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Food Blogger’s Etiquette Guide Ten Rules for Restaurant Blogging By The Food Channel’s Kay Logsdon & Photographed by David Nehmer

Watermarc, Laguna Beach, CA

Ten Rules for Restaurant Blogging These rules were written by Kay Logsdon, The Food ChannelÂŽ Editor in Chief, and illustrated with photographs taken by David Nehmer, Creative Director, live and on site at restaurants we have visited.


Nora’s Wine Bar & Osteria, Las Vegas, NV

Food Blogging at The Stinking Rose, San Francisco, CA

This idea started with words from the immortal Rick Bayless: “I guess maybe we need to publish a little booklet on food blogger’s etiquette.” Since is in many ways written specifically for and about food bloggers, we decided to accept the challenge and give you our Food Blogger’s Etiquette Guide— Ten Rules for Restaurant Blogging.



Be professional, even if your blog is a hobby. That means identify yourself. Whether it’s a blog or a comment on a review site, use your name and location. It means keep the blog short—no one wants to read War and Peace when hunting for a place to eat. And run Spell Check before posting your blog. Spaghettini Italian Grill and Jazz Club, Seal Beach, CA



Photos are OK—in fact, they are a compliment to the chef. However, flash photos are a distraction to other diners. Do not use a flash. If you need more light, work with your tablemate to use a “flashlight” feature on your phone. Do not attempt to move or use the candlelight, play with the light fixtures, or get five iPhones lighting up the room. Versailles Cuban Restaurant , Los Angeles, CA



Respect privacy. Do not take photos of other diners. Taking a photo of the plated food is not an excuse to intrude on others’ privacy, even if they are in a public location. If you want to get a photo of a line or of someone else’s table, ask permission and react graciously and comply whether it’s a yes or a no. El Cholo, Los Angeles, CA



Rutabegorz, Tustin, CA

Café Adelaide, New Orleans, LA

Brennan’s, New Orleans, LA

Big Dog’s Draft House & Brewing Co., Las Vegas, NV

4. 7

Tip: To get the best photo, consider a little distance. Although editors used to say, “Get close, then get closer,” new cameras and software make it easier to focus from a distance and zoom in when you crop the photo for your blog.

Make sure your photo will do proper justice to the restaurant and its food. Restaurants pay a lot of money for professional food shots, sometimes employing food stylists and lighting experts. Keep that in mind if your photo turns out murky or out of focus—do the restaurant owner a favor and don’t use it. You may be able to capture a photo from their website or simply link to one. Bluewater Grill, Tustin, CA

5. 8

Certified Master Chef Gustav Mauler

What applies to photos should also apply to what you write, especially that part about “respect privacy.” Don’t quote from private conversations or from interviews with the staff—or even the restaurant owner or chef—unless you have identified yourself as a blogger and they are OK with being quoted. It’s really not enough to leave their name out, particularly when they can be easily identified by their boss the next day. Ask first. Spiedini Ristorante — JW Marriott, Las Vegas, NV

6. 9

Use good judgment when judging. In other words, if you are going to criticize, be sure you know what you are talking about. Few food bloggers are trained culinarians, no matter how often they eat out. So something that tastes “odd” to you may simply be your untrained palate. Be sure to identify your level of expertise so the reader can take your opinion for what it is—opinion. Red Fish Grill, New Orleans, LA


Alpenhorn Gasthaus, Hermann, MO

Brigtsen’s Restaurant, New Orleans, LA

Drago’s, Metairie, LA

Commander’s Palace, New Orleans, LA

7. 11

Be polite. Again, blogging is not the same as being a food critic, no matter how much social media has changed the game. A good food blogger is about sharing the experience, and being polite when relating your experience is essential. So if you received poor service or bad food, it’s totally OK to say that was your experience, but do it without expletives, invectives, or insults. Maialino, New York, NY

