April 08, 2011 | | Comments 80

Why The Anger?

Hi All:

I gotta go to work but I thought I call out this which had been written about the State of Vancouver Food Blog 2011 by Kim Ho of I’M Only Here For The Food. Replicated here verbatim and if you prefer, go to his site at http://imonlyhereforthefood.com/2011/04/state-of-vancouver-food-blogs-2011-the-actual-post/.

I have nothing to hide and am open for everyone to see. Comments really welcomed. Please don’t feel that you need to hold punches with chowtimes. Lay it on me if you must. Do it here or do it in Kim’s site, I leave it up to you.

I don’t know what I did that made Kim angry with me and want to take it out on chowtimes particularly. Should I lay out what I have in my mind which I did not with that last piece Kim Ho did on me? Or should I just roll with the punches, learn from it and move on? One part of me thinks I cannot get down to that level. Let me think about it … with a clear head. My head is wrapped around work at this time.

For those of you who are (still) unhappy with me for even suggesting the Golden Great Wall Alaskan King Crab FREE dinner, please accept my apologies. It was an error judgment on my part. My (ill thought out) intention was to see if I could make such an event happen given the reach of chowtimes. It won’t happen again. Really I do not need to do this at all.

Again, please do not hold your punches, not with me. If you think chowtimes has done anything wrong, I would like to hear about it. Here you are guys, Kim Ho’s parting shots to all Vancouver area blogs.

It has been a while since I have written a post of this type and I wonder if it is due. In the last couple of months, there has been quite a buzz in terms of popularity of Vancouver blogs, specially if we consider that major sites like Urbanspoon has targetted Vancouver itself as one of the places with the greates activity. But, what does that mean? Better restaurants? More food bloggers? Everybody has anything to say? So, in reference to Canadian’s government thoughts of removing the pennies, here are my $0.05′s worth… But, first an announcement as well…

When I first started blogging, I did it in part to have something to do, an activity of sorts. It was not a smooth trip: I had a couple of false starts which eventually molded into what it is today. Was there a target or a purpose? In a way, it was mostly for fun, something to keep myself busy. Furthermore, as it said, “it is not the destination, but the journey“. And, alas, I must announce that I have announced that this journey has reached what might be a long stop, if not the final stop. Yes, it has always been the journey; however, at the same time, I knew it would last only that long. After all, aside from revisiting the same places over and over, there are only that many restaurants worth visiting. And, have we mentioned that this activity is expensive (unrelated to HST and what not)? Regardless of why, once I flush the remaining pending posts (which includes a personal apology to a very dear friend of mine), I will call it quits.

I am sure a lot of people will be wondering why, not to mention some might be celebrating because this bastard will finally stop bashing everybody left and right. On the personal side, I was planning to “close shop” anyway by July this year. This is, to quote myself, by then, a life changing event would have taken place which would prevent me from blogging. Actually, that is not 100% true; rather, while I could continue blogging, I would rather not do so. However, looking at things around me, specially as mentioned as the subject of this post, it is my perception of the state of food blogs in Vancouver. To be more specific: It sucks and I don’t feel I want to play this game anymore.

Back when an Urbanspoon mention came out, an Urbanspoon Prime member blurbed in the Prime forums that quantity does not mean quality. After all, that’s not the lesson we have learned from all-you-can-eat and/or buffet places? However, I defended the quantity perspective in the sense that with more people voicing their opinion, readers will benefit. While I still stand by that opinion, there have been several a truckload of problems with Vancouver’s picture. I will point several of them here.

I am going to start with, once again, pointing the amount of food bloggers (according to Urbanspoon, over 300). But, wait, I don’t necessarily have issues with the amount of food bloggers per se but the quality of the posts. To me, blogging is more than just saying I went to restaurant X or Y and ordered dish A or B. Then, may be, whether you liked it yes or no. Actually, if you were to read my posts in the past, specially those from two years ago, they actually felt in those lines. However, there was a learning curve and, after some sort of false starts, my writing style changed. In fact, some people have mentioned my harsher attitude has changed (whether for good or bad is to be determined, but given the announcement above, who cares?). What has changed? I don’t only describe what I order, at times why I ordered it, but also a description of the dish and why I liked/disliked it. Furthermore, if I have some background about those dishes (specially Latin American ones), I am more than willing to provide those details. Then, based on my thoughts, I will mention if it is worth my moola to return or not. Granted, I am no food critic and I only order one or two dishes. However, I look at it at the perspective of a John Doe visiting a restaurant and said restaurant has only one chance to wow me. After all, with so many in restaurants in town, if you can’t deliver and provide a good impression, I can easily go to the next one. Unless, of course, somebody can prove me wrong which, at times, I am willing to do a revisit.

