[All photos in this post where taken by Huong Nguyen of Heartlab Co. at Weho Bistro in West Hollywood]
I’ve been blogging about restaurants and food related events here at Follow My Gut for a little over two years.
In my time of talking about and photographing plates, I’ve been asked why I write about restaurants more times than I can recall. In the beginning it was a simple answer: “I really love dining”. It was a true answer, but overtime I started to feel like it wasn’t my answer. I really love eating at restaurants (along with so many other people), but I wanted to figure out the ‘why’ to why I love restaurants so much. Recently I took a trip down memory lane to figure out that answer and the memories that housed my interactions with restaurants were pretty surprising. So much so that I have to share it with you and offer a few reasons why you should write about restaurants if you’ve been thinking about it.
When I was elementary, my school encouraged kids to read books by rewarding us with personal pizzas from Pizza Hut after reaching a specific reading goal. I not only reached that goal, I did it repeatedly. Not because I love books, sure reading is cool, but I really wanted to sit in Pizza Hut and have someone hand me a pizza. Of course I impressed my mom and my teachers with how much I could read, but I was really doing it for sausage and pepperoni covered pies. A few years later I remember my uncle giving me a large amount of money. As a kid, getting $20 was like winning the lottery. Any other kid would have taken those winnings and bought toys, my first thought was, “Can you imagine how many nuggets from McDonald’s I can get with this!?” Fast forward and a few years later my mom went into the hospital for breast cancer surgery. During her recovery, everyone (and I mean everyone) came by our house with plates of food. Seeing people walk with lasagna, steak, and pies in hand almost like waiters, made me think our house had turned into a restaurant. From those instances, I’ve always had a natural want to be in, eat in, and talk about restaurants which has now turned into this blog. Sure it may sound corny, but some of the best love stories start that way.
Now, let’s talk about you…
With that said, I know I really love restaurants and if you’re reading this post then there’s a chance that you do too. Maybe you’re even at the point that you want to write about them. If you find yourself looking to take that next step, here are four reasons why you should finally make the leap!
If you’re the type of person who loves going to restaurants and you can’t help but take out your phone or camera to snap a few shots before you eat and share that image with everyone, then you will be incredibly pleased to know that writing about food will introduce you to plates you can’t even imagine. As you visit restaurant after restaurant you’ll find yourself in eateries that have plates you could have only dreamed of enjoying. You’ll get to explore tastes that go beyond what you’re used to and see plates decorated with flare. Even more, you’ll get to meet the ingenious chefs who create the dishes that bring all your dreams to life.
We all know that food can bring people together, but when you’re writing and photographing it for a restaurant, you’re often around people who do the same thing. You’ll quickly see yourself at a table with strangers and being in close proximity over a shared interest of food can turn strangers into friends. A cocktail here, an appetizer there, and before you know it you’re planning the next time you’ll meet up with a person who only a few hours ago you just introduced yourself to.
The more you write about restaurants, the more restaurants you’ll want to see. I thought Los Angeles would be enough for me, but as I got deeper into it I wanted to see what could be found outside of my own city, state, and country. With that I started to travel for food. To be invited to restaurants in Mexico City and to travel with the ability to photograph restaurants in cultures and cities outside of my own is a blessing and one that you’ll get to enjoy too! My best advice, as you start writing about restaurants make a list of the places you want to visit and write about and give it to Jesus, the universe, or whatever higher being directs your life. Tell them your plans and watch them make it happen.
The best part about writing about restaurants and all that it entails is it can become an adventure if you let it. The minute you allow yourself to dive deep into this restaurant review world and really allow the wave to take you, you’ll find yourself exploring life one plate at a time. Along the way you’ll realize that there are people who love to follow your adventures and support what you do. That in turn will offer you a life that you didn’t see coming and one that you will wholeheartedly accept!
I’ve found that my initial love for eating at a restaurant and photographing plates from the kitchen has grown into something more than I could have expected. I love that I have memories where all I could think about was getting into a fast food joint or people making me feel like my home was a restaurant. Because of that, I now have my own little space on the world wide web where I can share with others the new restaurants and plates that I discover. I think it’s exciting and liberating to be able to do this and I’m incredibly lucky to do so. I highly encourage you to do the same if you’ve contemplated it. If you’re looking to jump into reviewing restaurants and are optimistic about the places you’ll encounter, do it! Heck, I’m here if you have questions or need help as you start so you don’t feel like you have to go about it alone. Just make the first step and see where it takes you, and I’m sure you’ll be glad you followed your gut.