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Old 11-03-2011, 02:46 AM   #1
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What should I do?

So, recently I have taken on a mission to present world cuisine (from all countries and cultures) to Chinese people, how to cook it, along with some food science knowledge which I think will benefit them. So I have made a blog as a reservoir for my recipes and each recipe goes with some history of the dish and looks like a lesson. So far I have gotten 10000 views since I created the blog 4 months ago.

While many people praise my endeavor to bring eye-opening experience with food from other cultures, and sharing food science knowledge that's seldom known by casual cooks, I also received many harsh criticism that basically says:

1. I'm not humble to try to "teach" people
2. My knowledge is wrong
3. My cooking skill is bad
4. I should learn more before trying to teach and mislead other people

No matter what they say, they don't provide any suggestions on how to do it better.

First of all I do agree that neither my knowledge or my skill is comparable to any professional chefs out there, because I'm a network engineer, with no cooking school experience and everything I know is from my own research and trial-and-error. I'm still refining many of my recipes and even when I look back to some of my older blog posts I feel it's not right.

However, the problem is, there are currently nobody out there who's sharing these knowledge and world cuisine to Chinese people, and those who criticized me aren't really contributing anything. When asked, they always say, my knowledge isn't good enough so I don't want to mislead other people. So now I'm unsure how I should proceed. I feel that though my knowledge and skills don't measure up to pros, but they are sufficient for casual people who are starting to learn about cuisine from other part of the world, and my emphasis is on making grass-root, home made, easy-to-do, down to the earth tasty food rather than restaurant quality, professionally presented fine dinning. It's like DDD vs. Iron Chef America.

I'm really passionate about researching new food from all over the world and sharing it with others, and since I can't become a chef myself, I find plenty of successful feeling in this effort. I do understand that becoming a celebrity in a community will be hated by some people while loved by others, I just want to hear some opinion from you guys on how I should go on, should I stop sharing what I know and refine my own skills first, or should I keep doing what I love to do and ignore the nonconstructive criticisms?

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Old 11-03-2011, 04:07 AM   #2
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I have never seen your work so I do not know if you teach or preach. If you preach that may not fly.

I think maybe you need to develop a thicker skin. You will always find people who disagree with you and your methods.

I am constantly amazed at how passionate some people are about the way they do things and the products they use or don't use. IMHO all you can do is tell people how you do things and then sit back and see what responses you get.

Keep learning and keep cooking, ya gotta eat!
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:43 AM   #3
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If this is just from a blog, then Aunt Bea is right, get a thicker skin. the internet gives everyone a voice, and when you can be protected behind the keyboard, people can be more rude than they may be in real life.

That being said, you should know who to convert the critisism into something constructive. It shouldn't be about insults, but about results. If it has to be spelled out, then you are not doing the work for yourself, but just following the e-leader. Take steps to personally enhance your knowledge/technique. read, research, practice, get out and see people doing the things you want to lear FIRST HAND. Take a food vacation, offer to work a free weekend here or there in the style place you are trying to represent, there are LOTS of options to enhance your skill set.

You won't be able to teach, if you KNOW you aren't capeable of it. When teaching, people pick up very quickly on your confidence level, and ability. You need to be confident, but not cocky, and relaxed. It's lunch and dinner, not life and death. There are soooooooooo many variables, without seeing it, it is all assumptions.

Post a link up to the blog, I am curious to see what you are doing.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:28 PM   #4
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my blog is ??_???? it's all in chinese. some of those recipes are my own concoction that is pretty far from authentic, but I'm not looking for authenticity, cuz it'll just scare new learners away. I want to show the basics using easy to get ingredients that new learners can quickly pick up and feel successful.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
my blog is ??_???? it's all in chinese. some of those recipes are my own concoction that is pretty far from authentic, but I'm not looking for authenticity, cuz it'll just scare new learners away. I want to show the basics using easy to get ingredients that new learners can quickly pick up and feel successful.

using google chrome, it translates the page, so it's no big deal that it is in Chinese.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:36 PM   #6
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lol nice
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
my blog is ??_???? it's all in chinese. some of those recipes are my own concoction that is pretty far from authentic, but I'm not looking for authenticity, cuz it'll just scare new learners away. I want to show the basics using easy to get ingredients that new learners can quickly pick up and feel successful.

After looking at it, it sends a mixed signal: You are trying to teach cultural staples, but not worried about authenticity? That can lead to a whole world of trouble, as well as a lot of misinformation.

Why not just do a food blog that simply highlights your creation, without worries of labeling, or classifying everything into a geographical genre? You can't teach the fundamentals of a culture, and not worry about authenticity.

Maybe do a walk through of your local market and highlight an ingredient that you feel most Chinese are not firmiliar with, or that is "western" and show 3 or 4 simple ways to prepare it/incorporate it?

Trying to encompass so many world cuisines has got to be a little daunting, especially if you, yourself say that you are't exactly sure about it. . .to be the most comfortable, go with what you know. Even if it is using a different ingredient, in a traditional way, and educating people slowly, one step at a time.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:02 PM   #8
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That's some nice looking chicken n dumplings on your blog.
I'll have to go through it this afternoon when I'm back at work.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TATTRAT View Post
After looking at it, it sends a mixed signal: You are trying to teach cultural staples, but not worried about authenticity? That can lead to a whole world of trouble, as well as a lot of misinformation.

Why not just do a food blog that simply highlights your creation, without worries of labeling, or classifying everything into a geographical genre? You can't teach the fundamentals of a culture, and not worry about authenticity.

Maybe do a walk through of your local market and highlight an ingredient that you feel most Chinese are not firmiliar with, or that is "western" and show 3 or 4 simple ways to prepare it/incorporate it?

Trying to encompass so many world cuisines has got to be a little daunting, especially if you, yourself say that you are't exactly sure about it. . .to be the most comfortable, go with what you know. Even if it is using a different ingredient, in a traditional way, and educating people slowly, one step at a time.
Yea I do run into much of this kind of conflict between easy to do and authenticity. For example, authentic wiener schnitzel requires veal, but veal cutlets are very difficult to find and also expensive, so I substitute with pork, which earned insults for misleading people, even though I did clarify in the article why I use pork and not veal.

As far as what I'm most comfortable, there's no such thing for me lol. I always try new dishes from all over the world and slowly refine my recipe as I do it over and over again (which doesn't happen often, since I can't stand eating the same thing), and I don't really have a preference on which culture I want to focus on (though I have done more italian food than others).

However, I do understand your suggestion that I should start slow and gradually introduce the element of authenticity. I have several "series" of blogs that focus on the same type of food, such as steak, pizza, pasta, and slowly incorporate authentic methods and ingredients into it.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
That's some nice looking chicken n dumplings on your blog.
I'll have to go through it this afternoon when I'm back at work.
Looks is another challenge I have lol. Though you think it looks good, the chinese people just don't dig it (which is reasonable since they didn't grow up with it) and thinks it looks all mushy and ugly. Same thing with my german rouladen, they says it looks like pieces of turd in the toilet, I mean it does, but that's how rouladen looks like...

edit: just looked at that post again, only the very bottom photo is from me, the ones on top are from google to show them how its supposed to look like when done professionally with professional photos. it tastes great nontheless :)
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