What do a Lithuanian model in Paris, a British point-com consultant and a Luxembourg student in London have in common? They all write successful food blogs in their spare time. Ironically, their knowledge of haute cuisine is arguably superior to that of many newspaper restaurant reviews in the UK, where the writing often seems to be seen more as a place of humor rather than the food itself.
After being around for less than a decade, the impact of food blogs has finally been recognized by the mainstream food world. As of this month, the New York-based James Beard Foundation’s “Food World Oscars” awards will no longer distinguish between online and print. This means that the best prices for restaurant review or food writing are now open to bloggers. There were many things that sparked this shift in power, including the growth of the dining community and social networking sites. Unlike the food guides which are only updated once a year, there are bloggers so notoriously impatient that they tweet about every dish while they are still sitting in the restaurant. On the other end of the spectrum, some top-notch sites (www.gastroville.com and www.worldfoodieguide.com) are only updated every few months or left behind while their authors take on other tasks.