Episode 1: And so I invite you…

wow-sarap

I am the soul of the gourmand.
Good food fuels my body, and good wine burns my blood.
I have tasted hundreds of dishes
Regardless of cuisine yet mindful of the price.
I seek great-tasting food and drinks.
My heart will only be satisfied by the best.
And so I invite you to my UNLIMITED GRUB GRABS.

Now Playing: “Brindisi” – La Traviata (Kuitan OST)
Format: Blog
Genre: Slice of life
Output: Right here, and still ongoing


I’m writing this post while listening to the soundtrack of the J-dorama “Kuitan”. The series made remixes of classical music, which makes for good listening while writing. I listened to this soundtrack a lot ever since I started writing about food, especially when I launched my food blog, Unlimited Grub Grabs.

Looking back, Unlimited Grub Grabs was born at a fragile point of my life. I started my food blog in October 2009, a few months after my mother died. Back then, I only needed an outlet where I could channel my pent-up emotions. It was a spur at the moment, at first, but when I actually started writing, everything slowly fell into place.

Long before I started blogging, I was already interested in writing about food. My first reaction when I realized it was to consult websites about food writing, lifestyle magazines, and newspaper articles. I collected as much resources as I could for self-studying.

I didn’t have the confidence to submit an article, though. I thought my writing skill wasn’t enough to get myself published, not to mention I was up against writers who eat exotic food in five-star restaurants and places out of reach of my meager salary. Despite my feelings of inadequacy, something kept me from giving up.

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One of my favorite shows was Anthony Bourdain and his show “No Reservations”. I always looked forward to his adventures in different countries, as well as the mouthwatering dishes he tries along the way. More than his culinary exploits, it was his storytelling style that made me like “No Reservations”, as well as his succeeding shows. I ended up buying three of his books – “Kitchen Confidential”, “A Cook’s Tour”, and “Medium Raw” – all just so I could study his writing style. Watching him in action triggered that fervent wish to be like him, if not as a writer, then as a foodie.

Emulating Bourdain’s style was the reason my posts were lengthy. I treated my blog as a journal, rather than a site that promotes food. (Also, I wasn’t fully aware of how short blog posts were supposed to be.) Still, writing them was enjoyable. There were stories behind my posts, and I couldn’t help but share it the way Bourdain did. That’s what I believed.

If there’s one thing I liked the most as a food blogger, it’s the struggle to maintain the balance between popularity and anonymity.

If you’re a popular food blogger, you get invited to events, you rub elbows with celebrity chefs and foodies, and you’re given a chance to promote brands. Your critiques will be the talk of the town. All you need is to post quality pictures and get thousands of hits, and all eyes will be on you.

But being incognito means you get to judge cuisines and restaurants with brutal frankness. Writing about a restaurant will entail a lot of research about what you’re visiting, but the end result is being able to speak well about a place with an unbiased expert opinion. You need a lot of insight and credibility to pull that off.

So much has happened to Unlimited Grub Grabs ever since. I’ve had my share of covering food events, eating overseas, semi-PR work, dates, and unannounced food raids. I’ve conquered several buffet spots, and tried out the most unique dishes I could get my hands on.

It’s been a long time since I had a decent food post. Nowadays, I could only share articles on my Facebook page, and post pictures on Instagram. I can’t eat out as I please anymore, after all. The blog itself only has a handful of readers, even after seven years. It’s as if people have blocked my posts, or someone’s spreading the word to ignore me.

Needless to say, I’m struggling as a food writer at the moment since there isn’t much for me to write. Even so, Unlimited Grub Grabs will stay online for as long as I want to, and as long as there’s a restaurant or dish somewhere that warrants my attention.I’ll find the time and opportunity to write about food again.

For now, what warrants my attention is fiction writing. Not to mention one of my recent Facebook notifications was a throwback post about a story I wrote about three years ago on Wattpad. The most outrageous part is that it’s a romance story…

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