Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Plate to Pixel

Plate to Pixel has been highly recommended by almost every food blogger friend I know. So I just had to get a copy myself. I got my copy earlier this year. I still use it as a reference. As food/culinary bloggers, photos of our food speak a thousand words. Gorgeous photos are what drive traffic to our blogs. More traffic means more connections, more exposure, and more blog money (for those that monetize). It’s the gorgeous, mouthwatering photos that will get accepted to food porn sites like Foodgawker and Tastespotting. I haven’t ever even bothered submitting any of mine yet because I still don’t like any of my photos. I understand that the traffic increase becomes significant when shared on those sites.

Plate to Pixel breaks down the complicated camera mumbo jumbo to make things so much easier to understand. It has enough information without overwhelming the food photography novice. Prior to reading the book, I was pretty much clueless about the trinity utilized in photography, F stop, ISO, and Shutter Speed. I mean, I gained some idea of what those things were in Food Blogging for Dummies, another great reference for food blogging. But when I was reading Food Blogging for Dummies, I was more focused on how to even start a blog. Kelly Senyei does a good job in her Eating with Your Eyes section about camera settings and the importance of photography. I made note of things for future reference since it really didn’t apply to me at the time since all I had was an iPhone. Auto, manual, ISO….all that crap did not mean anything to this then iphone shooter.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dunkin Donuts opens in Santa Monica, CA

I feel like a real food blogger (I know I changed myself into a culinary blogger, but this post seems that of a food blogger) today. I now know how you guys (the eatery review bloggers) feel, going out and spending time and money to try different things so you can blog about it. I actually had moments of “These are the only ones I want, but maybe I will also try this, this, and that just so that I have more items to blog about”. Yes, I can now have a better appreciation of the time, money, and stomach space you guys sacrifice to share your experiences.

So you have probably heard that a new Dunkin Donuts opened here in socali. On opening day, this past Tuesday (September 2, 2014) people were camping out to get their dibs on this East Coast staple. When I saw clips on the news from grand opening day, a good percentage of them were proud East Coasters that grew up with Dunkin Donuts.
I don’t know if I should be embarrassed to say that I actually waited in line this first week of the opening. Granted, I did not camp out like some of the other losers (kidding..not losers, more like hardcore donut lovers). But when I stood in line, it was 1:20pm.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lake Arrowhead - memories, bad food, and stumbling upon "Crazy Raccoon"

Lake Arrowhead holds many summer memories in my book.  Growing up, I’d come here regularly on family getaways and for church retreats. When coming here with family, we always stayed at the same cabin each time. It almost became like a home away from home. When I found myself searching for places to eat around here during my recent visit, I realized that I don’t really recall ever eating at restaurants during my past visits. Our cabin stays always included home cooked meals, whether it was made in the cabins or premade and brought over. I don’t think I have ever dined at any of restaurants in the vicinity. I was wishing I had one of those “I come to this restaurant each time I come here. I won’t leave without a visit” places, but I didn’t.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

No longer a "food blog" but a "culinary blog"

I don't really want to call Behgopa a "food blog" anymore. I want to call it a "culinary blog". There are too many food blogs out there and mine doesn't fit into any of niches since most are recipe and restaurant review based. My blog is unique and in a niche of its own. Therefore, I will call it a culinary blog from now on. Like every other food blog out there, mine also does includes various food related posts, from eating to cooking to sharing food memories, and so on. But how many food bloggers can share nightmare stories from actually working in the culinary industry? So IN YOUR FACE! Hehe just kidding.

What are your guys' perception on the difference between a food blog and a culinary blog? And what do you all think of my categorizing my blog into my own niche? I've checked, but I don't see any other blogs calling themselves a culinary blog. They all fit into the "food blog" category. Am I going to start a trend or am I missing something?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Stupid kitchen rules

Over the years of my time spent working in the kitchen, I have been trained and made habit of doing things a certain way. Old habits can be hard to break. I remember in my early days when applying for this one job, I told my boss that I did not have too many years of experience yet. He was looking for minimum of two years of experience. I barely had one. His response was, “That’s okay. Hopefully that means you haven’t picked up too many bad habits yet.” I now know what he meant by that. Not every kitchen runs the same way. Particular work habits and routines that have become second nature may not work in another kitchen. Adjusting and changing old habits may not always be easy. There may be times when you may not agree with everything in the way things are done. Sometimes I think that the stupidest people make the stupidest rules. And I just want to smack them.

I can bet money that whoever came up with the law of glove wearing in the work kitchen has never worked in one. Personally, I think that was the stupidest law ever. California chefs were furious when they heard about this new law that was passed earlier this year. Thank goodness that law has been repealed. But yet, some kitchens still require glove wearing when being in direct contact with food. I think that they are morons. I think Michael Ruhlman said it best here.
From what I have seen, glove wearing seems to reduce hand washing. Hands are protected from the barrier of the latex, so it’s not uncommon for (ignorant) kitchen workers to think that gloves will keep things sanitary. They’ll walk around, open doors, take out the trash, mop the floors, and do all that while keeping the same gloves on for hours. The common mentality is that if gloves are (visibly) clean and poultry wasn’t touched, changing frequently and washing in between is not necessary. Yeah, not every kitchen worker majored in Microbiology.