Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Tao of Reruns

Whenever I travel, whether it's somewhere I want to go, or somewhere I have to go, I always get a bunch of irate emails regarding my "slacking off." When I have a trip coming up, I'll film a few videos ahead to post from the road (as I did this time with the beef neck sauce and grilled shrimp recipes), but invariably I have to fill in the gaps with either reruns or other types of filler.

This trip I've been accused of "short-changing" the fans, of being too "distracted by shows and travel," and of "not caring about the blog as much as you used to." Even though I'm sure their hearts are in the right place, I can't tell you how upsetting I find these emails. The only thing more annoying are the accusations that my mustache is not real.

I won't spend too much time explaining myself since I believe 95% of the visitors here "get it," but I did want to cover a few points. I can't make a living (yet) just providing few video recipes on this blog. So, as many of you know, I'm also a freelance employee of the New York Times Co., writing the American Food site on

It is in that capacity that I'm occasionally blessed with press passes to things like the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen I covered last month (and where the photo above, from one of the after parties was captured). When thes
e trips come up, I jump at the chance to go, not only to collect content for, but also to help raise my profile as a food writer and "influential blogger."

Other trips, like this one, are personal, and I'll never apologize for taking time away from the blog to visit my family (having said that, I believe I still always apologize when I post reruns and filler). I sleep well knowing no one posts more original video recipe content than I do; not even close. By the way, as the regularity of these side trips, projects (like the cookbook), and "distractions" have increased, so too has the blog's traffic and popularity – almost tripling in the last year.

So, in summation, please continue to enjoy what you see here, no matter the frequency (or quality), and save the emails lecturing me on my commitment to the blog. Also, reading the unbelievably inspiring comments under the Next Food Network Star post is pure, ego-swelling joy, but many of you voiced concerns I'd stop doing this blog. That will never happen. I wouldn't take any job that meant the end of Food Wishes.

All right, now that I got that off my chest, here are a couple reruns originally posted way back in 2007. In addition to seeing my mom and sister's family, one of the great treats of returning home is getting to cook and eat with my aunts and uncles. They were very popular when first aired, so I thought I'd give them another run for the newer viewers. Enjoy!

(if you click on the recipe's title you will be taken back to the original post)

Uncle Billy's Chicken D’Arduini

Uncle Billy's Homemade Pasta

Aunt Joyce's Giambotta (Vegetable Stew)


Kaylee said...

that looks soooo good!!!!!!

Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle said...

No irate fan here but a fellow food blogger and I insist on one thing when it comes to the issue of my blog, my 'fans' and my posting.

It's MY blog. I do it because I love to cook, have had fun learning more and more about photography and enjoy the community of food and blogging. BUT, push comes to shove, I, like you and majority of the other food bloggers, do not get paid to do a job, I am simply blogging for the joy of what I do.

When people start to insist that I attend to a schedule for them or complain about content...I ask them to do a guest post. Create a recipe, prepare the dish, take the photos and write the post. Oh, and suggest if they have an abundance of time, they can fill in for me in my regular job which is running my own business!

That seems to stop the complainer cold; have never had anyone take me up on that offer!

Chef John said...

thanks - I'm sure every blogger that posts regularly and has a large and loving fan base, gets the same types of emails. I have no problem with someone saying they don't like the reruns and can't wait for new content, but it's upsetting when they question my commitment to the blog and its readers.

I'm happy to say I enjoy one of the most knowledgeable, passionate, and supportive readerships in all the foodie blogisphere, so I was only addressing a small minority.

btw, I'm too insecure to ask for guest posts... I'm afraid their videos, photos and writing will be better than mine! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I am a longtime follower, and I happen to think you are magnificent! Good luck on all your new ventures.

Anonymous said...

Long time visitor, first time commenter. I really enjoy everything about your blog - from the wonderful videos to the evocative photography. But one aspect I especially appreciate is the quality of the prose. You have a clean writing style that is relaxed, engaging and frequently humorous. I know that you are working on a cookbook, but I wonder if you have ever thought about longer form journalism, or even tackling a memoir?

One last thing - it's funny that you re-posted the Chicken D'Arduini recipe this morning. I discovered that gem late last night, while digging deep into the Foodwishes archive. It's just one example of the many wonderful recipes on your site. For the life of me, I don't understand how anyone can complain.

the M-I-L said...

Your M-I-L is complaining because she doesn't see you often enough ... and you live just a short drive away!

Seriously, I hope your trip home refreshed your "family reunion bucket" with a bunch of new and cherished memories and maybe a recipe tip or two!

I have personal knowledge of how important these trips are to you, and know you wouldn't be the great guy that you are without that loving attitude.

Enjoy the couple days left, and we'll see you soon, right?

