A few months ago, a restaurant review blogger was slacked by a group of Michelin star chefs on Twitter for writing one of his experiences down, which wasn't what the chef expected. Someone left a comment on his blog, stating that he was not qualified to be a restaurant critic, and advised him to take a course to become a professional before continuing with his reviews.
So, what do you think? Should bloggers not write any reviews because we don't know what we are talking about? As we aren't trained in the field, we shouldn't share our experiences of products and services we have tried?
I'm sure reviews started off as word of mouth, you know, I've tried something, I liked it, and I recommend it to a friend, family or neighbour. Or something I've tried wasn't working as it should, and I spread the word to tell people around me to not fall for it. Since when do I need to be professionally trained before I can recommend or dissuade something? Do you really think that those who are in the profession knows more than us normal consumers do?
I've just read an article on the Guardian, which talks about the pros and cons of a restaurant critic job, but it has brought up some interesting points:
Here in Shakespeare's country, it's all about the wordsmith. ...... "My job is to write, not to know stuff about food." ...... "In terms of the big-name reviewers over here, it's often more about entertainment than being instructional. Which is why papers tend to employ 'writers' rather than 'foodies'."
"Restaurant critics aren't there to sell restaurants. They are there to sell newspapers."
Sound to me that professional reviewers and critics hired by a media company has other things in mind as well while sharing their reviews with the public.
I'm not saying that we bloggers are perfect. For one, we do keep the review samples or get paid for a meal or experience, after all, not all of us can afford paying for new things to try every time. There is time, children in some cases like mine and expenses involved in each review we do. But as a consumer myself, I have the conscience that I am recommending something to a fellow consumer, and the last thing I want is to recommend something that I'm not happy with.
A blog review many not tell you exactly the same experience you'll be getting, since we all see things differently, but I do hope that my reviews can give you enough to help. Do feel free to leave me a comment or email me if you have any questions and I'll try my best to answer :)