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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Passion Ate

Food blogs are borne of passion.

From that first quivering post, a nervous food blogger soon becomes helplessly addicted. Within weeks they are documenting their every meal, excitedly recounting their experiences and studiously contributing to a growing pool of local knowledge and loyal readers.

Passions ebb and wane however, and whilst many food blogs peter out, just as many soldier on. I've been lucky that whenever I feel the energy start to flag, something unexpected happens that puts a smile on my face and some urgency back into my sometimes tired fingers.

I'd been in the midst of a lull until I received an email from Masako of Kei's Kitchen today, alerting me to an article she'd written on her website. Apparently many of the students enrolled in her kaiseki cooking class had mentioned Grab Your Fork, having seen the account of my own experience. This led her to exploring the site and so impressed was she that she's written a wonderful review of this very site.

It's certainly made my day (or week, or month, or year perhaps!) and her detailed observations articulate why so many people do enjoy food blogs. The sentiments of her piece tie in nicely with Ed's latest post on traditional media vs food bloggers too.

And whilst I am very appreciative of the comments, feedback and media exposure that this site has received over the years, I urge you, reader, to leave a comment on all those blogs you frequent and enjoy. A little encouragement goes a long way and you may just make someone else's day.

EDIT 12:41am 25/10/07: About ten minutes after I hit "publish" and headed out the door I realised I had forgotten to thank you, dear reader, and all the comments you have contributed over the years. I have my wonderful regular readers and I'm also grateful to the passersby who happen upon a post and leave a brief message, feedback or information update. So thank you. Now pass it on :)

30 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 10/25/2007 06:48:00 pm


  • At 10/25/2007 9:01 pm, Blogger Ed Charles said…

    That's what people forget - and I sometimes do - that it's about visiting and leaving comments.

  • At 10/25/2007 9:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Helen,

    Must say I am seriously getting hooked. Am very new to the world of foodblogs, still trawling my way through your archives. You have opened up a whole new world of gastronomic delight for me. Masako's article echoes all my sentiments. ;)

    Kat + Lo' (even my bf got hooked!)

  • At 10/25/2007 10:10 pm, Blogger Kris said…

    Great post, Helen, and a good point. Let me be the first to say how much I enjoy your site on a daily basis. It still amazes me that we seem to travel through the same geographic area (and have many friends in common) yet haven't run into each other yet. Every time I enter a new restaurant, I look for someone with a camera hoping it'll be you! :)

  • At 10/25/2007 11:22 pm, Blogger red bean said…

    What a favourable.. AWESOME review! I enjoy reading your blog a lot-- I guess it is in part salivating over food photography and part voyeurism in what people are eating. And then being able to go eat there myself. Mostly, I kind of look it like I would a painting.. food is an art.

  • At 10/25/2007 11:59 pm, Blogger thanh7580 said…

    Helen, seeing as your blog is one that I frequent frequently and enjoy enormousely, here's a shout out to you to keep up the good work so that I can keep enjoying all the glorious food you review.

    In fact, it was your actual blog as well as Ivonne from Cream Puffs in Venice that inspired me to start my own food blog. You may notice that I also "borrowed" your drop down menus. Don't sue me please, I'll give you credit for the menus. :-)

  • At 10/26/2007 2:24 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hi helen,

    though this is my first comment post, i actually do frequent your blog A LOT, and when i say A LOT, it means i check it everyday for your new gastronomical adventures - in fact, your posts on chinese malay's har mee had me going there at least once a week while i was working full time in the city! =)

    anyways, this was just a very quick but BIG THANK YOU for bringing so much foodie joy into my life! i've intro-ed your blog to so many of my friends and we now plan out trips to attack all the restaurants you've reviewed (we have no life..) - i promise i will comment more in the future but keep up the GREAT work - i love it love it! =)

    from anya

  • At 10/26/2007 9:35 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    *shakes pompoms* wooo! nono thank YOU for your passion in eating and maintaining this blog it is the reason mine was born so keep on truckin dude!

