Chefs have time to blog?

Keeping up with my 2008 goals has proved difficult--mostly due to technological problems. This computer, post champagne spill, has had issues. Nick, my longtime friend, and IT virtuoso told me how to fix it.

"Buy a mac."

Either way, not being able to connect to these sites has proved a a huge pain in the ass:

  • typepad
  • sfgate
  • technorati
  • and many, many others

When tax returns come, hopefully a new computer won't be far behind. Beyond PC issues, I just haven't had the time for pictures. Tonight I took two photographs, and I was shocked I was able to squeeze in time to do so.

Ryan Scott of Top Chef was in tonight, and after his Picatta debacle, we thought it would be funny to send him one...although it was called off at the last second. Pictures of the finished dish are coming soon. Did I mention Top chef Zoi used to work at Nopa?

So Shuna posted an interesting blog this week, and Bill Burge made some comments on the same phenomenon: Chef bloggers. I've tried to blog as transparently at possible...disclosing where I work, and what I do. I try to include photographs, and really show what goes down. However, i've never asked for permission to write what I do, nor have I even disclosed to my new employers that I write a blog. Whether or not disclosure of a blog is even necessary, I do not know. I do wonder what my bosses would think about me mentioning their name here though....

At PAV, my blog was common knowledge. At Nopa, no one but a single cook know about it. (And he hasnt even seen it yet.) Is it necessary to ask for permission to write about your work? Or is it our right to say what we want here?

Either way, I wish this was more coherent, but after all, it is 3:30am. Tonight was a 'slow' 318 covers...so I think a shower is in order about now. Happy St Patty's Day.


sarahsouth said...

say what you want! say what you want! uncensored, please; the people are counting on you...

shuna fish lydon said...

here here on the Apple computer fix-it. Go to the store. Ask what they have in the "re-furbished cage." get a computer someone traded in just the other day, cleaned and checked out by apple peoples, and voila! on your credit card. after a few months of working nonstop you'll have it paid off because you don't have any days off to spend the money...

I think linecook. is a raw look at your jobs through a wry smile and a very you hole. but these are questions we all need to think about because we are on a not-as-yet-defined medium of a ride and the truth is that more people can see you than you know.

for me I had to ask because my last job gained a hell of a lot of mileage offa my blog but still chose to shaft me in the end, and not attempt to come clean about it. words stick, no matter who says them, and that's waht's so interesting and yet volatile about this blog thing.

there are no right answers, though, it's what's right for each of us. and our truths are different.

hey, I'm glad I met you. and this happened because you have a blog and so do I.

thanks for the musings.

John & Jen said...

Hey, I was in last night for the first time. Just in town for a month and trying to hit some of the best places, but not necessarily the 4-stars. Nopa is exactly the kind of place where we hope to end up, where everyone's having a good time.
You guys care about the food and it shows.
Keep it up.

Nick said...

One more tip:
Being that your lovely wife is a teacher, she should get a nice Student/Teacher discount on said Apple.


jondis said...

what up richie. make it two cooks. This guy I worked with on a catering gig mentioned your blog to me and I was going to hold off reading but now since I got nothing to do now with my burn I figured I'd take a peek. Thanks again for all the concern.

My 2 cents about disclosure? It's good to let people know, but either way if you keep things kosher and focused it's not a big deal. S--- talking and snarky comments are better anonymous, but you're not that type of guy.

besides, any good business owner has a google alert on their business name so they may have already come across it and not let it slip yet.

charcuteire said...

Since Michael Ruhlman has posted your blog on his, I suspect more than two cooks know.

Anne said...

If you ask for permission, it will always be denied.

If you jus5t do it, you can argue that you didn't know/realize the implications.

And usually, the Big Dogs won't care, as long as a positive spin is maintained.

Tino said...

I know this is kind of a late comment, but hopefully you'll have a chance to check it out.

Blogging about work in the open is a very tricky business. Even if you get the permission of the owner/chef/partners today, that doesn't mean they couldn't change their mind at some point in the future.

To be totally protected, you would have to be 100% anonymous -- who you are, where you work, the people who work with you, etc. You would need to set up an email account (if you wanted people to be able to contact you) in such a way that it couldn't be traced back to you. I'm not saying you couldn't write about things that happen at work, but you would have to change names/places/etc. so that it couldn't be tied back to you personally.

The biggest issue with your boss(es) would be if they perceived (whether true or not) that something you wrote somehow gave the general public a negative perception of their restaurant. You have the right to write whatever you want on your blog (assuming it isn't libelous, of course). However, that speech is not protected under any type of contract law and you could be terminated as a result of it. It's the equivalent of you bad-mouthing the company in a public forum.

I know it seems silly that some off-the-cuff ramblings could cause that much trouble, but remember that your blog is no longer just being seen by your family and friends who know about it. Like someone else said, your link shows up on Ruhlman's site (which is how I found you) and a LOT of people read that.

Just some food for thought.

BTW, I really do enjoy reading your blog. You have an interesting perspective.