However, here is the core problem I perceive with a lot of the new blogs: lack of depth. While I will accept that I haven’t visited every single new blog and do find some of them actually “interesting”, for the most part, it seems they are taking pictures and then write something short out of it. Content? Oh, I went to such and such restaurant and had such and such dish. Every thing was great! (More often than not). You know what? If that’s what is being written, why I waste my time checking those sites? I might as well go to Yelp (which has its own issues) or DineHere (likewise, has its own issues). At least, it is a one stop shop.

If I have to wonder where or how all this started, I would guess social media has become so popular, where everybody can do it, so why not? If that’s the case, I don’t care. I started over two years ago before social media was as commonplace as nowadays. And, while it has its own good points, the problem is that such there is too much carelessness makes me want to stay away from it. In other words and, once again, I don’t want to play that game. Take for example, what Diana Chan who writes Foodology wrote in her personal blog.

After 4 months of food blogging, Foodology.ca is number 13 on their Vancouver leader board of blogs. This is a major achievement because my goal was to be top 20 by Christmas, but clearly we have surpassed this amount. There are about 260 blogs about food in Vancouver! 13/ 260, thats pretty amazing!

That sounds good, a young woman like her should have high ideals. However, when a site she is part of, called Nocturnal Vancouver (link won’t be provided but you can easily Google it), start stealing pictures from known sites without given proper credit (rectified “after being notified”), that’s when we have issues.

To further “complicate” things, are the blaggers, specially those who have been for some extended period of time. I have mentioned them before and, once again, I will call them out. People like Richard Wolak (aka vanfoodster aka Vancouver Foodster) and Erin Ireland (oddly, food editor for MetroNews) is what makes me cringe in pain and disbelief. On one side, Richard is known not to eat a lot of things and, in Erin’s case, she does not eat dishes with carbohydrates (to quote herself. Also, when we met for the first time and she wanted to go to Samurai Sushi; I convinced her to meet at Miko Sushi instead and she ended up eating mostly sashimi). So, you wonder yourself… If that’s the case, how can you write about this subject if you don’t/can’t actually eat said dishes??? Worst of all, why people actually read/listen to them?

To those who had to spend a bit too much time back in high school or university in their class(es) of logic or discrete mathematics, will have heard of argumentum ad verecundiam or argumentum ad potentiam, also known as fallacy by authority. In other words, somebody who is a well known public figure suddenly has (or believe to have) the knowledge and power, plus can make a judgement “just because he/she says so”. In Richard’s case, it is said he wrote a book about coffee (don’t drink much coffee so I don’t care) and, as for Erin, well… You can visit her site and decide yourself. But, wait, how about I do the homework for you? Take, for example, a visit by Mijune and Richard to the same place the same night: Mijune’s post vs Richard’s post (will open a new window). Seriously, tell me which one you prefer… In Erin’s case, this is a quote from her article on Lin’s Chinese Cuisine:

“(In reference to xiao long bao) … earn them an easy diagnosis of Asian comfort food, and of course, perfect delicacy for ringing in the Year of the Rabbit.”

Let me dissect that for you: XLB is Shanghainese and while it is in China, hence Asia, it does not automatically mean all Asian people will eat it.

This, of course, can be extended to people like Andrew Morrison of Scout Magazine, whom, I will admit, having worked in the front of the house does give him some insight of restaurant operation; but, you have to wonder his impartiality when he has been directly involved with the restaurants.

Can anybody possess all knowledge? Good luck at that. That’s why I am always open to criticism. In fact, I expect people to tell me I am wrong! It is not an issue of knowing it all but, if you don’t know, do some digging and due diligence before writing it down. If not, it becomes a case of a blind guiding the blind and, next thing we “know”, Mexican food represents all Latin American food. Oh, shoot… >_< Anyway, the killer part from these blaggers is that, aside from the fact they are clueless, they organize events for profit. In Richard’s case, one too many event to count. Notice that I am not necessarily against food bloggers organizing events. If there are good cause(s) behind it and there is disclosure, I believe it is kosher. After all, if the intend is to bring the two groups together, why not? But, when it is for $$$, you are doing PR work. If so, can you really be impartial and/or honest?

