by Maggie Shea, Chef Magazine

As chefs have become the demigods of a culture gone food-crazy, many of them understand the importance of making their voices heard and blog regularly about their passion--be it innovations in the pastry kitchen, sustainable seafood practices, unparalleled plating techniques or making gourmet food accessible and fun for the home cook.

In order to make the writing process easy and fun, write about what you love. Blogging shouldn't become so overwhelming that you find yourself avoiding it altogether. Be sure to find a format that works for you and is easy to maintain. Many chefs have started fine blogs with compelling narrative and beautiful photographs, but they update them monthly or even less often, which simply isn't enough to satiate the rabid foodie reader. Here are some of our favorite chef-bloggers who regularly allow the world a peek into their craft.

The Pickled Tongue. So named by Lockwood executive chef Phillip Foss for his late grandma's favorite sandwich and as a sarcastic nod to "those who would prefer that my tongue stay preserved in a jar (my mouth)," he writes. Here, Foss demystifies the process of house-made caviar, muses about chef blogging or his favorite menu items that just don't seem to sell, shares priceless images from home cooking with his kids and allows us to learn the secrets behind some of his signature dishes (pictured, left, seared sea scallops with cauliflower, quince, olives pine nuts and pine bubbles), all without losing a shred of his personality through the writing process. Each entry is a conversation we're invited to hear.

Charcuterie Sundays. Chef Grant Van Gameren, of Toronto's The Black Hoof, has become known for his cured meats--and rightly so, he makes 40-odd types of charcuterie (pictured, right, caraway and dill salami). But he also frequently blogs about the trials and tribulations of running a restaurant and making charcuterie in-house and at the restaurant's curing facility. He laments over maxed-out credit cards and new employee mistakes, shares exciting discoveries and tidbits he and his staff stumble upon like smoking plantains, how to most evenly distribute the forcemeat when making blood sausage and buying his first black hoof breeder pigs to make for a more sustainable restaurant. Some posts are long how-to's; others are simply a few words accompanying several photographs. But Van Gameren's voice and passion for his craft unmistakably come through in each one.

Michael Laiskonis Notes from the Kitchen/Workbook. Le Bernadin pastry chef Michael Laiskonis' tireless perfectionism and attention to detail are the pillars of his Workbook blog, where he shares his painstaking kitchen handiwork and flawless photography. Each entry is a detailed, sophisticated narrative, revealing the thought and time--and likely rewrites--that go into each post he shares. Whether he is describing the intricacies of curing egg yolks, how to make pâte de fruit or the delicate nature of the paw paw fruit, Laiskonis aims to make the highest echelons of the pastry world accessible and likable to all kinds of readers. (Pictured, left, corn custard with hazelnut praline cream, shot by Laiskonis.)

Ms Glaze's Pommes d'Amour. Amy Glaze Wittman (pictured, right)--cook, actor, teacher and writer--has cooked her way through Paris, New York City and San Francisco blogging along the way. Through her blog, we are invited along to learn about what it's like to cook at Le Bernardin in New York and how it feels to move across the country and plan a restaurant opening in just a few weeks in San Francisco. Still, her most compelling writing comes from stories of her experience apprenticing at the Three Michelin Star Paris restaurant Guy Savoy in 2006. She writes,
"There is a hierarchy in the French kitchen, just like the army, and they don't know how women should fit in--do they treat us like dogs and yell at us point blank the way they do with the young men to toughen us up? Do they flirt with us and just enjoy the fact that we're there to brighten the eleven hour work day? Do they resent us because we're screwing up the system? What do they do? Then there's the reverse question--what should I do? Do I take the sexual humor as a joke and let it roll off? Do I put forth my best butch impression and try and be one of the boys? Do I play off the fact that I am a women so I don't have to do all the icky work? Do I dare show talent and determination?"
eggbeater. Shuna Fish Lydon, pastry chef at 10 Downing Food & Wine in New York City, has been playing with words, thoughts and flavors since 2005 when she started her blog, named for her nearly fanatical collection of eggbeaters. Here, in sometimes disjointed and even harsh, two-word-sentence form, she shares her credo of the kitchen, pastry and life across the various cities in which she has lived and shared her craft. "Once you learn kitchen, you can never shake it. Tattooed into your skin," she writes. (Pictured, left, colored frosting, shot by Lydon.)

Chefs aren't the only ones who've figured out successful techniques for blogging about food. Below are some bloggers who've captured the foodie audience through their storytelling ability, writing style, impeccable photography and easy-to-follow recipes.
  • Bitten Blog--Food writer Mark Bittman's blog on the New York Times Web site
  • Chocolate & Zucchini--Clotilde Dusoulier, a Parisian woman, shares thoughts, recipes and favorite food corners throughout Paris
  • chez pim--Pim Techamuanvivit chronicles her food and travel experiences on her award-winning blog
  • 101 Cookbooks--Cookbook author and photographer Heidi Swanson's recipe journal focused on vegetarian, natural, whole foods
  • In the Kitchen and On the Road with Dorie--Cookbook author and food writer Dorie Greenspan's recipes, travels and love of pastry
  • The Japanese Food Report--Harris Salat's journalistic look into Japanese food culture
  • Michael Ruhlman--The famed cookbook author encourages people to cook for themselves by blogging about cooking, recipes, techniques and food

Got other favorite food blogs or a chef-driven blog of your own? Share it in the comments section.
Foodservice industry professionals will convene in Portland, Ore., April 21 to 24 for the 32nd Annual Conference of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). The conference, titled "The New Culinary Order," will explore and define today's culinary landscape through educational sessions; presentations by speakers such as the former editor-and-chief of Gourmet magazine Ruth Reichl, food writer/author Mark Bittman and Public restaurant chef Brad Farmerie; tours of local craft breweries, wineries, distilleries and bakeries; and evening dining events. For more information on the conference, visit IACP's Web site.
Foodservice cleaning solutions provider Dawn Professional has launched the Make Your Restaurant Shine contest. The winning restaurant owner will receive $20,000 toward business improvements; a one-on-one expert consultation with restaurateur, chef and "Top Chef" contestant Spike Mendelsohn; and a paid trip for four adults to the 2010 National Restaurant Association Restaurant Hotels-Motel Show in Chicago. U.S. restaurants owners can apply online now through April 12, 2010, at