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FOOD writer and photographer: Lori Baltazar


Amazing Food Journeys at a Click

By Margaux Salcedo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:36:00 08/17/2008

Filed Under: Internet, Food

MANILA, Philippines - There?s a new hobby that?s been added to slambooks (yup, with an ?a,? not ?slum? books as often referred to). Aside from the usual sports, reading and watching movies, there is now blogging. There are blogs for the usual teen angst, and for adults, a few political blogs, juicy gossip blogs, but best of all, food blogs.

I thought I?d list some of my favorite blogs (in no particular order) that have, in recent years, encouraged me to do my best at food writing, helped me locate a restaurant I was curious about, kept me informed about the latest in the food industry, and most of all, made me salivate for sinampalukan or that amazing chocolate cake.

1. 80breakfasts.blogspot.com

This is my favorite URL of late. The author, Chichajo, calls herself ?a lover of travel, food, fashion, books, and the beach.? She shares her weekly cooking achievements, usually with a singular picture of the finished product to go with the story of her journey to achieve this. The blog is like a feel-good movie, the cooking stories usually turning out well. So readers are left either wanting to sample her creation or inspired to recreate her journey themselves. I love Joey?s writing because, maybe even unbeknownst to her, it portrays an adorable vulnerability in spite of her courageous feats in the kitchen. Sometimes, when reading, I picture her as Carrie Bradshaw in the kitchen slicing onions. But her resolve to try things new and to present the best is always inspiring.

She also has an amazing sense of humor that never fails to crack me up. Take her post on her ?Risotto Patty with Prosciutto and Egg and Pesto.? The picture above the title makes you salivate and want to taste it. Then you read further and crack up at her poking fun at her ?titling? capacities: ?I am the world?s lousiest recipe name giver.

?When I think about food there is always a fantastical backdrop, the stage is littered with metaphor and simile, and sometimes reckless exaggeration trips the actors up (although they don?t mind). The colors are vibrant or soft, the textures play tricks on my tongue, the smells bring me backwards or forward in time, and the flavors... they make me see stars, and other worlds, and limitless possibilities, and sometimes if I?m lucky, a bright green fairy that grants three wishes. This is what?s in my head and under my skin when I think of food.

?When I write this all down and have it sorted into a recipe, the fanfare suddenly quiets. I have successfully captured all the essentials to be able to repeat the experience, but none of the tra-la-la is left for the recipe?s name.

?Which is why it reads like a list of ingredients instead of something more exciting.?

Title notwithstanding, the picture of that risotto patty is amazing. It makes you wish Joey was someone you actually knew so that you could literally taste her experience instead of just reading about it!

2. Dessertcomesfirst.com

Dessertcomesfirst is most known for its ?food porn??these really amazing pictures of food that will make you drool?and beautiful prose from author Lori Baltazar.

Lori was already a food writer for some food glossies before starting her own food blog. At the time (around 2004), there were very few food blogs so this medium was not taken seriously by writers or advertisers. Blogs then were more popular for rants than for recipes. But Lori took the medium seriously, honing her skills as a writer (she was already amazing to begin with), and developing her skills as a food photographer. Today, dessertcomesfirst is one of the most sought-after blogs of restaurants, cafes and chefs who want publicity. And there?s even advertising on her site now! Her ?About Me? page says that she treats her blog like her baby?and clearly she is a great mom!

3. Marketmanila.com and Ourawesomeplanet.com

These two, along with Lori?s blog, can be considered the pioneers of Philippine food blogging, and to this day maintain their almost daily posts and therefore their corresponding magnificent fan base. I always look to Anton of ourawesomeplanet for his latest finds, as he is always on the lookout for what?s new in the Metro, and to the Marketman for his latest kitchen creation. Like Chichajo, he?s always cooking up something tasty, and whether it?s something sweet like the Pili Nut Brittle with Dark Chocolate a la Marketman or sour like his sinigang sa santol, it?s always an interesting read, down to the hundred or so comments that come with the posts!

4. Tableforthreeplease.blogspot.com

Three writers give their separate critiques of a restaurant. It?s interesting to see the insight of three separate foodies because then you are able to conclude, based on the consistency of the critiques, whether a restaurant is indeed worth the trip or not. Author Franco also makes an effort to feature not only food but foodies as well: food writers, bloggers, chefs, restaurant owners, so the blog is always an interesting read.

5. Wysgal.blogspot.com

Now this blog isn?t entirely a food blog, but author Wysgal can talk about food at length when she feels like it. Back in Manila for Christmas vacation while studying in the US, she visited eight restaurants in three days! That?s like a food press junket schedule! And she was able to relay everything to us within the same week. But aside from her punctuality, Rants and Raves, as the blog is titled, is also a pleasant read because Wysgal is truly wise, giving us tips on travel and budgeting, sharing with us the latest in pop culture (she loves music and literature), and simply sharing with us her insights on life and living.

6. Davaosfoodhuntress.blogspot.com

The Food Huntress from Davao makes me yearn to visit Davao all the time to try out the different restaurants there. It?s refreshing to see a Philippine food blog that doesn?t just talk about the restaurants in Manila. She makes us see that you don?t have to live in Metro Manila to experience the country?s best restaurants; Davao has its own! Her writing style also makes you feel like you were with her in the restaurant while she devoured their menu offerings!

7. Eatingasia.typepad.com

Eating Asia is a collaboration between writer Robyn Eckhardt and photographer David Hagerman. The writing is exquisite and the photographs exceptional. The most interesting thing I learned about David when he and Robyn visited Manila to do a story on lechon is that he takes his pictures using film. That?s probably why the photographs on the blog are exceptionally vibrant. There?s nothing like old school art. I like following the couple?s treks around Asia and their adoration of Asian cuisine in spite of being all-American. Sometimes it takes a pair of foreign eyes and taste buds to make us realize the amazing treats we have on this side of the world.

8. Chezpim.typepad.com

Pim is another world traveler always on the lookout for the best a city has to offer. I?ve never left a comment on this blog, but I?m always in awe of her adventures?as a street critique traveling the world and giving us her opinion, and as a foodie fanatic recounting her kitchen tales.

9. Chubbyhubby.net

Chubbyhubby is a collaboration between writer/photographer Aun Koh and writer/editor Su-Lyn Tan. This is my absolute favorite blog of all time because both chubbyhubby and the wife have exquisite taste in food and really travel the world to appreciate the world?s best restaurants. They also explore cookbooks together, and via this blog we get a taste of what they made in the kitchen.

10. www.ruthreichl.com

One of my favorite food writers of all time is Ruth Reichl. Too young to catch her stay as food critic of the New York Times, I had to be introduced to her by F&B World Editor Nana Ozaeta, who got me reading her books. I?ve been a fan since Garlic and Sapphires. I see her as the United States? Doreen Fernandez and it?s wonderful that through technology we can track down her latest restaurant adventures, lectures and market finds.

Only blogs? Not. There are some very good food literature in these sites. Good enough to eat!

Margaux?s food blog: margauxlicious.com.

Copyright 2015 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




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