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IT'S A BLOG EAT BLOG WORLD ///

The excellent comedian Michelle Wolf once joked that blogs are just "conversations that no one wants to have with you" and, to an extent, she's right. Blogs are born for a number of reasons; mine was a personal reaction to what I considered to be a poor account of the Birmingham food scene at the time, whilst my girlfriend's was her wanting to mix with likeminded people in a new city. Sure, there are those who are only in it for the free meals, and those who want to make to make a little extra money, but it's tough out there, and bloggers in the majority don't have the luxury of being able to expense their meals to a publication.

Whilst I won't pretend to like all of my fellow food bloggers, there are a number who are passionate about supporting the best places for you to spend your money. Here are my personal favourites; in 50ish of their words and 50ish of mine. Follow them at your own peril. 

ANDY HAYLER
He says; I fell in love with fine dining at Jamin in Paris in 1986, where Joel Roboucon was cooking at his peak. Since then I have travelled the world and eaten at all it's 3 star Michelin restaurants on several occasions. I am a published author and set up the blog andyhayler.com over 25 years ago. 
I say; The Don. Andy is the reason I got into food, having read all of his 3* reviews over a two-week period many years ago that made me want to go eat and eat the very best. His scoring system is faultless and often years ahead of Michelin. When Andy Hayler says a restaurant is great, it is great. It really is that simple.
BITE YOUR BRUM
She says
; Like my wedding, Bite Your Brum was a drunken idea that became a hungover reality. Showcasing quality independents and good people, now more than ever my goal is to remind folk to shop local and support small businesses. Ultimately, putting your money where your mouth is has never been more important - BYB is about spending wisely and eating well.  
I say; Loud, brash, opinionated, Birmingham is all the better for Bite Your Brum. Passionate about the local food scene and colloquialisms, she champions the small independents as much as anyone else. I've come to realise over the years that she really cares about her adopted city, with that love coming across strongly in her writing.
THE PLATE LICKED CLEAN
He says
; I come from generations of Spanish restauranteurs, so good food is in my blood. Literally, by now. And it's a lot easier writing about food than cooking it, I've found. 
So the blog's a very simple thing; I take you to the table with me. That's all. 

I say; Understated, thoughtful prose and a real understanding of what makes a plate of food so enticing. Whether he is writing about burgers, or chunks of meat cooked over flames, Jon has the unique ability to put you in that place with him. My favourite blog to read. 
EAT WITH ELLEN
She says
; I've never been good at putting myself in a box, let alone a 50-word one. I'm a journalist, I love food, I like words. I blog for fun, for passion, and maybe to be useful - not for anything else. I have a lot to learn. I try to be nice. I'm also greedy.
I say; I wish I was as modest as Ellen. Eloquent and with far more food knowledge that she'll ever give herself credit for, she champions a wide berth of areas starting well north of Birmingham and going all the way down to The Cotswolds. I trust her opinion massively. 
HER SHIKSHAK BRINGS ALL THE SPICE TO THE YARD ///
 
Whatsapp groups are useless, right? Just a load of nonsensical talk that is best muted. WRONG. Not when said Whatsapp group is called 'Curry Clinic' and is an instant gateway to advice from Indian cookery expert Monica Haldar, of the excellent The Spice Club and TV series 'Monica's Mashups'.  Starting via word of mouth, and launching into cookery classes that have formed the backbone of our dinner party repertoire, The Spice Club has blossomed into online Indian cookery school Shikshak to counteract a world when we're not allowed to see anyone outside a supermarket.

Shikshak - meaning 'food yoda' - is the product of a successful Crowdfunder, and is a monthly subscription service featuring a growing catalogue of video recipes, unlimited access to live cookery classes, and that all important Whatsapp group. Subscription plans start at £12 a month and go from three-month packages right up to an annual one to banish the inevitable let down that is 2021. I'm happy to confirm the chilli cheese paratha recipe is worth the fee alone. 

Monica is offering 20% off any ShikShak subscription with discount code LOVESPICE20 until midnight tomorrow. Join here →
MILKMEN V.2021 ///

If 'House Wine' existed in Game of Thrones, season 7 might have been less shit.

Instead, we'll have the new wine subscription from natural beauties Wine Freedom, taking wine of four colours from vines to keg to bottle to doorstep for under £50 for the set, including delivery. As a fully certified wino I'm happy to confirm that the Beaujolais red is a juicy treat, whilst the orange - the closest you'll get to skin contact outside your bubble - bangs in every way. 

Subscribe for 50% off your first order. Deets here →
Each week I'll be sharing an insight into my food and drink highlights. 
Saint Kitchen

Picked up lunch from Saint Kitchen; sat and ate it on a bench in St. Paul’s Square in minus 6 conditions, because, ya know, 2021. Merguez patty with kale pesto if you’re asking. Was incredible. Website →
Clima Red 2015

Drank this funky little number from my friend Leo. I think he got it from Wine Freedom. Either way, send me booze and I will shout you out. I really am that basic. 
Order from Wine Freedom →
Stackz

Grabbed a burger from newbie Stackz, to be found in the Utility NIA Barclaycard thingy. Really excellent. You can stay. More here →
Cornerstone Kitchen

Cornerstone Kitchen came up with the Valentine's goods. Five courses with fillet steak as main. Still felling full. Order an at home box here →
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