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I’ve wanted to put a list of chef blogs in the right column of this page for ages but a number of posts and articles about chefs who write have forced me off the couch.  Mario and other chefs have decried blogs, viewed them with scorn at best (mainly chefs who own restaurants maligned by bloggers or commenters, often anonymously, a practice I find pathetic and regrettable and I hope short-lived). It’s an understandable response to this new anarchy.  But what about chefs themselves who’ve embraced this new medium, whether by blogging or by reading and responding to blogs? 

Akialex2007
It’s exciting.  Especially when done by Eggbeater and Ideas In Food, two blogs by chefs, pictured here, whom I have great respect for, Shuna Fish Lydon, whom I first met while she was piping gougeres onto silpats at The French Laundry (she stared at me with unconcealed disdain when I confessed I hadn’t read Jane Grigson, a situation I would go on to remedy–perhaps she’s a mystic), and Alex Talbot, whom I just met at the offal dinner (he blogs with his wife and fellow chef Aki Kamozawa).  Shuna, based in San Fran, writes visceral emotional poetical (often instructional) posts about her work and life as a pastry chef; Alex and Aki, now based in NYC, write posts about ideas and experiments in cuisine.  These are exemplary blogs.

Shuna recently wrote about responsibilities attending chefs who blog, and food writer and editor Regina Schrambling, herself a blogger, wrote a general story about chefs who blog in the LATimes.  I’ll note many of the links Schrambling and Shuna mention below.  And I’ll link some that I like.  I’ll no doubt leave many out.  But I’d love to have a comprehensive list—so if you’re a professional cook who has a blog, feel free to let me know and mention your blog in a comment.  One of the most rewarding things I’ve done has been to chronicle the life of the chef, generally, to hang out in the kitchen and return with story.  Now the chefs have a vehicle to tell their own stories, to indulge their own obsessions and, importantly, to teach.

“I really believe a blog is for us and can be for many chefs an instrumental tool in the kitchen and outside," Alex wrote in an email.  "Even if nobody but the chef himself looks at what is written/photographed it, takes you a step back and helps you analyze food, ingredients, approach, aesthetics, etc.”

Chefs are becoming better understood for what they do rather than for empty celebrity, and blogs accelerate the process.  It’s a good thing that chefs who want to write can now spread their ideas more easily and generously than they do their food.

Here are a few others, in no particular order:

Sean Brock, chef of McCrady’s restaurant in Charleston, SC

Michael Laiskonis, pastry chef of Le Bernardin, Notes from the Kitchen, serious description of the pastry
chef’s mind at work

Ms. Glaze’s Pommes d’Amour: culinary adventures and
life in paris
, food cooking and life in paris but i like best her
stories of life as a female cook in a Michelin 3-star in Paris.

Barbara Fisher, Tigers & Strawberries, chef at a small indian restaurant, blogs about indian cuisine, mainly.

Chad is a hotel cook in Miami trying to remain creative.

Matthew Tivy, Kitchen Confidence

Laurent Gras

My friend Michael Symon, Symon Says

Shola Olunloyo, Studiokitchen, sees chefs as artists and artisans, which I’m normally skeptical about, but he and alex and many others are beginning to justify the claim.

The Noisy Kitchen

Line cook: cooking restaurants life

In Praise of Sardines

Adventures in Dessert, Lindsey Danis’s literary pastry chef blog

Andy Little’s Fresh Inspirations in Central PA

David Lebovitz

Chris Cosentino

Others?

UPDATE:  shuna posts many, many, many more intriguing blogs here.

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70 Wonderful responses to “Chefs Who Blog”

  • Karen

    I just stumbled across this post topic, so forgive me if I’m a bit late to comment.

    My feeling is that the category of bloggers who review restaurants (and apparently, the ones that earn much disdain from people like Mario Batali) can’t really be called “food bloggers”; rather they’re more amateur critics.

    What they write about is entirely removed from what thousands of home cooks, foodies and now, it seems, more professional cooks are doing.

    My favorite food blogs are created by those who regularly – and sometimes eloquently – share their stories, photographs or recipes that aim to inspire, inform and teach their readers – doesn’t matter one bit to me if they are professional chefs or not.