8. 12

Link to the restaurant’s web site. Give your reader the chance to learn more about the restaurant and to peruse the menu a little further. Avoid linking to review sites unless it’s a review you’ve written, because you cannot judge the veracity of the reviewer—do you know if they are qualified to love or hate the place? Instead, talk about your experience and link to the restaurant’s site for more information. That’s also the best way to ensure the most current and accurate information about their menu, their hours, or their special events is made available. China Grill— Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV


Jerry’s Famous Deli, Studio City, CA

BACCO, New Orleans, LA

Grand Isle, New Orleans, LA

Arroyo Chop House, Pasadena, CA

9. 14

Let the restaurant know you’ve written a blog. Again, it’s simple courtesy—this is not a ploy to request that your next meal be free or that you receive priority seating. It’s simply that in a world of new media and blogs with low Search Engine Optimization, it’s hard to keep up with everything said about you. And if they don’t know, they can’t enjoy the two minutes of fame or make changes based on your opinions. Give them that chance. The Stinking Rose, San Francisco, CA

10. 15

Don’t let note taking, photo taking, or observations hinder your enjoyment of the meal or the atmosphere. Blogging is meant to help others discover the experience, but if you aren’t having fun, too, what’s the point? Slow down, make it less of a job and more of a delight. K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, New Orleans, LA

The Food Channel® is the place for people who are passionate about food. It’s where you can find true food knowledge from a variety of sources. It’s where you can both find and create a voice that is heard. We are about recipes, destinations, news, and new products, with the insight brought to you from our Test Kitchens, our editorial staff, and our partnerships across the industry. Our philosophy is based on innovation and original content, disseminated and used by as many places around the Web as possible. So, in that spirit, share this information wherever food bloggers hang out...including in some of the amazing restaurants found around the world. To submit your photos and talk more about tips for food bloggers, find us on Facebook at

TOP—Shuck’s Tavern Gaming and Oyster Bar, Las Vegas, NV BOTTOM LEFT—Katella Deli, Los Alamitos, CA BOTTOM RIGHT—The Original Pancake House , Las Vegas, NV 16

Cover: Watermarc – Roasted White Cedar Planked King Salmon with brown sugar mustard rub and citrus. Laguna Beach, CA

Page 1: Nora’s Wine Bar & Osteria – Graham cracker crust with

strawberry rhubarb conserva and fresh mint. Las Vegas, NV

Page 2: The Stinking Rose – Bagna Calda—Garlic Soaking in a Hot Tub—garlic cloves, over roasted in extra virgin olive oil and butter with a hint of anchovy. San Francisco, CA

Page 3: Spaghettini Italian Grill and Jazz Club – Harris Ranch Natural Short

Ribs. Seal Beach, CA

Page 4: Versailles Cuban Restaurant – Camarones Enchilados (shrimp in

Cuban Creole sauce). Los Angeles, CA

Page 5: El Chollo – Chocolate Chimichangas. Los Angeles, CA Page 6: Rutabegorz – Chicken Enchiladas Verde. Tustin, CA; Café Adelaide – Red Bean Crusted Oyster with green onion rouille and a tasso beurre rouge. New Orleans, LA; Brennan’s – Eggs Sardou— Poached eggs on artichoke bottoms nestled in a bed of creamed spinach and covered with

Hollandaise sauce. New Orleans, LA; Big Dog’s Draft House & Brewing Co. – Dulce de Leche and Black Lab Stout Bread Pudding. Las Vegas, NV

Page 7: Bluewater Grill – Bay Shrimp and Baked Stuffed Maine Lobster.

Tustin, CA

Page 8: Spiedini Ristorante – Certified Master Chef Gustav Mauler’s

Signature Chopped Salad: “A chiffonade of romaine, carrots, zucchini, avocado, roasted corn, tomato, bacon, a little Russian dressing. It’s molded and crowned with matchstick potatoes cooked very crispy, with a dusting of pepper.” Las Vegas, NV

Page 9: Red Fish Grill – Parmesan & Dijon Glazed Oysters With Butternut Squash

Puree. Parmesan and Dijon glazed oysters with a butternut squash puree, Herbsaint flamed spinach and grilled baby fennel. This dish pays homage to some of the classic flavors of Oyster Rockefeller with the use of spinach, parmesan and Herbsaint, while using different techniques to pair those flavors withGulf oysters. Recipe available at New Orleans, LA

