Kate Zimmerman Hates Food Bloggers

I find Kate Zimmerman’s dismissal of food bloggers and social media not only distasteful, but confusing. What is she on about exactly? Food bloggers? Smart mobile devices? Rude people? BBQ? The stupidity of Twitter followers? Her article never really makes a point and fizzles away in self pity and defeat.

If her point was that no one is out there reading blog posts or Twitter tweets, uh, she’s wrong. How else did I find this article in the first place? And after I share this with others, I think she may be surprised by the traction it gets. Long tail my ass, this is where marketing and PR takes place these days Kate. Catch up.

Like Rick Mc, I like food—no, I love food—so I take photos of it. I write about my culinary discoveries and adventures online. So do about 30 other food bloggers on our website

We’re passionate about food and share our thoughts, opinions, reviews, tips and rants with hundreds of followers on Twitter—followers who seem genuinely interested and often engage in dialogue and tell us how much they appreciate our efforts.

Oh yeah, did I mentioned none of us are getting paid for it? Zip. We do it because we enjoy it. Imagine that! Like a, what’s it called? A hobby! A hobby we share with others who love it too!

Oh yeah, and we too recently held a BBQ workshop with 40 people enjoying instruction by BBQ Champ Ronnie Shewchuk. And we blogged, tweeted and Flickred the heck out of it too! (Google “BBQ Bootcamp” to see for yourself).

The one point I will concede to Kate is that Blackberries and iPhones, and their constant online connection, can lead to rude and unhealthy behaviour. I’m guilty of it too, but that’s a separate issue to photographing and writing about food.

The way I see it, Stanley was invited to a restaurant launch party and as much as Kate wanted to chat with her new friend, he had stuff to do. He was there to examine, taste, contemplate, and review the restaurant and its food (as did many others that night judging from the mentions on Twitter).

It’s a shame Ms Zimmerman was offended by Stanley’s lack of attention, but I don’t see why he—or the rest of us—deserved to be so harshly criticized.

What a strange attitude and piece of writing from someone who claims to be an award-winning writer—a writer with her own blog no less—but one who can’t tell the difference between a Blackberry or iPhone and “just learned that Flickr was an online photo sharing site”.

Perhaps someone this out of touch should learn a bit more before they rant online. And if she wants to be invited to future restaurant launch parties,  she might consider sitting at a table without any food bloggers at it.


8 Responses to “Kate Zimmerman Hates Food Bloggers”

  1. Posted on August 5th, 2009

  2. Posted on August 5th, 2009


    I read the post in question, and I thought it was mostly tongue-in-cheek, nicely self-deprecating, and quite well written.

    We food bloggers live in a world of our own, and I think we often deserve to be laughed at. We certainly don’t get a free pass on etiquette. As Kate points out, sometimes we can get so caught up in our bloggerly pursuits that we can end up being anti-social. Kate has another excellent point:

    “Who could possibly be waiting so raptly for an account of the vittles at a bash they weren’t attending that they couldn’t even hold out until the party was over?”

    I couldn’t agree more. I remember climbing the stairs at Notre Dame in my 20s, behind a pair of tourists who must have taken 300 photos on their way to the top. They were forgoing the sensory experience in order to have a good slide show – something I think a lot of food bloggers can be guilty of.


  3. Posted on August 5th, 2009

    Good point Jer.

    It reminds me of this past weekend actually. As a few foodie friends sat down for a decadent (and expensive) dinner at Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler and agreed we’d enjoy the experience sans photos.

    Fail. We took photos anyway.


  4. Posted on August 7th, 2009

    Since when does poking fun at something mean you “hate” it? I don’t hate food bloggers. My column was intended to point out that there is an element of the absurd to photographing your food and posting lengthy descriptions of your meals at the same time as you are supposed to be enjoying them. It’s a humour column, it has run weekly since 2001, and it comments on popular culture. Food blogging happens to be one aspect of popular culture that is new and sometimes odd.

  5. Posted on August 7th, 2009

    Thanks for your comment Kate, much appreciated.

    It’s now clear that “Stanley” is in fact your husband Ronnie Shewchuk himself (I had no idea at all), and he wasn’t the food blogger/photographer referenced at the beginning of the article. Perhaps you can understand my confusion.

    We all have different perspectives I suppose, and even on another read of the article, the humour doesn’t resonate for me and I remain confused, though I do agree that food blogging is new and seems to be everywhere these days, and it certainly can be odd indeed.

  6. Posted on August 7th, 2009

    Hi, Mark,
    Yes, I guess it was confusing. I write my column weekly in the North Shore News and often refer to Stanley. Usually I say near the top that he is my husband but I must have failed to do that this time.
    By the way, this is a very attractive website.


  7. Posted on August 8th, 2009

    On taking photos of my meals: I find the dim lighting in most restaurants can be a huge challenge to getting good images. I usually take my plates into the toilet to shoot them and then return to the table to enjoy my meal sans camera.

  8. Posted on September 2nd, 2009

    Now THAT’S good humour. Thanks, Ben.

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