  • Lissa

    Thanks so much for all of these links. Not only has my daily blog survey increased accordingly, but I wanted to thank you for directing me to Ms. Glaze’s blog in particular. As an American scientist moving to Paris in August with very little French and an overwhelming (if amateur) love of food and life, I’ve been excited to catch up on her adventures of being an American in Paris, both in and out of the kitchen. I would have not found this wonderful source of inspiration had I not seen it here first. Merci Beaucoup!

  • Claudia

    Oh, God. I have to try to narrow these lists down to a manageable few . . . . Shuna? Symon? Batali on Serious Eats? Dare I even LOOK at the aussie food blogs? Great stuff. Thanks, Michael.

  • amber

    like i didn’t have enough links on my google reader…. ;)

    always fun to have more food-related blogs to scroll through! thanks!

  • Claudia

    Bob Del Grosso is an ex-CIA chef/instructor, who is now developing his own line of charcuterie in conjuction with a local farm (in Telford, PA). Aside from his impeccable credentials, he also writes a blog, The Hunger Artist (click on red Bob Del Grosso link above) and is Ruhlman’s “sous” blogmeister when Ruhlman has to be out of the loop for a while. And, yes, his blogging buddies not only find him intelligent, insightful and thoughtful in his blogging, but pretty funny.

    I regret the day I had an invite to the farm he (and half the farm) came down with mega-flu, but hopefully we’ll hook up sometime in the spring, the next time I need to be in or near Philly.

    Viva Il Boppissimo (one of Bob’s many soubriquets).

  • Dick Black

    Hey Portland bob,

    That still doesn’t answer my question. Where is this Del Grosso working as a chef ?

    What about you ? Tell us more about Portland bob and what you do.

  • Dick Black

    bob says: ” Dick Black,
    Do you ever use sarcasm as a tool for humor?”

    I dunno Bob. Are you the Bob we were wondering about ? if so, where exactly do you do your cooking ?I’d love to come to your restaurant and taste your fares.

    Let me know.

  • bob

    No Dick,
    I’m merely a Bob, cooking for a living in Portland, Or. The Bob you speak of is Del Grosso. If I could swing down Pennsylvania way, I would love to taste his fare. Probably one of the most intelligent minds I’ve been lucky enough to meet through the web.
    best wishes
    another Bob

  • Pookha

    Now, how am I ever going to get anything done? A plethora of blogs to choose from.

    I’m an amateur cook and I love to learn from the professionals. I’m glad for these. Thanks.

  • Chef K.

    Mr. Ruhlman,
    A great article to put out there. If I can be overprotecive though (and aside from all of the constructive replies already given), Chadzilla is more than a mere ‘cook in Miami trying to stay creative’. I don’t think that disrespect was intended, but as the Exec. Chef of our 4/star-5/diamond resort hotel, Chad is my Chef de Cuisine, and let me tell you he is my left hand man (exec. sous on the right), and one of the most creative ‘think out of the fridge’ chefs I have ever worked with. He maintains his creative blog amongst his 12-14 hour shifts in our very busy 24 hour operation, and his personal life. I personally don’t have the time to blog, nor the creative writing skills that this group of chef bloggers have and your own personal pen and paper wittiness. To end I would like to say that chadzilla’s blogging community has added creativeness (especially from chefs like Alex, Aki and Ian), friendship, brain stimulation and as he mentioned chef commraderie to our kitchen. I am not trying to be pompous, as we are all just cooks at heart, doing what we love in our own ways. Just want to give a personal friend and great chef the credit he is due.

