A quick look through the thousands of food blogs that I can connect to in a moment takes me into a foodie world that was previously inaccessible. From beautifully photographed decorated cupcakes in New York, to sushi in Japan, via a sweet-maker in Indonesia - the skill and dedication of people who cook, photograph and write about food is inspiring, and can make you instant friends with people around the world who are as passionate as you. And they have such great names – Eat like a Girl, Rate My Sausage or Kiss My Spatula anyone?
Here on suffolkfoodie you will find gorgeous Suffolk food - there is so much of it. I am not an expert chef but I do love cooking and eating, and nothing pleases me more than buying a pumpkin from the side of the road, or a home-made cake from a village fete, or discovering a cafe that still sells liver and bacon casserole (with fried onions and fresh cabbage) for under a fiver. I want to celebrate what comes out of my garden, from down my road and in my village. It should be easy to find, good and cheap Suffolk produce – just as easy as it is to find a simple and cheap risotto in Italy, and through the suffolkfoodie community we will encourage, not condemn.
When I worked in a Suffolk restaurant the thought of a food critic discovering us, writing amazing things and launching us into celebrity-land was always tempered by the fact that they might not get it, would write something rude and send us in a nosedive into even greater obscurity. Like a Michelin star it's as much a blessing as a curse. And although the critics still have some influence, now that anyone can have an opinion I'm sure it keeps them on their toes. Tracey MacLeod, food critic of the Independent, ventured out not too long ago to review The British Larder, a Suffolk country pub that has a food blog of the same name.
There has been a revolution in food, and it isn't just about eating. If you have been in a restaurant and seen someone taking a picture of their starter you can be pretty sure they are doing it to show someone who cares, but can't be there to taste it themselves. They might even be going to write about it later. Food blogging has taken over the culinary world and the food critics of our national newspapers are upset – until now they were the only ones allowed to have an opinion. Those of us who love food and write as well were always envious of their job – being paid to eat? We dream about work like that and the critics who have publicly moaned that too many people are getting in on the act have been inundated by indignant food bloggers. But when do they ever come out of London? Of course London has some of the best restaurants in the country but here in East Anglia we have some of the best produce, some great chefs (including Jamie and Delia...) a lot of dedicated cooks and foodies, and those of us who know where to find them want to tell everybody else.