  • At 10/26/2007 10:33 am, Blogger susan said…

    I also read your post on Kei's Kitchen and have been looking into booking a class for my boyfriend and myself since reading it.

    I must say also that your blog and and many others inspired me to start my own. it's what keeps me sane during work every day is reading all about these different and wonderful places to eat. so thanks!

  • At 10/26/2007 11:13 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Helen,

    Just wanted to say that i've been reading your blog for awhile and its always a great comfort to read. Just keep on doing what you do!

  • At 10/26/2007 11:46 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Helen - I also check your blog just about every day - many's the time we've gone somewhere we'd never have done unless you'd reviewed it first. And I agree with the other couple of people - whenever I see someone with a camera near food I do wonder if it's you! I started posting on eatibility (I know, it's not the same as having my own blog site) after reading grabyourfork. So thank you, thank you, thank you and keep up the good work!

  • At 10/26/2007 1:44 pm, Blogger M-H said…

    No, thank YOU, Helen. I'm a loyal reader - I have you on RSS feed. Blog on, grrrl!

  • At 10/26/2007 2:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Congratulations Helen! Its a very well deserved review-surely you must qualify for an award for services to the Sydney dining industry by now :) I too was inspired to start my own blog after drooling over yours.

  • At 10/26/2007 3:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've never left a comment before either but, as others have said, a day never passes but I check into your wonderful blog. I'm so appreciative of your great photos and detailed commentary. Most of your posts make me want to head off to your latest experience and savour it first hand rather than vicariously.Thanks to you I have had some amazing meals at places I would otherwise have never visited.....so a huge, huge thank you.

  • At 10/26/2007 7:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Helen!
    We have not posted before either but my hubbie and I have been a fan of your blog for ages. We really enjoy reading your comments and love your photos, you are such a pro!! Anyways I want to tell you we also went to Kei's Kaiseki class because of your blog and we had such a brillant time there, we definitely want to go back again. Congrats on your achievement and we look forward to your next adventure.

  • At 10/26/2007 11:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well I have never left a comment because I live in the southeast US and can never visit the places you do.

    But I have your blog on a RSS feed, because its the prettiest food blog I've ever see - well written and I first noticed it with your Japan trip, which was some of the coolest blog posts I've ever read, with /great/ pics that totally gave me an awesome view into the daily world in Japan. Wish you'd do more Aussie stuff like that :)

  • At 10/27/2007 12:16 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kei expresses exactly how I feel about your blog, I'm addicted! You frequent places I wouldn't normally dine in (thus expanding my culinary vocabulary) and when you do review a place I've been to, it's always sympathetic to how I feel about the place. You have a terrific writing style that should see you cross over to professional one day hopefully if that is what you want!

  • At 10/27/2007 7:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Helen,

    You deserve it, you are a great photographer + writer.

    I still check your blog eventhough I am no longer in Sydney. I torture myself looking at those food photos, and the way you describe the food, it's killing me!!! I always feel soo hungry after reading your blog.

  • At 10/27/2007 4:25 pm, Blogger Terri @ A Daily Obsession said…

    i'm hooked on this blog too :)

  • At 10/27/2007 4:49 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Ed - I'm guilty of lurking too, but I do try to make an effort to comment. Do unto others and all that :)

    Hi Kat and Lo' - Ahh welcome to the delicious world of foodblogs. Happy trawling and who knows, you may just be inspired to start up your own too!

    Hi Kris - Ahh I admit to getting increasingly more nervous about being "outed" one day whilst taking photos in a restaurant. It is funny that we all seem to criss-cross the same places. Keep your eyes peeled. Maybe one day...!

    Hi Red Bean - Food is art, but it's also a lifestyle :) I hope you continue to enjoy the site.

