Monday, 13 August 2007

It's My First Blogversary

Exactly one year ago I published my very first blog post about food. It was not a complicated meal: "I decided to go for something simple and elegant - sardine salad, followed by fruit salad". But I wrote with enthusiasm about buying my sardines from Steve Hatt in Islington, dispatching my dad to the greengrocers for fresh fruit and cooking dinner for my brother Joel and his girlfriend Aliyyah.

I'd set the blog up previously, as a mechanism for me to present my CV to prospective work experience employers and I'd even published a couple of articles - one appealing for a summer job and one wishing my old school alumnus Phillips Idowu good luck in the European athletics triple-jump. But until that fateful day exactly one year ago it had never occurred to me to write about food.

A lot has changed in that time. That student who, one year ago was seeking new work experience and before setting out on his third year, has graduated from college with a Professional Chef Diploma and is about to head off to start his professional career.

And I've published a total of 212 pieces about my college studies, my work experience, my home cooking, food news, foodie movies, restaurants, food shops, television food programmes and the act of blogging itself.

I haven't tried particularly hard to build up a huge readership. I've just been really happy to write about food and my development as a trainee chef and talk to those who found my writing worthy of comment. I haven't kept accurate stats, but I make it about 30,000 readers and around 900 comments. When I started out I was reasonably confident in my ability to string a piece of prose and an argument together, based on having achieved Grade A in both English language and literature in my GCSEs. But looking back, it's obvious to me just how much my writing has improved over this year. And so has my confidence in communicating with other people - both those with similar views and those with very different views. Based on what I know now, I'm convinced that every school should mandate its students to maintain a blog as part of the curriculum.

I'm not sure what will happen in a month's time, but I guess there'll be a bit of a hiatus in my blogging. Dad and I are heading off in opposite directions - him to a cottage in the Yorkshire dales and me to a restaurant in Barcelona. Not having him around to help with my blog and being in full-time work in Spain means it will be difficult. We've been discussing turning this into a "father and son" blog, with me posting on my experiences and him posting alternately on his home cooking. Either way we'll need to sort out some telecoms issues to make it all feasible.

To celebrate this anniversary, I've decided that I can no longer masquerade behind the image of a sweet and innocent 17-year-old. So I've been re-photographed, complete with real facial hair and bags under my eyes. Dad says I look quite like David Beckham. I don't mind that so much - so long as I don't have to go out with someone who looks like Posh Spice.

To everyone who I've met on this journey of fun and discovery, from all corners of the planet - thanks for your company and your support. Don't get carried away, though. Just because you posted a few comments on my blog when I was a poor student doesn't mean you're going to get free meals for the family when I'm running a world-famous restaurant. I'll autograph your bill, though, if you ask nicely.

20 comments:

Julia said...

Happy blogversary! You've come along way baby!

Delicious said...

Happy one year! I just tried your Rhubarb ice cream recipe out and loved it. Am trying to work out a Rhubarb chutney sometime in the future. Love the new pic.

Lydia said...

Happy blog birthday! Sticking with blogging for an entire year is an achievement. Looking forward to reading about your adventures as a chef!

AP said...

Do you have a good bacalhau recipe? Would love to try making it sometime...

Columbus Foodie said...

Happy one year! For some reason, I thought you've been around much longer. And even though I'll be sad to see you not posting as much, I'm happy knowing it's because you'll be doing something you love. Best of luck as you start your professional career.

Trig said...

Julia, 'Delicious', Lydia, Becke - thanks for your comments. It's been a great year and I'm looking forward to the next one.

AP - I've just realised that I never finished writing up my Bacalhau à braz recipe. I'll do that very soon for you. It's a great recipe, very simple and makes a fantastic meal. I cooked it with northern Portuguese friends who should know a good bowl of bacalhau when they taste one!

AP said...

I just noticed a fairly complete recipe (and might I add, decilious looking end-product) posted. Is it complete? Thanks much in advance...

Trig said...

AP - all the steps are there - it's just that I usually start with brief notes to myself and then expand on them later. This time I forgot to expand the notes. I'll try to do it tomorrow.

Krista said...

Happy Blogday! Don't worry--I'll settle for an autograph and a seat at the chef's table for me and my friends. I'd say "once you're famous," but I think you're already there!

Beth said...

I haven't been reading your blog for a year but regularly for a few months now. I dont comment often but figured I would stop and say happy anniversary to the blog. Hope you continue to write!

Ben said...

Happy blog birthday Trig. So many posts and always so well written. You put the rest of us to shame. Or some of us, anyway. Good luck, and look forward to toasting you on September 1st.

Cheers. Ben.

Trig said...

Krista, Beth, Ben - thank you.

Mark said...

Congratulations on the first year it's been an interesting read. Good luck for the year ahead.

Chennette said...

Happy Blogversary! I think I have been reading your blog for pretty much most of the past year. :-) Nice work. Good luck with Barcelona and revisioning of the blog!

Trig said...

Mark, Chennette - many thanks.

Jeanne said...

Hey - happy blogaversary! Doesn't time fly when you're having fun... Hope to celebrate many more with you.

Acme Instant Food said...

Hey Trig, congratulations on your blogversary! With or without preferred seating in your restaurant (and of course bypassing the line by sneaking in the back door) I'll be totally thrilled to hear when you are THE new chef to emulate. I think with your talent and bountiful ambition it will happen soon. Just when you thought you couldn't possibly stand on your feet in the kitchen for longer stretches of time... :) Best to you!

Trig said...

Jeanne - thanks, looking forward to meeting you when you get back from holiday.

AIF - after your review I may have to put the prices up as well as post guards on the back door. Btw, I followed up on my promise to try a watermelon salsa and I'll post on it soon.

ros said...

Belated happy Blogversary. I hope you do manage to keep writing in your new job- it would be fascinating to look behind the scenes in a top class restaurant.

I think most school students do already have blogs of their own. They're on Myspace and generally don't use punctuation or grammar so aren't the best thing for improving communication skills!

You're looking very smooth in that new photo.

Trig said...

Ros - I know exactly what you mean about punctuation and grammar, but it would be very hypocritical of me to say anything because I'm pretty lazy with mine on MSN Messenger. But the thing with these myspace pages is that the majority aren't using them as blogs at all. I've got no problem with musicians setting up a myspace to get their stuff heard and get exposure, but it's the moronic babbling from the other 99% who just want to talk about their shiny new pink manolo blahniks or how phat the rave was last nite. God, I sound like an old man!


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