August 28, 2009

Food Bloggers: new force in restaurant land! Local food bloggers and tweeters reacted with scorn to a statement by Masterchef celeb. George Calombaris: 'Bloggers have no idea about restaurants. They've got no idea how they're run.' Maybe they don't have a company gold card to pay for review dinners, but don't overlook the passion, knowledge and number of participants in this food army. Here's a list of more than 500 Australian Food Blogs, and this is a country of only 21 million people. Have keyboard and broadband - you're in business. Instead of black & white newspaper text, most feature gorgeous photography and lengthy analysis - these are no novices, and some make it a full-time job. Professional restaurant reviewers have always guided us from on high, but here is their audience acting like an opinionated, hungry rabble! If you're visiting a big city like Sydney - do you pay $29.95 for the official guide, or dive into joyful (and free) blogs like GrabYour Fork or Not Quite Nigella or the yummy Lemon Pi? Restaurateurs (like George above) are just coming to terms with free-flowing online review sites, Google Alerts and email. Now they're besieged by amateur bloggers and the twitterati - people who don't know the meaning of 'Yes Chef!' Stand by for more sweet and bitter episodes as the decline of old media (and rise of the new) is played out in the world of food. My stomach says it's a great idea! Update: here's Jen's list of the Top 50 Aussie Food Blogs...and Mr Calombaris is still not happy!

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