WELL SEASONED

The Blog

Welcome to our award winning blog

 

Here you can find a collection of our thoughts, reports and ramblings together with some fun things we find along the way. We try to update the blog at least once a week and more often during busy periods so make sure you check back regularly..

By The Twig - Well Seasoned, Jan 9 2017 08:40PM

As we've just started the new year it feels appropriate to talk about new things and we also owe you an explanation for why things have been a bit quiet on the blog recently.


So, here's the BIG news.... We're absolutely delighted to report that the Well Seasoned blog is going to become the Well Seasoned book! We met with the publishers today so the wheels are already in motion and we'll be beavering away on it for the foreseeable future.


We can't give you all the details just yet but, as you'd expect, it's going to be an awesome food-filled read, packed full of seasonal information and recipe ideas.


We can tell you a few other things. First, we'll be working with chef Russell Brown. Russell's been a friend of ours for a while now. He was previously the owner of Sienna, Dorset's only Michelin starred restaurant, and you won't find anyone who knows more about seasonality and seasonal food than him. His recipes and photography will have you eating pages out of the book so we're really, really pleased to have him on board.


We can also tell you that we're hoping the book will be published in March 2018. That sounds a long way away but we've got recipes to write and test, chapters to be researched and written, design, editing and printing to get done, all of which takes a looooong time to get right. But we're confident that it'll be well worth waiting for.


We'd LOVE to hear from you with any ideas for the book - have you got a favourite seasonal ingredient that simply MUST feature? Is there a seasonal event that takes place near you that everyone should know about? What about that hedgerow fruit that you'd love to know more about? You can use the Contact Us page to drop us a line with your thoughts.


That's about it for now. We hope you're as excited as we are about the project and we'll let you know more as soon as we can.


WS

x

By The Twig - Well Seasoned, Sep 21 2015 07:49PM

And now for something completely different...


I recently wrote a guest blog piece for Creative About Cuisine, the website run by Russell Brown who, until recently ran the fabulous Sienna restaurant in Dorchester. Check it out - it's packed full of great pictures, advice and recipes, showing exactly why Russell is a Michelin starred chef, and I'm not. Here's the piece:


Socially Acceptable


“Right, so you’re a food blogger writing about food bloggers writing about food? Well, er yes, but hear me out…” is how the conversation might have gone if I’d given Russell the opportunity to comment on this piece. But I didn’t. Thankfully, he’s far too busy doing real foodie stuff, so publish and be damned, I say.


I’ve been blogging about food for a little over four years now. If you’ve ever read the Well Seasoned blog you’ll know the story of our business, so I won’t repeat it here, but suffice to say that the ability to publish updates to our audience in an instant gave us a freedom that previous generations of entrepreneurs never enjoyed. Being able to tell our story, in near-real-time, and share the ups and downs of launching a food start-up, was a truly exciting and liberating experience.


Blogs, and social media generally, have democratised writing across the globe and in no sector is this truer than food. Once the preserve of a handful of lofty newspaper critics, food writing is now for everyone and, with the advent of sites like Tripadvisor and Squaremeal, everyone is a critic – literally. The internet is awash with people writing about ingredients, restaurants and cooking. Anyone with access to a computer can be published worldwide and for free – no need for a pre-existing audience or any demand for your work. Build it and they will come (provided you have the right Search Engine Optimisation).


The problem is that this democracy comes at a price. Critical oversight and quality control are the innocent victims of this bloodless (if you discount the black pudding) revolution. With so many authors churning out text and pictures, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to find the good stuff.


Is anyone really interested in seeing a dimly lit, out of focus shot of your breakfast, with optional inane caption, such as “Mmmm!” or its brother-in-bore “Yummm!!!” (the number of exclamation marks usually being directly and inversely proportional to the quality of photo)? And yet social media allows you to spew it onto the net without any check on quality and certainly without the benefit of a watchful publisher saying, “Umm, are we sure we want to go with “scrummy” as an adjective again?”


We all crave affirmation – it is part of the human condition – but social media brings out the worst in us. Anyone who publishes a blog, has a Twitter account or a Facebook page will know (whether they admit it or not) the sense of satisfaction when a tweet is retweeted, a post Liked or a blog comment received, and it’s all too easy for our writing to descend into a quest for those validations.


That’s why a poor quality picture of eggs benedict and glib accompanying caption have become the all-too-common mark of the foodie affirmation junkie. It has the highest reward-to-effort ratio: Click/apply Instagram filter/Yummm!! = 5 undiscerning ‘Likes’. It’s the quick fix, high-sugar, low-carb snack of the social media world.


So, what’s the alternative to this blogosphere junk food? Naturally, it’s fine dining; well written, descriptive prose accompanied by high quality photography and recipe writing. If you post a shonky picture of your cherry cheesecake with the caption “I LOVE cherries!”, I might give it a passing ogle but I definitely won’t respect it in the morning. But write about why cherries are the taste of summer for you, of childhood memories and hazy, long evenings, and accompany it with a well-composed evocative photograph, then not only will I Like your post, I’ll check back tomorrow to see if you’ve written another one. As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish recipe and he will feed himself. Give him a structured blog piece about how you caught that fish, what it smelled, looked and tasted like, and you feed his timeline for a lifetime (or his morning commute, whichever is shorter)“.


It’s a well-known (if not actually scientifically-tested) fact that 90% of cookbooks are never used and 90% of people who watch Jamie, Delia and Hugh cooking their way round Britain never actually make a damn thing they see. We like reading them and watching them and convincing ourselves we could live like them if we wanted, but we really don’t have time tonight so let’s just order a pizza. The same goes for blogs and social media feeds – the good ones sell an entire lifestyle, not just a snapshot. To me, food means very little unless I know its connections – Where did it come from? Who grew it? How did it end up on your plate? I want you tell me how you yearned for that dry spring day to forage elderflowers, how you enjoyed that fresh mackerel barbecued on the beach just as the midsummer sun set, or how your toddler wiped his bogies on the chocolate cake minutes before you served it to the vicar. It’s all part of the story and for social media to be interesting, the story is a vital ingredient – yet so often absent.


So, now time to put my elderberry-stained hands up – I’m acutely conscious that I need to heed my own advice here. I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to amateurish efforts, poor photography and attention seeking. But I do try, and I do think we owe it to ourselves, as writers (of all kinds, whether professional, amateur, virtual or in print), to be the best we can in the time we have available. Before we next hit that “Publish”, “Tweet” or “Post” button, catapulting our latest musings into foodie cyberspace for the world to read, let’s make sure we’ve given it our best shot.


Oh, I nearly forgot. Here’s a picture of my breakfast. Yummm!!!!!



By The Twig - Well Seasoned, Sep 7 2014 10:05PM

THE BLOG IS BACK! After several months of experimenting with different formats we've decided to relaunch the website AND reinstate our award winning blog. We hope you like it. Don't forget, as well as the blog, we update Twitter and Facebook regularly with the latest seasonal news, views and events. So, basically there's no way of avoiding us :) More soon!

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