Anonymous said...

Really? HATERS? Because you take trips that take you away from giving out FREE content? Gosh, sounds like some people need to find a hobby.

There's a philosophy in educational circles that suggest that for every one bad thing said to you, it takes three more good things to just feel like you're on even keel. So to that end:




Enjoy your blo-cation. ;-)

KrisD said...

You know, the best thing about reruns is they remind me of what I've forgotten! I love cruisin' around the archives! It's funny how much you look like George Clooney without your mustache...

I had a blog a long while ago, and I say kudos to anyone who can maintain one on an ongoing basis with fresh and useful content, it is not easy! In 2 years I grossed $12, not net, gross. (I think that means I made almost negative infinity per hour...)

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

Our family has enjoyed your recipes at so many meals! I for one, am glad that you can go visit your family because from your writing, your family is a great source of ideas for your blog. Those ideas in turn become video about dishes we can try.
Your family is important for many reasons and you should enjoy as many of your loved ones as often as possible. Time is short.
Bless you and your family,


Jesse from Detroit said...

Chef John,
You are an indispensable part of my kitchen, second only to my favorite knife. I cook more often with you (via my Macbook, perched atop an inverted strainer on my countertop) than with my wife. And I count you among the most influential teachers in my life.
I am amazed at your dedication to this blog and am hoping that I will have a chance someday to shake your hand and express my sincere gratitude to you in person... and check to see that your 'tache is indeed genuine. ;)
Jesse from Detroit

Bob said...

I KNEW IT! The mustache IS fake. You are no more committed to facial hair than you are this blog. You probably shave the top of you head too.

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

you do a fantastic job and this is one of my favourite food blogs. The fact that you do this for free is incredible.

You're an inspiration and please don't mind the ungrateful whiners. You're the best!

JaAnBe said...

Rock on, travel on, take a break and come back with inspirations for the rest of us.

Rodge said...

Dear John,

No apologies or excuses needed. Go ahead and do your things ! Most of your readers understand your situation. Hope you had a good trip in NYC.

PS : have you ever though about having gest posts on you blog ?

Anonymous said...

I am one of those in the 95%. I totally understand and don't mind if you repost a video when you travel or are busy about something else, because i know that when you post a new video recipe, it will be amazing. Relax and enjoy your trip!!
p.s. you always give us quality videos! always!

Amy Lynn said...

I like re-runs. I don't always go digging through the archives, so a lot of what I haven't seen gets missed otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef John--long time follower here and NOT a complainer at all. Your post however pissed me off--but not at you but those ungrateful readers who would send you hate mail and have the audacity to gripe.

You have given almost 500 recipe videos in the past few years--FREE, and a most valuable aspect of your blog for me is you taught me to love to cook again and improved my cooking skills 10,000% from what it used to be. That is PRICELESS--and all I can sadly do is offer you a Thank You or help with a book purchase, but I wish I could do more. You have and are entitled to your life and travels and priorities as they arise--something which I would dare say the pathetic folks who send you hate mail when you are off for a bit are jealous that they simply don't have either of those--a life or travels. Plus they forget that even if you are away there are HUNDREDS of recipes and videos to go thru. You don't need to post excuses or apologies. Your loyal 95% who have a clue most certainly respect and admire and appreciate your time and efforts and we do so without criticism.

I truly hope you win a shot at FN and become a star, and I will always be utterly thankful and grateful to you for your passion and love and talents you share with us here. You always tell us to 'enjoy'--well when you are on a break and away with your family or on your travels--I hope YOU take time to enjoy.

Now I have to go eat a piece of apple pie which you showed me how to make. :)

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

I love all your posts whether they are reruns or not. I hope you get a call from the Food Network. were one of my favorite instructors at the CCA ;)

Emily said...

How could we ever get mad at you for going on vacation or to food excursions when that is the inspiration for your incredible food vids? Besides, with the incredibly large encyclopedia you have created of food recipe videos its a wonder how anyone could possibly be upset at you for not posting a video. I've been following you for 3 years and I still haven't seen every one of your videos- and I take the time to watch your old vids in between the new ones. They are just as good as the new ones and I love to see how your style has changed over the years. Keep doing what you're doing and don't you ever forget the cayenne.

Aaron De La Torre said...

I cannot believe people would be so rude Chef. I personally want to thank you for all the time and effort that you put in for free to keep us happy and fed. I have used many of your recipes and really enjoy reading all about your travels. Thanks again.

Basia said...

Chef John, you should really do a post on roast troll sometime soon!

Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc!

PhillyBear said...

you tell 'em chef. thanks, as always, for everything. no one with a life of their own would begrudge you living and working in your own, non-cyber life.

keep up the great work. and thanks again.