  • chadzilla

    Line Cook. I think you missed the point of Ruhlman’s posting which is ‘Chef Bloggers,’ and not ‘Food Bloggers.’ There is a definite difference.
    While there are a mega-plethora of food blogs out there that fit the definition cited in your comment, there is a much smaller (although growing, obviously) number of Chef Blogs which are written by chefs and are used for everything from the passing of culinary information, world issues that affect the professional kitchen, building chef commraderie, or just plain bitching about the annoying situations that arise in the day to day. Chef Blogs do not typically contain posts that fall into the restaurant review genre. There is almost never any flinging of ill comment to other chefs.
    I have been blogging for almost 2 years now, and the number of other like-minded culinarians out there whom I have shared ideas and thoughts with through the wonder of the internet is the biggest and most gratifying payback that I have received in any endeavor I have undertaken. Our blogs celebrate the role of the chef as artist, nuturer, blue-collar grunt, innovator, mathematician, scientist, explorer, inter-departmental polictian, mentor, student, crew chief, and now writer. This outlet of expression and community has fulfilled a very important part of what is now my day to day. I can no longer imagine cooking without the ‘window to the world’ in my kitchen. The Chef Blog fills a vacuum and maintains the balance.

  • Don Luis

    I certainly did not want to post an empty comment.

    I wanted to cite Bob
    del Grosso
    , a fine chef and a man who is willing to help the wanna be cook like me. My bread is better because of him.

  • Line cook

    Ruhlman, you’re gonna drive me nuts with this!

    Here is the (somewhat) reasonable objection to bloggers:

    Any knuckle-dragging mouth breather with internet access can have a blog. The snarkier, meaner, and shittier they are in their “reviews”, the more popular they become. There is no test, no level of expertise or knowledge that they must have to be taken seriously by many. They, then, are granted great and annoying power to affect a chef’s business, without any more investment than putting down the bong, getting up off the couch, and sitting down at the computer.

    You’re in love with words. I get that. Anyone who uses them to gain an audience for their thoughts, you’re a fan of. I get that, too. Why don’t you get that chefs are rightly pissed that any random pud can wreck their career, their business, their credit statement simply by being a somewhat clever ass? I might add, an ass with no fear whatsoever of repercussion.

  • wcw

    Off-topic, but “maligned by bloggers or commenters, often anonymously, a practice I find pathetic and regrettable?”

    Any time you want to come with me to the Very Regrettable Restaurant in Town to which my father inexplicably likes to go, I’m buying — if you can 1) keep it down, 2) eat it all, and 3) refrain from commenting about it, online or off, EVER

    If you can’t — and I think it’s 3) that trips you up — you refund the cost to me, and buy me a ’96 Salon.

    Deal?

    I thought not.

  • Natalie Sztern

    It has been thru this blog that I have been introduced to Shuna, whom I find to be a talented writer and to Alex whose blog is intriguing to read for a non cook – in fact all the intellectually stimulating blogs i read do come from those whose profession is in the kitchen – the others that i read are just words on a page with recipes…but there is one blog that sits in the middle that i love: jaden’s steamy kitchen -

  • Natalie Sztern

    i somehow always think of things to say just after i’ve sent it to Post….a pet peeve I have are commenters who are too afraid to use their own names…why be embarrassed by what u write unless u write what u would never want to say in person…and a blogger who doesn’t post any negative comments on his blog and only posts positive ones and blogs used to promote oneself: hire an agent!

  • HappyHoarfrost

    Thank you for winnowing down the blogosphere, Captain. Now I’ll have 70 more delicious feeds to keep up with…
    But I’m stymied/intrigued to know: why is Mario anti-blog? I would lap up anything those stout, brilliant (if completely underrated) & capable fingers might type out (Thanks, Iron Stef, for pointing me to Serious Eats).
    I’m sure the disinterest in blogging isn’t that he’s orange with CROCS-syndrome (Can’t Reconcile Other Chefs’ Soliloquies)—he strikes me as innately generous, and likely onto something about time-management…
    I, for one, miss his technical, etymological tirades from the Molto Mario days. Maybe someday the Persimmon Giant will deign to dine with us groundlings here?—you’ll have to blogselytize him, Master Ruhlman.
    FN further dimmed itself down when it cancelled him, but PBS is lucky to have the big Siena star in its sky.

  • Chowbelly

    I understand this list was about professional chefs, but they don’t have the market cornered on FoodBlogs – actually quite the contrary – the FoodBlog’osphere is largely made up of competent, passionate home-chef’s who share their love of food with the world.

    Michael, how about a list of home-chef’s blogs? Need a Guest Poster?

