Thursday, July 03, 2008

On Food Reviews: Journalists vs Bloggers

Professional Critics vs Amateurs

You are probably thinking that this subject has already been talked about more than enough. But here comes a fresh perspective on the subject of Reviewer vs Reviewee from Kelli Bernard of LoveScool, a blog-reader, turned blogger, turned professional food writer turned Tea & Bakeshop Owner:

"I can spot a blogger at Amai from a mile away, and I love it. They usually come in alone, order at least 4 different things, then set everything up on a table and take pictures before trying a bite of each one."

To find out what else Kelli has to say from her unique perspective on all sides of the fence, read on...

PS - A sweet friend once gave me a boxlet of Amai's sweet treats and I can vouch that they were very good.

QUESTION OF THE DAY graphic copyright sam breach
?As a blogger do you ever use traditional reporting techniques like calling the place you are reviewing and asking questions of them?

Other Resources & Further Reading
Professional v Amateur Restaurant Critics, San Francisco Chronicle Weighs In

2007 | Mon Ami Gabi Las Vegas
2006 | Soleil @ the K - Gas Lamp - San Diego - CA
2004 | Thornbury Castle, Gloucestershire, England

© 2008 Sam Breach
On Food Reviews: Journalists vs Bloggers


  • At 3/7/08 10:24, Anonymous Vanessa said…

    I do not usually call ahead or qualify myself, but I always try to exchange a few words with the owner/ manager/ chef for them to tell me their story. I think it's a precious resource, although at times it looks like you're promoting an establishment if you talk about their own point of view. I think the dichotomy is exactly that- if you want to be believed as a blogger, there's no restaurant point of view, and as a reporter there must be!

  • At 3/7/08 11:55, Blogger Pille said…

    I can vouch for Kelli's delicious cakes, too - when in New York last month, I accidentally passed Amai's shop, remembered that I had baked her green tea cookies, popped in and even had a chance to say hi to her (and try the cakes and cookies. The matcha cupcake was delicious!)

  • At 4/7/08 14:21, Blogger Catherine said…

    Great read! Thanks for sharing.

    I rarely write reviews and only reviews that are enthusiastic about the food. I don't order like the bloggers described in Kelli's post and try to be really discreet about taking pictures. I occasionally talk to chef/mgmt., but that's more in reference to my paying job! I do like to research a new place, though, learn about the chef.

  • At 5/7/08 10:36, Blogger Pannifer's said…

    I don't call ahead, but I will talk to the owners. I ask some questions, take a business card, ask if they have a website.

    Once the review is posted, if they have an email address, I send them a link.

    I'm always amazed how happy people are to be mentioned on my little blog!

  • At 6/7/08 23:28, Anonymous JSL@Palate said…

    I'm both a journo & a blogger and would never call ahead if I was reviewing a place. Once there, I'd enjoy a bit of parlay with the staff, write my review when I got home and check my facts with the restaurant a few days later.


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