And, now, this brings the worst of all cases… Whenever you read written colums from local newspapers, i.e., The Globe and Mail or Vancouver Sun, you expect a level of quality as well as a code of ethics. That’s why these writers are usually the first ones hit when an economic downturn occurs. I mean, they need to have a huge expense account to eat at restaurants at least twice at different times of the day or on different days of the week to have a better grasp of what is going on. Me? Ha, again, I only have that much $$$. I am certain that restaurants have identified these writters and I am not surprised that dining anonymously is not easy for them. At the same time, though, I am certain they try their best to be impartial. However, what happens when that impartiality is brought to question? Since these writers write for the printed media, they have some level of control over it. Of course, editors, probably due to pressure from advertisers (including some of those restaurants) might axe those articles to save face. That might not occur with bloggers. While some of us stick with a well defined code of ethics, it is not something we all are bound to. So, would it be ethical if somebody shouts aloud a “will blog for food” and invite readers along? If you are scratching your head, that’s what just happened with Ben of Chowtimes (link not provided but I am sure you will find it).

Before anybody jumps ahead and tells me I am a hater or jealous of his popularity, don’t bother. Aside from the fact I have an extremely thick skin (“I am rubber, you are glue”), not to mention this might be one of many parting shots, my dislike for his behaviour is known and documented. To bring you down to memory lane, I wrote a post (will open a new window) called “Blogging, Perks and Accountability” almost 20 months ago, in which I called him out on the spot. And, guess what? Ever since, other than in one dinner, we haven’t seen each other face to face. Do I care? Absolutely not, as I have no respect for him. Of course, he will say that he discloses everything and what not. Believe me, ladies and gentlemen, that is pure BS. See, just like him right now, I was also part of FoodBuzz, a network of food blogs. Some time ago, they required all their members to do full disclosure as part of their community guidelines (you can check them here). That begs the question: if it wasn’t because of such changes, would they have *really* initiated their disclosures? And, if you look at the post before that said disclosure, would you have been able to tell it was (partially or fully) comped?

So, why bring him out of the sudden? Because I was made aware of a post where he writes:

I am proposing:

* A win for the restaurant
* A win for the lucky chowtimes readers
* A win for chowtimes

You see… it seems to us that restaurants spends big bucks advertising their AKC (Alaska King Crab) offerings in the papers. I am suggesting that the restaurant save the money for advertising one less time. Instead use the money for even greater exposure for your restaurant.

The restaurant need to think about this unique situation too. The Chinese restaurants advertises in the Chinese papers targeting Chinese customers. There are a lot of English speaking readers out there who would love to try this and chowtimes can deliver a whole new demographics to the restaurant.

So, what I am proposing is this. Any restaurant interested, to give chowtimes a table of 10 serving a feast centered around the Alaskan King Crab. For free of course with the cost coming out from not advertising on the papers for one day only.

For chowtimes, we will invite 8 lucky readers (chosen by random draw) to join us in the feast. I am sure this will be much appreciated by readers and will also draw much attention to your restaurant.

In return, we will blog about the AKC feast but of course the food and service better be good. This is because we will write honestly about our experiences and we will draw on the feedback of the other guest diners.

Does anybody want me to spell “sell out” for you? How the $#%^!#@$!@# can a claim be made about impartiality and honestly when you are already calling the food and service better be good? What makes you different from a PR person like Richard Wolak? Worst of all? When I checked that post, there were only a handful questioning the intent. The rest? Free food!

Alas, that really disappoints me. People have descended into our primeval stages and just think on free food rather than looking at the broader picture of the meaning behind it. I still remember going to events like Eat! Vancouver, where people queue up for samples at times almost elbowing others. However, even when they have some samples, they might not consume the portion served and toss the rest. Or, as I was told, in an open house of a certain restaurant where people were like vultures when plates of food came out.

