree if the service is horrible or food makes you sick then you have the right to give  feedback.)

Reviewers from big wesbites, sometimes go to a place and review it, the day it has opened or in the first few days of the week it opened. We understand that first impressions, good or bad, are the ones that last the longest, but as a restaurant chef I guarantee you, that if you come back in a month’s time, you will have a completely different experience. However, if you do end up visiting a restaurant that has just come up and you see the potential and some flaws, don’t you think it is better to give the owner honest feedback, to help improvement, especially in its formative days, rather than going straight home to type down some words of hate? Food blogging and review writing is big in this gastronomic city, restaurants go out of the way to invite food bloggers and big reviewers to try their food, most of the time free of cost, but we should not take advantage of this. Bloggers especially food bloggers are increasing by the minute, we need to applaud the restaurant owners and chefs, who day and night are working  to provide us with a good experience.

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“Boman Kohinoor is immensely charming, he personally takes orders and makes small talk with the diners. At 88 he is nothing like the young and dynamic restaurateurs the city is buzzing with.”

(Credit:  http://travel.cnn.com/mumbai/eat/britannias-flying-food-489758)

We need to pat them on their back for the effort and also make sure that the flaws don’t go unnoticed so the restaurants can work on it. We are bloggers and we need to take this up more responsibly because if we have a huge number of people following our views, those views can make or break restaurants. So I, a chef and a blogger, would like you, to think about how, as a community we should come together to make this city’s restaurants, not only better with candid and constructive feedback but also highlight the good things. We should thank everyone, who has made us smile, with that first bite of their food,  a fancy pancy restaurant or even  pao bhajji wala at Juhu beach. Encouragement and healthy criticism can never hurt anyone 🙂

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( Credit:  http://farm4.static.flickr.com/)

P.S. This is not a hate write up or an outburst of anger, this is just one persons feeling on the current situation in our city. Lets make, not break!

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