Being a chef in a chef world is tough. I’m not like most chefs. I’m not like most people. I don’t go out. I don’t drink. I don’t really socialize. I’m lame. So what I’m I doing in a blogger world? What made me think that it was okay for someone like me to join a group of mostly women? Well its simple. I love food. And I love talking about food. I will admit when I started this journey, it was to have something for Ainsley and I to do together. Something that would be fun for us. But as we have gone through the motions with it. I have found a voice. A voice that allows me to say what I want to say without someone looking at me weird. We have been a part of the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance for about a month now. Here is what I have learned about this group of people who let a chef into their world.
- These girls actually know what they are talking about. For years I have been a chef. I have been the guy behind the door watching these girls eat what have created. I have know who they have been for years. Some of them I have had the great opportunity to talk to. Others well…… Lets just say I kept my distance from them. But for the most part these bloggers love food and love talking about it.
- I suck at photos. But that’s ok. We recently went to our first AFBA happy hour. The food came out and so did the cameras. I think for most people they would have freaked out by everyone taking pictures of the food. For me I just took in the moment and enjoyed the smiles and laughter. As a chef you always want the person to enjoy what you have created. To enjoy the thought process that went into that dish. For us when we send out a dish its a part of us. It in some ways is a piece of how we see ourselves. So to have a bunch of people take pictures of our food. Makes us happy. I was happy for the crew that made that dish. I was happy for the chefs. As far as me taking pictures. Well I’ll be honest. On this blog or our Instagram its usually Ainsley who takes the pictures. I just don’t have the eye or that talent that it takes to make a burger look great. So if you see a bad picture on here. Just know it was me. And Ainsley tried to fix it.
- Happy hour is more than drinks and food. I have always been someone who didn’t appreciate happy hour for what it is. I don’t drink. So in the past when I was invited to a happy hour I always said no. It just wasn’t for me. This was until the other day when I realized that happy hour is more than just drinks. Its finding people that have the same likes that you do. Its getting together with your friends to talk about the great places that you have been to. Or that great dish you tried for the first time and you just cant wait to tell them. Its a place where the awkward find a home. Its a place where you can find half price burgers and $1 of glasses of wine
- They eat like us. I recently had the great honor of connecting with one of the top food bloggers in Austin. But don’t tell her that. Shayda was nothing like I would have expected her to be. We met in the past. But it was just in passing. We exchanged words. We kind of connected. But it was nothing. This time I saw her and knew I had to go and introduce myself. Her blog dinewithshayda has almost 11,000 followers on Instagram. Thats a lot. Talking with her felt like I was talking with an old friend. We talked about old Austin and how the food scene is now. She knew absolutely nothing about what Ainsley and I are trying to do. But she spoke with me like we were friends. That blogger bond was there. Before that Ainsley and I had the pleasure to spend a couple of hours with Jessica who owns dessertswithbenifits. Jessica has almost 40,000 followers on Instagram. Yeah she was very intimidating at first. Like I thought to myself what are we going to talk about with her. We have under 500 followers on Instagram. Jessica makes a living blogging. It took maybe a minute to realize how sweet and funny Jessica is. We were blown away by her kindness and humility. I learned so much in those couple of hours. Both girls had so much excitement about food. And not that fancy little amuse busche dishes. But legit stick to you gut meals. It was eye opening for me. It made me happy to know that I was in such good company.
- Humility. Ainsley and I are new to this. We are learning as we go. I am new to this. I usually don’t know what i am doing. I will be surprised if I actually publish this. Ainsley doesn’t know that I am posting or even writing this. Let just keep this between us. I speak without thinking a lot. I say things that might offend you. I do this because its who I am. For me I have spent a lot of time looking at what others are doing. We have also had great help and support from so many other bloggers who are excited about what we are doing. Next week we are having a dinner with some of who we feel like are the best bloggers in Austin. Are we nervous? Heck yeah we are. But we are ready. Ainsley and I want to showcase the talent that is behind those pictures that you like everyday on Instagram. We want to show how these bloggers know and love what they do. Reading what Kelsey (somuchlifeblog) has in opinion on is great. But to actually hear it from her is something I’m looking forward to.
I don’t know if i am a chef in a bloggers world. Or a blogger in a chefs world. But a couple of things that I do know is this. I have found a group that I actually enjoy. I love food. Its what I do. Its what I know. This is a place where I can meet other like minded people and have fun doing it. To me going out to eat is an experience. I notice everything. I watch everything. I’m critical of the food. I’m critical of the service. And I’m ok with that. My pictures wont always be the best. My grammar will probably drive you nuts. But this is a place where I can be myself. I love it. Its me.
Visit the blogs I spoke about. You can also find more blogs at the AFBA website