I'm in deadline week for Dine.TO and I'm proofing and copy editing like a little demon. I adore my writers, I think each one of them has a history with food that is unmatched by many of the food writers in the city.

I just wish that the food community took us more seriously.

I can see where lots of the city's foodies can think we're off, we make it clear to the restaurants that we are going in to cover the restaurant. And, since we operate relatively autonomously from the rest of Dine.TO, we don't have expense accounts or even the cash to pony up for the meals ourselves - we are devout food enthusiasts and I think that's where our true merit lies. Occasionally, some of the writers have to cash out themselves, but I make every effort to ensure that is avoided. Easiest way to do that, is to have the restaurant comp us.

At the end of the day, I don't care who pays for the meal, because if my opinion can be bought for nothing more than a few hundred dollars in free food - then I am a poor excuse for a journalist.

However, to be fair, we are food writers. We are people who go in and learn about the history of the restaurant, the people, the food and drink - we aim to give a balanced opinion on each establishment to the best of our abilities. I encourage all the writers to be objective when they write and to make note of items that underwhelm or, even disappoint. This is obviously the hardest to do, these restaurants are people's livelihoods and who are we to judge.

Judge, no. Report, yes.

The hardest thing is to be objective. Although, I don't see any reason in forcing anyone to be negative about an experience simply for the sake of it, or should I say, for the sake of gaining credibility within the food community.

Such a ridiculous thought. To lie to gain credibility.

Sometimes it's a hard road to success, but there are meals that I have eaten that raise the bar a little higher than before. The tasting menu like flow of Folco's special's in Markham, the pear still life at FRANK, the skate at Forte (now removed from the menu), the wings at Sky Lounge and Bar, the gnocchi at La Bruschetta and finally the steak at STEAK.

There are meals, that I've eaten that weren't particularly good, but they weren't notably bad either. Truthfully, if a restaurant doesn't want us to cover their restaurant, they won't have us in. To be fair, they are also the exceptionally bad restaurants in the city - they won't invite criticism on their own dollar and trust me, I trust that they understand that we will write a bad review if need be. Just because we hide behind the Dine.TO moniker doesn't mean that we have been bought.

I love food, I have ever since I was a child. I melted my set of Fisher Price cookware when I was too young to understand, in an effort to cook scrambled eggs for my mother. Years later, I went so far as to enroll into Culinary School, but opted out in order to go into a government subsidized program for not for profit fundraising and marketing.

Food is my first love.
I know what a noisette is.
I know how to perfectly poach an egg
I've seen chicken's slaughtered
And, I've mastered cooking in a hearth.
I've cooked bread in a wood burning oven
I've helped MacGuiver cheese presses, oyster shucking boards, smokers and have sliced my finger on a mandolin in an effort to work faster.
I've been yelled at in a professional kitchen, yelled in my own and have never expected anything less than perfect.

Just because I was a beauty queen, doesn't mean that I can't wield a cleaver.

At the end of the day, people can say what they want about me, but those who know me know that I know food. Anyone who wants to dispute that, or the abilities of any of my writers... well... I'll see you in the kitchen.