This is the first entry for Livefire in the Foodbuzz “Project Food Blog Challenge”!!!
The first part of the challenge is to describe what defines me as a food blogger. On one front, that’s easy… stuff cooked with live fire.
But even though I’d really rather talk about food than about me, there’s more to me and Livefire than just cooking with flame. Livefire started at Bucky’s Barbecue Blog, which started as a way to describe my start as a barbecue competitor. That’s how I started blogging, and the goal was to write down how I was getting started in competing in a way that might help other new teams to the world of barbecue competitions.
This lasted for a while, until I realized that I do a lot more cooking than just barbecue. Sticking to only that topic became a bit tough, so I opened up the blog to a new endeavor, baking bread! The blog name changed to reflect that, becoming Bucky’s Barbecue and Bread.
The breads I most like are artisan breads, but I also like regular old white bread from my grandma’s recipe. And with the change of approach, any food topics were fair game. During this phase of the blog, I wrote what has stayed my top entry over the last 4 1/2 years (wow, I just realized I’ve been writing a blog for over 4 years!): Jaay’s Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies. If you haven’t tried them, do yourself a favor, especially if you include my variations, which, I guess, make them my cookies. So there, I admit it… The most popular item on my barbecue/outdoor cooking blog is an entry on cookies!
As things kept going in my little blogging world, I started getting a bit tired of the whole Bucky thing. People would ask who Bucky was, and it wasn’t really anyone, and the blog was kind of pigeonholed as a barbecue blog. It is, no doubt, but it’s a bit more than just that, as I’ve been doing more and more non-barbecue, but more and more of my overall cooking using outdoor cookers. With all that, Livefire seemed an appropriate name.
So there’s Livefire, in not such a simple explanation. Now as to why I might be considered the Next Food Blog Star…
I write what I actually cook, with some restaurant stuff thrown in here and there. I don’t overly edit, so you get some typos, but not a whole lot, and a lot of just how I’d talk if I was having a conversation. I’ve held true to my approach to food, which is to use base ingredients to make great food from scratch.
I’ve used my blogging to also learn photography. With the help of friends that are already great at photography, I’ve taught myself a lot about taking photos, especially of food. While I’m not the best, I think I can take a good photo now and then. I keep to a pretty strict approach of only taking photos of food that is actually going to be eaten. I don’t stage food then throw it out, or use fake parts for a particular look. If I use the photo, it’s food that gets eaten after the photo is taken. The whole idea of showing the photo, to me, is to show what I’m cooking and eating, not to sell something. What this means is that my photos aren’t generally done with fancy setup done, but just set on my table and photographed.
Since starting with barbecue competitions, not only has the blog taken off, but I’ve won awards in barbecue, along with my teammate, even though we never competed in more than 3 competitions in a year. I’ve now competed, by invitation, in a turkey grilling video competition, and became a semi-finalist in a national steak competition. I’ve also done internet radio shows and been on local news doing a couple of food segments. And all this with no real wish to make food my career or to own a restaurant. In the end, I just enjoy it, and I enjoy cooking. One of the best compliments a guest can give me is that what I serve is better than they would expect at a restaurant.
And one of the end results of doing all this is that there’s just about nothing I’m afraid to try cooking, in the kitchen or outside.
Here’s a bit of progression in photos in chronological order over the last 3 years or so. The first are photos I once thought were good…