Posted by: oysterculture | March 5, 2009

Expanded Horizons – Never Stop Learning

class at Los Dos in Merida, Mexico (photo by Los Dos)

class at Los Dos in Merida, Mexico (photo by Los Dos)

For me, education about food and culture is a life long commitment.  My library of cookbooks attests that I at least have an appreciation for good food styling, if not the actual desire to replicate culinary experiences.  When I travel in addition to checking out markets and grocery stores, I love to take a cook class or two.  I’ve found it offers one of the best travel souvenirs – ever.  The chance to take senses of the destination home for future exploration.   The good times do not have to stop when boarding the plane.

The classes that work best for me are the hands on classes that require me do the prep work, from trips to the market to dicing the veggies.  I’ve never found a comprehensive resource that identifies cooking schools, most links I encountered are affiliated with a specific program.  Chow has some recommendations, but it helps if you have a location in mind.  The Washington Post publishes a comprehensive list.  I’ve also found that when you know the location in question, its easier to get relevant results through a web search.  I’d be forever in your debt if you had a good comprehensive resource.  Which leads me, in a convoluted way to my next point on learning – sorry, just could not think of a good segue.

kreativ_blogger_awardZerrin at GiveRecipe passed along this wonderful award to me, and one of the conditions of receiving the award (although certainly not mandatory) is to nominate ten other awards.  I love this approach of spreading the love.  This award is not about exclusivity, consider the Time’s 50 Best Food Blogs, but spreading the word about people who take the time to share something of themselves.  (That being said, do not count me out for those exclusive awards, I picked up an Alexander McQueen on a steal that would be perfect to deliver my acceptance speech in =)).   The Internet is chocked full of so many incredible sites that no single person can find all the wonderful blogs that exist (even if they gave up their day job, are independently wealthy, and had a staff doing this full time). 

I take my duty to expand your horizons seriously, and since selecting the recipient sites is so subjective (my idea of good blog reading), I can only show you what I discovered in my virtual explorations and enjoyed.  By passing the flame, the award provides me the opportunity to expand your horizons (just as mine were broadened by Zerrin), and find other sites that might appeal that you would otherwise not be aware of.  You can bet that I checked out every blog that Zerrin identified so I might discover new and interesting sites, and as a result I now struggle to creatively squeeze more time in my day, because she has exposed me to some wonderful new resources.  I look at these awards as a way to discover creativity that inspires me.

Before I offer you not ten, but some extras, a veritable baker’s dozen, I want to say why I selected these blogs.  They’re new to me, and on that basis, I assume they might be new to you.  They all make me think, a few made me mad mostly with posts relating to the lack of sustainability, and a few had me grinning at my computer screen prompting my husband to question my sanity, which he does frequently.

37Languages – A guy with a gift for language speed dating through 37 languages to find his next love ( a new language)

Aesthetic Dalliances – Brenda’s writing has me in stitches, and between her and Adrienne at GastroanthropologyI live vicariously through their lives in the UK.  I lived in London myself, for a time, and loved the experience; figuring out the crazy appliances (who knew you could wash and dry in the same machine), what ingredients were the US equivalent, and why stuff could just not scratch my carvings for home itch.  A misconception, I had corrected was that all pubs were family places, and it is with that naivety that I went to the pub next to my flat.  Hindsight begs “what was I thinking”, when the pub in question was called “Dirty Dick’s”  but I chalked it up to education.  

Cheese Nerd – The guy likes his cheese.

Culiblog– A blog about food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food –  the writings and musings of Debra Solomon.

The Japanese Food Report– Harris Salats incredible blog is a wonderful education and tribute to Japanese Food.  I have learned so much from his writings.

Life Begins at 30 – A SF blogger who usually focuses on sustainable and locally grown food.

Take a bit (out of climate change) – a blog by food activist, Anne Lappe, focusing on sustainability.

Paris Breakfasts– An American artist living in Paris who paints and photographs wonderful scenes around Paris, with a lot of focus on food.  A visual treat for the eyes, and a wonderful tribute to the City of Lights.  I love to look at the daily updates as I sip my coffee.

Mexican Foodie – I think the title says it all.  Break out the Corona.

NuttyFig– My friend, Susie Wyshak’s food blog.  She has the dream job at Foodzie of Food Artisan Relations.  She is another food lover, and I can vouch for her culinary and entertaining skills.   

She Simmers– a recent discovery through Food Buzz – Leela writing is a fun read and her culinary adventures have me smiling from ear to ear.  For some reason, I think of She Shimmers, and it might be Leela’s effervescent style.

Springtime in the Country – the ramblings from life in the Lake District – another discovery through Food Buzz of a definitely over achiever – a PhD student, wonderful writer, creative cook, and budding bed & breakfast entrepreneur.  I enjoy the topics that come up.

Table Matters– this gem of a site is put together by the folks at Drexel University’s School of Hospitality Management, Culinary Art and Food Sciences.

I could have easily added to the list, as I stumble upon great blogs every day, I suspected you would not thank me, because, if you’re like me, you’ve entered an odyssey of exploration by checking out these wonderful new sites.  Enjoy!



  1. Congrats on a well-deserved award! And thank you for the very interesting blogroll. All of those sites are new to me and I will definitely be checking them out!

  2. Awww – thanks for the shout out! I’m flattered you like to read my blog and am glad someone else can relate to the madness and excitement that can sometimes be living in the UK. 🙂

    Glad to have cyber-met you and looking forward to reading further posts of yours…Happy Friday!

  3. so you’ve broadened my horizons. Thank you so much for this blogroll. I’ll definitely check them out.

  4. Congrats on a well-deserved honor. And kudos to you for shining the light on other bloggers you like. It’s a generous and thoughtful gesture.

  5. Oh no, yet more blogs for me to check out. I’m going to need that independent wealth and full time staff real soon now! 🙂

  6. Hi Oyster – Thanks so much… and I live vicariously through you – I miss San Francisco desperately! And you’ve introduced me to more new great blogs.

  7. Gastroanthropoologist – My pleasure – there are so many wonderful bloggers out there that no one person can find them all – I uncover som incredible finds every day.

    Spud – Please accept my heartfelt apology – my fingers are crossed that you win this week’s lottery. (then you can hire me to be on your staff)

    Foodgal – Thanks for the compliments – I am realitvely new to this blogging/writting business and I like to think that what I lack in skill, I make up in enthusiasm. This experience has led me to some great knowledge and virtual friendships.

    Giverecipe – Thank you again for the recognition, I am pleased to expand your horizons, becasue you most certainly have expanded mine – I feel like I’ve taken a master’s class in Turkish cooking and look forward to using my new found knowledge.

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