Food writing at its best illuminates. A well executed piece, full of careful description and insightful opinion, inspires one to immediately eat, cook, or serve the cuisine at hand. Consider the number of people who venture down to Pilsen for authentic Mexican food or who are serving some form of pork belly to clueless family and friends. Good food writing changes perspectives and encourages this sort of experimentation. In most cases, a well thought out piece of food writing has placed the food in question on the operating table, where it is dissected and evaluated, its components considered both separately and as part of a whole. The desire to understand what the author has described has moved from curiosity to bare necessity, and the audience is better from the experience.
At its worst, food writing is a poorly patched together mélange of incoherent ideas and opinions. Generalizations are made, misinformation forwarded, and a general lack of attention is paid to the craft of writing as a whole. The authors of these pieces “let the food speak for itself,” and not in a good way. Attribute this trend to the availability of online soapboxes, the reliance of slick photos over descriptive words, or the foodie movement in general; regardless, there is a lot of drek out there, and the last thing the world needs is another food blog.
That being said, there is much to be said about food, and much that hasn’t, especially out here in the food blogosphere. Saying it well is the challenge, and one that joe roy eats best is up to.
This isn’t going to be a blog where you’ll be introduced to a “culinary perspective” (Thanks, Food Network). Writing from an angle and tailoring an entire approach to it has been done, and most likely is being done as this is being read. This also won’t be another “blog a clef,” where the food is almost secondary to the daily drama recounted by the blog’s ‘unwitting’ protagonist.
No. Plain and simple, this blog will take a more focused approach to food writing by discussing food that is well prepared and food that isn’t, with ample justification for said determination. This will take place in the form of restaurant criticism, reflections on current food trends and news, and the occasional post where personal cooking experiences are presented and analyzed. Food is never “just food,” except when it is, and this blog will serve as a place to work through these thoughts out loud.
This is all probably starting to come across as posturing, and in a way, it should. However, the real intent here is to give this blog some accountability. This is also the reason that my name is right up there in the title.
There is a real void in food writing that this blog is aspiring to fill, and your honest opinions are appreciated. If you like a piece, let me know in the comments; at the same time, I’d appreciate any constructive feedback that you may have. If I inspire any of you to go out and try something new (and not just for status reasons, but we’ll get to that later…) then I’ll know my aim is true.
Well composed food deserves just as thoughtful and serious an analysis as any other art form, and it is with this mindset that the articles comprising joe roy eats best will be written.