People often ask us how or why we started blogging. At this point I usually must confess that I have a love-hate relationship with the internet. I love that it is a twenty-four hour resource where I can find a wealth of information at the touch of a keyboard and where I can communicate with people hundreds or thousands of miles away. I can find people that share my interests and make connections with them. On the other hand, the lack of privacy bugs me. As easy as it is to look up information on any subject, I know that people can actually look up information about me. I'm not saying that people want to look me up per se, I'm just saying that they could. Of course I have a website so I'm an easy target. With a blog you never know when someone's going to take random potshots at you just because they can.
On the bright side, we've met amazing people through this site, ones we never would have run into through the course of our day to day lives. In high school my friends and I would settle ourselves on park benches (Union Square was a favorite spot) or on stone steps and watch the passers-by. It was a fascinating pastime, both for the fashion and for the various social interactions. I still love to sit back and observe. There are websites that I adore, places I visit every day who will never know that I've been there. I rarely comment, I don't IM, and I'm not a great correspondent, although I always have good intentions. I'm intrigued by the world although most of the time I like to keep my distance. The world wide web is a good place to express yourself and still maintain the illusion of detachment.
In this same vein of occasional and unreasonable timidity, I'm not fond of large gatherings of people who I don't know. Why? Because I hate introducing myself to strangers. Chefs especially are a funny clique-ish bunch. They are either incredibly warm and friendly or polite and utterly disinterested. A few stilted conversations and awkward handshakes and I'm ready to run for the hills. On the other hand, I love when people come up and introduce themselves to me. The idea that people are interested enough in what we're doing to want to say hello is an awesome one. It makes me smile every time it happens. It also makes it easier to chat because I know there's a common thread to follow. Often one thing leads to two or three and a conversation is born.
Last month Alex and I were invited to the launch party for Gourmet.com. We had a little trouble when we called the number to RSVP. The first woman couldn't find us on the list and transferred us to another woman, who repeatedly asked us if we were sure that we had been invited because it was an extremely small venue and she had never heard of us. Alex assured her that he was looking at an invitation that had arrived in the mail. She was unconvinced. Finally a light bulb went off when she asked us if we were blog. Well, we aren't but we do have one. She found us on the other list. We shrugged it off and besides, she had piqued our curiosity. Exactly who was going to be at this party? Predictably we (more like she) hardly recognized any of the faces and it wasn't until afterwards when we read the various recaps around the web that we discovered who was actually there. We were at that elusive crossroads between being unknown enough to actually observe and enjoy the show and familiar enough to make some connections and not feel like wallflowers. For me it was the perfect position to be in. I truly enjoyed myself. I realized afterwards that we hadn't stepped up and introduced ourselves to anyone at all. Perhaps it was a missed opportunity. On the other hand, the lack of pressure actually allowed me to enjoy myself, at a party. Miracles do happen and that particular adventure was a direct result of what we do here.
Blogging is an interesting journey. In the beginning the goal was simply to occupy ourselves and keep from going insane out in Colorado. Along the way it became something more than an exercise in motivation. It became a way of communicating and a method for sharing ideas and learning more about food and about ourselves. The site absolutely has allowed us to get in contact with other chefs and foodies that we might not otherwise have had the confidence to approach. It's opened doors for us and given us opportunities that may not have come our way.
Recently we had some cooks in one of our classes who were talking to us about isolation, a topic that we are intimately familiar with. They said that our blog helped them feel connected to other cooks around the country. It was huge compliment and one of the best ones we've ever gotten. I realized afterwards that those sentiments were exactly why we blog. Because when we began this we were those cooks who felt as though they were missing out on what was really going on in the food world, beyond the television shows and glossy magazine pages. Some days we're still looking for that connection ourselves. Some days we get to be the connection. It's a small thing that makes all the effort we put into this feel worthwhile. That's why we created this website and that's why we still feel as passionate about it today as we did on the first day we began.