Am I criticizing my readers? May be, may be not. I personally know some of them and, for the most part, they are good and knowledgeable folks. It is those who just follows the hype that makes me shake my head. You are intelligent people and you should know better…

With that said, how about some highlights? If you were to ask me whom you should read, who would I suggest? Again, there are fine folks out there still writing and can provide good perspective of things. Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list and it is based on those I frequent. So, without further ado…

  • Mijune (Follow Me Foodie) and Sherman (Sherman’s Food Adventures). I have known both of them for a long time and I admire both of them. In both cases, they are knowledgeable and, while I do have some differences (more Mijune than Sherman), they are honest about their thoughts. And this is despite they have participated in events (including the only one instance I have participated and where I have witness how they do things). I would like to believe they have influenced me for the better in some aspects.
  • The Foodosophy team, specially shokutsu and gastronomydomine (who goes around under other aliases as well!). Alas, I have never met them and, if I do have an opportunity to do so, I would certainly like to buy them a round. Not only their posts are well written but also knowledgeable. One of the post that have really inspired me was a conversation they had between the team members called Foodosophy of Sushi. Believe me, it is worth your time.
  • Chris – OK, I am cheating here. Chris is a fellow blogger from Edmonton but, if you read the way he writes his posts, it conveys simplicity yet delivers the message. Granted, our perspectives are at times but it does reflect what I would expect from a blog.
  • Matt and Joe from Vancouverslop. They are now closer to the media business side of things but they are still entertaining.
  • Other “older” (as in time blogging) bloggers, including KevinGloriaAnn and DeeJoyce,VictoriaKarl and (the still MIA) Jessica. While they might not be as descriptive as Mijune, Sherman or Foodosophy, they still provide good reads. In some cases, they do participate in media events (for example, Joyce) but they do provide disclosure.
  • Some general which just happens to swing (the same way I started) into food blogs or cooking, including Parker PagesDoesn’t Tazte Like Chicken (who has gone MIA), Gratinee and TS/JS[eatingclub]Vancouver. Likewise, some oldies whom have gone inactive…

“Wait, what about the rest of the people in your blogroll?” Well, some of them do not necessarily apply from a Vancouver standard. For example, monchichi, whom I really like her style, is in the UK; and Mimi whom I have “met” recently. But, for the rest, it is in part, blogroll courtesy (Yes,Jenny, that includes you! :P ) and, well, just starting blogs.

And, just for fun, how about some final parting shots?

To Grayelf: If you know how bouncing light works, you will realize that, in the setting we were in, it didn’t really “bother” anybody – unless you were looking directly at the flash. Plus, don’t dare to criticize my end results when your own pictures suck.
To Raul: You a foodie? Despite I hate that word, you calling yourself that makes me choke. Why say you don’t like caesar salads when you don’t eat cheese? Attending all events and claim everything is good and, supposedly, willing to pay for it? Give me a break. The day you actually do it the same way most of us do it, THEN, maybe then… You might be popular but that’s about it.
To Melody: Don’t give me BS. You say you won’t write anything negative but only on the positive. That means your opinions are biased. Likewise, because of your tour company, you work closely to some restaurants. Would you bite that hand that feeds you?

So, that’s all for now. It was a long post. Probably too long. In the end, I hope it describes why I am uninterested in continuing and cut it short sooner than expected. But, if you got all the way down here, my only question for you is… What are your thoughts about the state of Vancouver food blogs?

 

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  1. meiyee says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented but I feel like I should defend the chowtimes I’ve been reading for the past year. :)

    Like michelle phan, the popular youtube makeup guru working for Lancome, chowtimes is just following the natural route when people get successful in social media. When a blog gets popular, the owner has to spend more time blogging and working harder to maintain the readership and this takes more time, and hence the blog will probably becoming less of a ‘hobby’ thing. In return for this hard work, I think sometimes a reward is well-deserved. :)

    People have differing views on this issue but oh well, you can’t please everyone.

    • Kai says:

      Hi Ben,

      No idea what Kim Ho is about though there is some truth to what he felt about some of the food bloggers. Having said that, I have enjoyed reading your blog every morning. Keep up the good work.

      Cheers.

  2. Bobo says:

    Don’t worry, he’s just a HATERRRR! I love your blog!

  3. Sally C says:

    So the claws are finally out I see…I was wondering when this would happen.

    I’m a long time reader and enjoy a lot of Chow Times’ content for it’s quality photos and attitude to food. I think there is a common trend lately when bloggers start getting criticised, called sell outs and other harsh comments when they receive special treatment due to their blogs. At the end of the day, you can’t please everyone. There will always be haters out there who are very vocal about their opinions. Calling other blogs out and attacking them is just plain bad taste and is a pot full of bitterness that I don’t enjoy reading about.

    My two cents on the contents of Chow Times…

    I do hope you take the time to think about future proposals though Ben. Personally, I wasn’t impressed with your advertisement for a free Alaskan Crab dinner and kept hoping it wouldn’t become a common thing on Chow Times. I also do wish Chow Times posts a bit more variety as I have been reading a lot more about Chinese restaurants as of late. I know you guys eat a lot of Chinese food but it can feel like I’m reading about the same posts even though it’s different restaurants.