    Check me out at http://chowbelly.wordpress.com

  • Colin

    I started one myself after using many of the blogs you have listed as a source for inspiration. I moved to a restaurant where I had a bit more time to ponder and work so I decided to start my own blog. I would love to know what you think. Although Aki and Alex are light year’s ahead of me, I use them as a guiding light.

    http://www.carolinafood.blogspot.com

    Love your blog and books and I’ll be sure to keep reading

  • Kevin

    I do a little writing at http://www.breadandcup.blogspot.com, trying to share thoughts about food as I see it. We own a small bakery/cafe/wine bar in Lincoln, NE. I enjoy your writing very much, Michael. I am late getting into the biz (in my 40′s) but really connect with your books about chefs and the chef life.

  • Claire Walter

    Chef Ian Kleinman, who introduced the concepts of molecular gastronomy to Colorado and vice versa, blogs his experiments, creations and menus at http://food102.blogspot.com/ He is executive chef at the Westin Westminster, but he’s no ordinary hotel chef. His blog shows some attitude, and his cuisine bespeaks a lot of culinary curiosity and talent. His dessert course headlines a visit to NYC by top Colorado chefs that recently happened or is about to occur.

    Claire @ http://culinary-colorado.blogspot.com

  • SwillMonkey

    I like Symon’s blog…I can read it without listening to his schoolgirl laugh….its really quite disturbing.

  • Ms. Glaze

    Does this mean that I’m a professional cook now? Hallelujah! I know I slave away at a fancy-shmancy restaurant in Paris, but I feel ten times more excited by your write-up. Merci bien, and I’ll do my best to keep the stories coming. But you know, my young male team reads everything I write :-) so I gotta slip stuff in between the lines. Gros Bisous, Ms. Glaze

  • Chef Bradley

    Man, what a great list of blogs! I thought I read too many as it was! NOW, MORE???? HELP!! :)

    I love the use of blogs for my own. I share pics and info with chef friends and family as well as just a good place to bitch about stuff at work or with the biz itself.

  • Nina

    I’m a chocolatier in Los Angeles who blogs:

    http://www.sweetnapa.com/

    I started the blog in 2006 to chronicle culinary school in pastry at CIA-Greystone, and now it follows my adventures in launching a chocolate company called BonBonBar that specializes in handmade candy bars and marshmallows. I make everything myself now…

    Thanks for offering the exposure!

  • iron stef

    Oh! Chris DeBarr…that’s Poppy Z. Brite’s hubby, No? Love her writing. It’ll be neat to read Chris’s blog. They are an interesting couple of people.

    Also, Mario is a contributor at SeriousEats…does that make him a blogger?

  • Anthony J.

    Chef John Mitzewich of foodwishes.com
    Also is featured on about.com, presenting recipies on the regional American cuisine page. John has had an impressive career, most recently serving for five years as a Chef-Instructor at CCA in San Francisco. Check out his friendly video blog filled with kitchen lore and complicated recipies made simple.

  • carri

    We started a baker blog…inspired by Shuna…and you, Michael…I don’t know if it fits into this genre, but it’s at twosistersbakes.blogspot.com.

  • ruhlman

    i’m trying to get all these in but this typelist is cutting them off at 10–anyone know how to fix?

  • Darcie

    Go to the Typelists page, click on Manage this Typelist for the list your are using, then click on Configure. It has a box to display X number of items – just change that to however many you want to display.

    And thanks for listing pastry chef blogs. I’m a baker first, cook second, and finding quality pastry information is always appreciated.

  • Nick N

    I’m an aspiring chef, with just an apprenticeship on saturdays (when I have off school) but I have worked professionally in a few restaurant kitchens.

  • syoung68

    I have to second Chris DeBarr. His blog certainly encompasses more than his food but I think it helps to understand where a chef is coming from when you know where the person is coming from.

    And his food rocks. He is one of the most creative chef’s in New Orleans.

  • Vicky

    Chris DeBarr of The Delachaise in New Orleans, voted one of the finest new chefs in the city, of course! Check him out at: http://chefcdb.livejournal.com/. He’s been talking about things in his life lately, like shootings in his neighborhood and recovery from the Federal Flood, but when he blogs about his food, you can just FEEL the pride. And his food is as good as it sounds.