Chef John said...

Wow! This is amazing! I should to do a lot more rants! Well, maybe not. Thanks everyone!!!!!

Dee said...

I can't believe some people's sense of entitlement. The Internet is a glorious creature but it was also fostered, in some, an unreasonable sense of heightened expectations.
I hope you ignore those "fans" who see fit to complain.
I really enjoy your videos - i just wish more of them apppeared in your podcast list. I love watching them on my iPod Touch and that way I can keep my very favourites with me on a permanent and personal basis.

Anonymous said...

Chef John, I'm a new follower and this is my 1st post. It's funny how as human beings we let the small percentage of the human population that for whatever reason think they have the right to be selfish, rude and inconsiderate (in whatever situation it may be) let it get to us! I love your website and videos!! And the fact that you do it out of your love and passion for food and the fact that its FREE; you don't have to explain yourself in anyway when you do re-runs!! Please know that they are many MORE who are appreciative of what you do and how you do it!! THANK YOU and good luck on FN!! Personally I don't think you need to enter that contest. And I'm not sure they will pick you because there would no would automatically be the winner!! :) They should just offer you a show NOW!

Anonymous said...

I myself like to see your old posts. I cannot possibly make all the things you post, there are so many wonderful recipes, unless of course I ate 6 meals a day and cooked night and day. Thankful for the re-runs as it reinforces my wish to make, stuffed cabbage for instance, which sorry to say I have not made yet. Not enough time but I will make it soon. Also need a video refresher course on some of the dishes. Enjoyable viewing for me, so let them complain, I am not one of those thankless people. And remember, "Family Comes First".

Ajones said...

I like your reruns. It gives me a chance to see some of the posts that I have missed. Your site rocks.

Unknown said...

You have 987 posts in your Video Recipe Archive and someone had the audacity to bitch that you weren't doing enough? That is ridiculous!

Thank you so much for your blog. I love cooking, and you make me love it even more. I always look like I know what I'm doing when I follow your instructions, and it has given me a good reputation with my family and friends.

I sincerely hope that you are given your own show on the Food Network. You're just as educational as Julia Child, and you're much better than Emeril Lagasse, Rachel Ray, and Gordon Ramsay combined.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoy your blog, your style and humor. However, if you don't at least consider opinions from those who think things are changing here, you are missing an opportunity to improve your product. Not griping, bitching or complaining. Just observing.

Chef John said...

Not sure you understood the post. Of course the blog is changing, always has, always will. I love legit opinions, and routinely ask for them, but some ingrate chastising me for traveling and posting a rerun doesn't qualify. Lastly, this is not a "product" that I'm looking to improve, it's just my blog. It's people that think what I do is some product they're entitled too, that send these emails.

M. Eade said...

I am amazed, but not surprised by some people's sense of entitlement after they've sucked of the teat of free information from the web. I personally think you (and all the news outlets) should charge a small subscription fee to view the fruits of your hard work. We are destroying the creative middle class (people like yourself) by expecting everything for free with annoying advertising to make up the difference and pay the bills. But I digress! I would personally like to thank you for sharing your love of food to someone who is desperately trying to learn to cook (my timing is horrible:) My wife loves it when I try new dishes and it's almost always something I've learned from Foodwishes. Thanks again John.

Anonymous said...

Hey there Chef John. Thanks for your awesome blog posts. My eating has gotten infinitely better because of your blog posts. I am sorry to hear you have people who have issues with you taking trips and what not... I just follow the 'you might also like' posts and end up finding out something new.

I am also very glad to hear that you will continue blogging even if you become some kind of famous chef who has no need to reach out to us readers... so thanks for that and have a fun vacation.

Kris said...

One thing I've always admired about you is your ability to appreciate life, your family, and the importance of relaxation. It doesn't bother me at all that you post reruns - they remind me of delicious dishes I haven't tried for a while or posts I've missed completely. Keep doing what you do and THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Don't let one bad Apple spoil the bunch Chef John!!

The vast majority of your followers will be just like me, grateful for the time and effort you put into (insert piano ditty here) and the great recipies we get to a) admire and then b) sabotage in our own kitchens.

Keep it up, if you want. If you don't then I'm very grateful for everything you have done so far.

And good luck in the TV competition! Voting begins 2nd August!!

sapphire2249 said...

John, I have fallen in love with your blog. I am entertained while learning something. What could be better than that? Anyway, having been at the end of some of those irate emails myself over the years,I would hope that you understand that you will never please everyone. That said, continue doing what you do best and you will please yourself, your family, your friends, and those of us that like and respect you. I look forward to more of your amazing work.

Anonymous said...

I <3 Chef John :)