    Maybe as blogs change, readers can change too so when the time comes where I don’t feel I’m enjoy reading anymore, I will just move on. For the time being though, I will continue to find out what goodies you are eating lately and look forward to more cooking posts too!

  4. E says:

    Im guessing he’s just releasing some pent up anger; what I didn’t like about that post was the shots to particular people like yourself. If he was a professional as he claims to be (being a good writer and bein knowledgeable), he should have written his post that way and I don’t think he did. I’m glad that he’s ending his food blog world because I personally wouldn’t follow him after and outburst like that.

    The one thing that I like about reading food blogs (recently) is to see new places to eat, places that I’ve never gone to, places where I think to myself “I’ve always wanted to try that place”. For me, if you’re describing it well enough with an honest opinion and you provide pictures, I’m good. I guess Kim was being honest and having the balls to call out people, but it was definitely not professional.

    Haters are gonna hate.

    I reititerate that I’m glad he’s ending his food blog because I wouldn’t want to follow it in the first place after a post like this (and other similar posts which he admits to writing).

    Keep up the good work and I hope to read more good energy posts from you.

  5. Crispy Lechon says:

    I really don’t understand why Kim will do that. He was one of the bloggers whose restaurant reviews I had respected. But with rants like that now I see him as a bitter holy than thou ex-blogger. Whatever other bloggers do with their blogs, its NONE OF HIS FFFNG BUSINESS. Don’t criticize other bloggers. Criticize the food you eat. End of story.

    BTW, I didn’t see him criticize a blogger who openly solicited money from his readers to maintain his blog. Is he a friend Kim?

    • Kevin says:

      Hi Crispy,

      Have you stopped reading me because I asked for donations? I realized myself it wasn’t the right thing to do, and so I took down the post. Yet I’m seeing this mentioned elsewhere that it’s embarrassing and not protocol for a blogger to do. FoodForBuddha mentioned it, and it irks me. Like you said, what bloggers do with their blog is their own business…

      • Crispy Lechon says:

        Hi Kevin, I don’t have anything against whatever you do in your blog. I just mentioned it because Kim has been bashing bloggers left and right yet surprisingly no mention of you. And FWIW, I did not name the blog.

        BTW, you did remove the post but the “donate” button is still prominently displayed on the front of your blog. I’m guessing that its not a donation to the Japan quake cause.

        • Kevin says:

          If a reader appreciates, likes what they read and understands the time and effort that it takes to maintain a blog, they can donate, and that option is there. I’m not straight out asking, and I’m comfortable with myself for keeping it there. It’s really no different than running ads on a site, IMO. I haven’t received anything btw :).

          I donated money out of my own pocket when the quake occurred, I stayed up all night watching the news because I too have family in the area.

          At the time of Kim’s writing, I hadn’t asked yet, and if he had updated he definitely would have bashed me, I know. It’s okay.

    • Alex says:

      He actually recommended Kevin/Foodtography near the end.

      “Other “older” (as in time blogging) bloggers, including Kevin, Gloria, Ann and Dee, Joyce, Victoria, Karl and (the still MIA) Jessica. While they might not be as descriptive as Mijune, Sherman or Foodosophy, they still provide good reads. In some cases, they do participate in media events (for example, Joyce) but they do provide disclosure.”

    • Elaine says:

      I think it was the timing of the post. It was written a while ago so it didn’t happen yet…

  6. Jujube says:

    I read a lot of food blogs and I have followed your writing for the last year. And while you may not have the best grammar and your restaurant choices sometimes gets a bit dicey…;-) I sincerely believe that you have stuck to your original description of why you have started this blog.

    This is YOUR blog and you can do whatever the heck you want. I think most follow you because : we like your writing style (ok — i hate the word construction but i ignore..) , you have your own point of view, your own tastes, and your own naivete and enthusiasm about food, travel, etc.I like that you get little boy excited about things and you do not have a snobby air about you. I like that your wife comes along for your food adventures and your sons are growing up and have their own food opinions too. Come on — this is supposed to be fun, not the friggin New York Times Food Review!! Kim Ho better just get a grip. Readers read blogs for some advice but also for entertainment and if I want serious food advice — I will research evrything myself — GEESH !!!
    Furthermore, I think Kim Ho is just jealous of your following, LOL!
    Some people say that as the blog increases in popularity, a code of ethics need to be followed (eg in terms of accepting favours and free meals). This is true. But the other truth is — you are just being yourself and your followers know that you, Ben, personally, are just being the enthusiastic foodie, happy go lucky try anythings eater, chinese-y kiasu , sociable guy. We have read your announcement for a free meal so it is up to the reader to consider that your critique of the place may be biased. I think ChowTimes readers are smart enough to judge a place not only on “what Ben has to say”.
    Kim Ho does not give your readers enough credit.

