We're highlighting local and regional bloggers we think you ought to know about. We can’t be everywhere at once, so we look to these passionate eaters, cooks and writers to keep us tapped into every facet of the food world. Consider this a way to get to know a blog’s taste buds, because, well, you should.
I fell into food blogging by accident. When my best friend from UCLA heard KQED’s online food editor mention that she was looking for another food blogger, he blurted out my name. Since I couldn’t think of a good reason to say no, I told him I’d give it the old college try.
That was four years ago.
I didn’t understand what blogging was at the time. I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t want help. It was something I wanted to learn on my own. People offered me advice like “keep your posts short” and “write about what’s popular—you’ll get more hits that way.”
I have faith in the human attention span and writing about what’s popular bores me. And the thought of all those hits coming my way made it sound as if I’d be punished for doing so. I ignored all the advice and tried to figure things out for myself, for better or for worse.
I’m very glad I did.
When I decided to start my own blog, I named it "Food for The Thoughtless" because I couldn’t think of anything better to call it at the time. With the possible exception of coming up with drag queen handles, I’m really bad at naming things. But the name has stuck and I couldn’t be happier because, before I started writing about it, food was something I took for granted. I never gave a thought to what I was cooking and eating beyond whether or not the food would taste good and/or look attractive. I never dug any deeper into the subject. Or my life, for that matter.
I don’t think food writing should ever be just about food. I’m much more interested in why someone is, for example, afraid of herring than I am in knowing fifty quick and easy ways to prepare it. Why is my friend letting that cantaloupe rot in his crisper? Is it because it was the last thing his wife bought before she told him she was running off with another woman? Why is it that I have such an aversion to cupcakes? These are the sorts of things I want to know and understand.
So I started to explore a little.
I take everything that I encounter in my life - film, music, friendships, family, odd bits of trivia, death, strange encounters, good conversation - and channel it all into food. It’s my way of processing information. Only through writing and getting my thoughts out in front of me in black and white can I get in touch what whatever it is I’m really thinking and feeling. If I can take all of that information and funnel it into a recipe, I can then eat it and digest all of that information in the most literal sense possible.
Food writing is incredible therapy.
When I write, I don’t censor myself. I just let go and see where the process takes me, which can lead to all sorts of trouble. Or self-discovery. It depends entirely upon the subject matter:
A friend’s thoughtful statement about how she loved beer because “it’s like there’s a sandwich in every glass” combined with a desire to help alcoholics derive more nutritional value from their drinking binges resulted in the creation of a very special cocktail.
A red-headed five year-old’s refusal to wear an avocado face mask and non sequitur desire to be a beautiful Chinese woman lead me to a very special guacamole.
Lack of time over the holidays, the avoidance of cookie exchanges, and the need to bake something special lead to the creation of a gingerbread drag queen.
The ordering of a croque monsieur by a friend over brunch caused me to remember my brother’s obsession with the death of Princess Grace.
A reluctance to cut up a head of cauliflower recalled the last encounter with a childhood friend before he was murdered.
I put it all out there. It entertains me, comforts me, and keeps me sane.
It’s like everything in life is some kind of Proustian madeleine and that fascinates me. Everything serves to remind us of something else. Life is about associations - sometimes that means free-association, other times not. So much in the world is relative and relatable. Like food, for instance. We all eat it. We all need it to survive. We all have a story to tell about it. So that’s what I try to do - tell my story in terms that everyone can understand.
I tell my stories through the medium of food.
Do you read a local blog that you'd like to see featured? Send 'em our way for a chance in the spotlight.
Next entry »Chefs and the (other) "F" word
« Previous entryLunchtime poll - Does Taco Bell's beef blending bug you?