I wrote this in March 2009 and thought I might as well publish it here…
Jay Rayner used to let foodie friend Simon Majumdar tag along to the restaurants he reviewed. He even allowed Simon to write about the food in his blog. But since Simon’s blog took off, things have changed.
Majumdar, one half of celebrated blog doshermanos.co.uk, explains how bloggers’ influence has rattled newspaper critics’ nerves.
“When I started the blog, I could write about [restaurants] and they didn’t care. But slowly, when they posted their reviews, people emailed us that they were copying the Dos Hermanos review. They now ask me not to write about the restaurant until they’ve written about it.”
The restaurant industry has been knocked sideways by a tide of foodie bloggers, led by success stories like the Majumdar brothers, who publish to committed networks of readers and fellow bloggers. Rayner even voiced fears that bloggers may one day render the newspaper critic’s role redundant.
‘When opinions are freely available all over the web,’ he wrote in July 2008, ‘the newspaper critic is becoming regarded as rather more of a luxury than many publishers feel they can afford.’