    Hi Thanh7580 - Don't worry, I "borrowed" the drop-down menus from someone else too. And thanks for the support; I'm impressed that a Melbournite reads my blog so often :)

    Hi Anya - You check it every day? Argh, the pressure :)

    And ahh, the fact that you and your friends plan to restaurant attack only proves you HAVE a life, one that's open to new experiences and all kinds of deliciousness!

    Hi chocolatesuze - [rofl at pompoms] I had no idea my blog was the catalyst for yours! Does that mean that soon I will be able to make cupcakes as pretty as yours too?

    Hi Susan - Congrats on the new blog. It looks great :) I hope you do book in for the kaiseki class - it's a lot of fun and so tasty too!

    Hi Henrysan - Thank you. I hope it continues to comfort for many most posts to come :)

    Hi Jax - I notice that a lot more other diners are photographing their meals these days - I too, engage in a sly look sideways to see if I can recognise them!

    Hi M-H - I have too many blogs on my RSS feed but the Sydney ones always get read first. Thank you for being a loyal reader and always taking the time to comment and congratulate.

    Hi Lorraine - I'm so glad you started your blog - it's fabulous. Why did you wait so long? :) Award for services? Heh, perhaps just a happy if too-full belly.

    Hi Ana - Thanks so much for your kind words and do let me know of any great dining experiences you uncover :)

    Hi Mish - The kaiseki class is great isn't it? I'm never sure if people read all the comments, but I certainly do. Thanks for reading GrabYourFork and hope you continue to get as much enjoyment out of it as I do.

    Hi Lizzie - Japan is a amazing country that seems built for food-lovers :) I'd love to do more adventure-type posts of Sydney but argh, the backlog of restaurants I have is already frightening!

    Hi Moya - I'm pleased to hear that my descrptions of restaurants correspond with your own experiences. That's probably one of the greatest compliments I could receive :) I have often thought about writing professionally but must first work out how to make enough of a living out of it first! :)

    Hi Linda - Thank you. I still have much to learn but it's great to have constant feedback from people and the luxury of a "live" audience. I hope you're continuing to enjoy good food where are you now, too :)

  • At 10/27/2007 4:53 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Terri - Thanks. Your blog is even more delicious and exquisitely photographed too :)

  • At 10/27/2007 6:38 pm, Blogger Josh said…

    Hi Helen,
    Long time reader first time poster. Props to you and your crew. Given how prolific your blog is, you deserve more kudos then just one consumer. I too used to have a food blog, and my fingers got lazy. Keep up the great work, and enjoy keep enjoying Sydney food. Even though we all know Melbournes' is better.... (hmmm, new blog coming on).
    all the best,

  • At 10/28/2007 8:45 am, Blogger Kelly said…

    Hey Helen,

    Now that I'm an RSS reader I have to admit I rarely get around to commenting on blogs these days. Just wanted to let you know that I'm still reading, enjoying, salivating over (etc!) your blog and I really admire your commitment! I know how hard it is to keep it up.

    Hope things are going well in Sydney. Here in Brisbane 2007 is hurtling towards Christmas and our new arrival!

    All the best

    PS> We went to Ben Lee's show last weekend - it was indoors (nice and cosy) and we actually saw him play :-)

  • At 10/28/2007 1:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Helen,

    Much like the bloggers before me, I'm a first time commenter, but long time lurker (and fan). Your blog is an invaluable source of information (I'll be travelling Japan for 2 weeks and your blog has helped me plan my own trip), entertainment and an effective (yet deadly) procrastination tool (in the good way of course).
    Thank you for taking the time to write up your food adventures - it's always wonderful to read your entries, particularly those that focus on restaurants within Chinatown as I frequently go there to eat. Had it not been for you, I would've never found Thainatown!

    Keep up the fantastic work, particularly your photos that always have me drooling over my keyboard :)

  • At 10/29/2007 1:27 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Josh - Thanks and yes foodblogging is definitely a labour of love, but a tasty one :) Glad you are still enjoying the blog, and hmm Melb has better clothes shopping but food... it's a close one! lol

    Hi Kelly - I read all my blogs via RSS too so don't worry, I understand. Can't believe 2007 is almost over and hurrah for seeing Ben Lee (not quite as exciting as getting a piccie with him though, surely? hehe)

    Hi delusioned - Ooh do enjoy your trip to Japan. I know I still have a ton of pics to upload but argh, the time, where does it go?