Page 10: Alpenhorn Gasthaus – Fresh-squeezed orange juice is served with

an optional splash of champagne, which quickly transforms the drink into a festive

Mimosa. Hermann, MO; Brigtsen’s Restaurant – Seafood Platter— with Grilled Drum Fish with Crawfish & Pistachio Lime Sauce, Louisiana Shrimp Cornbread with Jalapeño Smoked Corn Butter, Baked Oyster LeRuth with Shrimp & Crabmeat, Baked Oyster Bienville, Jalapeño Shrimp Cole Slaw, and Panéed Sea Scallop with Asparagus Coulis. New Orleans, LA; Drago’s – Tommy Cvitanovich cooks up a selection of charbroiled oysters. Here, it’s not if you want oysters . . . it’s how many dozen do you want. Metairie, LA; (continued on next page) 17

Page 10: (continued) Commander’s Palace – Here’s how Executive Chef Tory

McPhail describes it: We take a four foot pewter banana leave hors d’oeuvre platter, fill with 3-4 inches of cajun spiced rock salt. Add tons of whole garlic cloves, chilies, bay leaves, peppercorns and more, then light it up to 450 degrees. Make a New Orleans style barbeque sauce with butter, garlic, black pepper, lemon, hot sauce, Worcestershire and Abita beer. Next, add the oyster juice and reduce to concentrate the flavor. Take the rippin’ hot rock salt with the hot oyster shells and race to the dining room. In the bottom of each shell add a teaspoon of creole-spiced olive oil, a raw oyster, a tablespoon of NOLA BBQ sauce and crush big chunks of cheesy Commander’s Palace garlic bread on top for the crust. It’s BBQ oyster’s, tableside! Finish with hand crushed lemons and herbs all across the top to create a huge burst of steam and fresh lemon smell to spice up the whole dining room. New Orleans, LA

Page 11: Maialino – Carciofini Fritti (fried artichokes with anchovy dipping sauce). New York, NY

Page 12: China Grill – Lobster Pancakes —plentiful lobster chunks and mushrooms wrapped in a pancake almost thin enough to be a crepe. Las Vegas, NV

Page 13: Jerry’s Famous Deli – Cindy Salad—a spring mix with crumbled blue

cheese, raspberries, apple, caramelized nuts and raspberry vinaigrette. Studio City,

BACCO – BACCO Shrimp— Jumbo Louisiana Gulf shrimp, garlic, rosemary, Abita Amber beer, Creole seasonings. New Orleans, LA; Grand Isle – Grilled Filet of Tuna—


topped with a Fire Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato and Chipotle Relish. It was served with Herb Roasted New Potatoes and Sautéed Zucchini and Yellow Squash.. New Orleans, LA; Arroyo Chop House – Scallops Wrapped with Pancetta. Pasadena, CA

Page 14: The Stinking Rose – Forty Clove Garlic Chicken roasted on the bone. San

Francisco, CA

Page 15: K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen – Blackened Louisiana Drum— Fresh Drum

Fish From Louisiana Waters Seasoned and Blackened in a Cast Iron Skillet and Served with Drawn Butter, Potatoes and Veggies. New Orleans, LA

Page 16: Shuck’s Tavern Gaming and Oyster Bar – The Big Mother-Shucker—a

full one-pound patty stuffed with bacon and cheese, then topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, grilled mushrooms, more cheese, fried onion straws, and a secret “mother shucken” sauce, all on a giant toasted bun. Las Vegas, NV; Katella Deli – Cheese

Blintzes. Los Alamitos, CA; The Original Pancake House – Strawberry Fresh Fruit Crepes. North Las Vegas, NV

Find stories and more from each of these establishments at


Š2011 The Food Channel

Bloggers Etiquette  

Since is, in many ways, written specifically for and about food bloggers, we decided to accept the challenge and give you ou...