I have this debate with myself often: Exactly how much of an expert do you have to be to blog about a subject? When I started my blogging career I was primarily a gamer, and had the opportunity to write a column about one particular gaming subject I new a little about, but I was far from being an expert. I knew that it was blogging death to assume that I knew everything about said subject, when the gaming community was filled with experts and self-proclaimed experts. Instead, I decided I would format my column as an exploration, a learning journey, and left the expert conversation to others.
Food seems, in many ways, this same sort of venue. There are so many people who are experts -- professional chefs, food writers, people who lasted more than a semester in culinary school -- and so in a way I feel as if this conversation isn't worth having. And yet I love food and want to explore and learn, and I do that best through communication. Written communication is the easiest for me, and so I figured as a blogger, what would be better than combining my love of writing with my budding love of food.
Again though, I am far from being an expert. I have a lot of opinions, but mostly they are based on life experience, not training. A couple of years ago I succumbed to temptation and enrolled in culinary school -- and boy did I enjoy myself. I found out that while was I really good at it, I had no intention of becoming a chef. I'm a writer, and it's hard to justify a culinary school student loan debt just because I want to learn more about something.
Plus, I wasn't learning what I wanted to learn from a culinary school education, or at least the one I was enrolled in. I wanted to learn technique, sure, but I also wanted to learn about flavor combinations. Why does thyme work so well with lemon? What can I combine with balsamic vineger and oranges to make a truly balanced sauce? I do think education is the key to learning more about this, but I think a different type of education is needed -- the education of eating other people's food, and assimilating it into my own.
So I guess the debate is sort of a moot point. I am compelled to write, and I want to write about food. More than that, this foody wants to become an expert, and in order to do that I can do one of two things: Reenroll in culinary school and add that debt to my family's already hefty credit problems; or I can explore this subject in the same way I did when I began blogging about video games.
I am no expert, but I am definitely a fan of this culinary world. And hopefully, but writing about it, I can get one step closer to expert status.