    I'm so pleased that GrabYourFork has expanded your eating options. Thainatown is great isn't it? I love their boat noodle soup.

    Enjoy Japan!

  • At 10/29/2007 4:35 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Dear Grab your for,
    I am addicted to your site and have referred it on to many who are similarly addicted now. I do not use any other guide when choosing to dine out anymore. I also print out your pages on the chosen restaurant as a guide to what to order. This is the best blog I have ever seen and I go to it every day in eager anticipation of a new culinary experience.
    warm regards

  • At 10/30/2007 9:51 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wow, that's great. it's like your blog has come full circle :) what a great review!

    and i so agree, leaving comments is very important. i know i get superrrr excited when people comment on my blog - it is the height of appreciation of your efforts, innit?

  • At 10/30/2007 10:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Helen,
    It's me again, your Loyal Stalker writing from Bermuda. :)

    Ive been meaning to tell you earlier but from the day you posted your entry on Kei's Kitchen, I referred my sister to your post. Before she read your post, she was going to attend some other Japanese cooking class from redballoondays. Apart from getting her addicted to your site, she booked and attended a 'Kei's Kitchen' session with her bf in the October just passed. Her and her bf absolutely loved the class and now wants to attend the other Season classes!

    Anyway, my sister told me that the class was asked where they heard about Kei's Kitchen and 90% of the class said, 'Grab Your Fork'. Then Kei's wife or daughter (cant remember) said it was funny cos when 'that girl' (you :) ) came to their class, you were 'So quiet. Sitting there listening very carefully, taking everything in' and since you left, nearly all their class members have said 'Grab Your Fork' was where they heard Kei from!

    Your site is great and I love the praise i get from friends after i refer them to your site. Your site restores the excitement I have lost after coming to Bermuda. There is not as much variety or 'greatness' here with the food.

    I will be returning to Sydney in a couple of weeks time and thanks to you, I already have a whole list of restaurants I have to try.

    Keep it up! Everybody loves you.

  • At 10/30/2007 7:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a wonderfully well worded write up! Congrats for being such an inspiration to so many people!

  • At 10/30/2007 8:30 pm, Blogger Barry said…

    I'm putting my hand up as another long time fan: I think it is a pretty good thing I don't live in Sydney, or I might find myself following your trail, because the places you go to would also be the places I'd want to go to (when you were in Wellington, you seemed to hit all of my regular spots, except for my secret cupcake place). As it is, I rarely get to Sydney (I did follow up a lead to a Mexican place in Newtown from here): I wish I could find a blod like yours for Melbourne.

  • At 10/31/2007 1:37 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi m.james - Wow, that's quite an endorsement! I'm glad you're having fun dining out at new places altho' I wonder what the waiters think when they spot the printed pages! :)

    Hi Lindsey Clare - Thank you. It was a lovely surprise.

    Comments are the best part of blogging, I think. It's great to feel connected to like-minded foodlovers and to have content that actually generates a reader to respond is the greatest compliment indeed.

    Hi Hilda - lol, I had no idea that that many people had mentioned this site at Kei's kaiseki class. Oh my, that sounds almost surreal. And I definitely didn't hear about the feedback on me either. lol.

    I'm glad your sister and her bf enjoyed the cooking class. It's a lot of fun and always interesting. You must be really looking forward to catching up with family in Sydney, and of course, the food! The food!

    Hi Y - Who knew that eating so well could be so rewarding? lol. Thanks :)

    Hi Barry - Secret cupcake place? Argh, perhaps best I didn't discover it!

    Re: Melbourne food blogs, have you seen this list compiled by Ed? Surely plenty of food for thought?


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