  7. mona says:

    Wow! this guy has ISSUES. I don’t know the whole back and forth between you two, from this post he hints there have been other issues, but I feel like he is being unwarrantedly negative. No one doing a food blog is should be put under the same light as someone reviewing restaurants for a newspaper or something, even he admits many of them are well-known and the restaurants do cater to them. You as a blogger are reviewing the food you want to eat, where you are eating it, and saying whatever the hell you want to about it. That is what a food blog is, if he does not like yours or another one, he is free to read any of the 100000000 more out there on the internet. I liked the win-win-win dinner and think his criticisms of it are unfounded because you said up front what you are doing.

    I don’t think you should justify this guy’s hateful post by

    1) re-posting it on your site!!!
    2) altering your behavior in any way in response to it (not doing win-win-win dinners any more)

  8. 4SlicesofCheese says:

    Perhaps the AKC thing was not thought out too well. But it is not a big deal, you learn from it. I truly believe you had the best intentions.

    If Ben and Suanne are the greedy morale-less monsters they are painted to be, they would have found a way to monetize the site a long time ago. They have not for a reason. They are everyday folk like me that’s what I like about them. I have seen what car they drive (no offense, I had that car before, great car)

    You have held many chowdowns where the bill was split evenly by guests. Sure the restaurant knew who you were and may or may not have given you special treatment.

    But who cares, why does everything have to be rated and and dissected, can’t people come together and have a good time with food.

    This part IMO is like the dine out that many people go to. Does it give an accurate representation of the restaurant has to offer? Probably not. But does it get people out together to have fun and have some food. Absolutely.

    Why so serious.

    I agree there may be some people that take advantage of their position and have conflicts of interest but thats media for you, you kinda expect that from things like the Sun and Province etc. reader beware. Would you get all your news from one source and never question it? Hope not.

    I personally go to many food sites. Why? Cause opinions are assholes , everyone’s got one. (I am not calling anyone an asshole btw)

    There are bigger and more important issues to be upset over, and yes I know this is about food blogging but that’s my point… ITS A FREAKING FOOD BLOG. Relax.

  9. Diana says:

    Isn’t Kim a girl?

    I was choked a bit too about the post but what can we do right? Lets just continue what we love doing – EAT!
    Your visitors love what you post up and since they do keep coming back you know you did nothing wrong. Everyone has their own style and no one is perfect, there is no perfect blog and obviously people can not be perfect all the time.

    Chowtimes was the only blog I was ever exposed to before blogging and you have not only just created a website, you created a community of food lovers. You inspire your readers and empower them to share their love of food. Don’t be too sad over this. It’s Friday!

  10. LotusRapper says:

    Kim’s blog was one of the 10 or so I read on an almost daily basis, and I enjoyed his restaurant reviews and call-it-like-it-is style. I will miss that.

    BUT I didn’t expect this parting post/shot. I’m disappointed he chose to take direct shots at individuals like he did (and naming them explicitly). That’s below the belt. He’s entitled to his opinions about the foodies bloggosphere but IMO there’s no need to take cheap shots like that against people.

    Ben, perhaps the GGW AKC event didn’t turn out the way you had intended (in hindsight) but I trust, like all things in life, lessons can be learned there. I have my own opinions about matters like that but I will keep it private and not tell you how to do this or do that. This is YOUR blog and you do as you see fit, and not everyone can be pleased or agree, right ? AFAIC, Chowtimes is second-to-none and you have the support of hundreds (or thousands ?). So …… BE STRONG.

    (a toast to Ben with a glass of l’eau de citron !) [wink]

  11. Joan says:

    First, I think the AKC dinner was a GREAT idea!! I would love to see more of these dinners. After I entered (I didn’t win), I had several days of fantasy about going and meeting Ben and Suzanne whom I greatly admire as PEOPLE with integrity and as foodies.

    Second a blog is alot of work. I had one for several years and it becomes a great responsibility and burden at times.

    Kim is angry and should have waited to cool off before he lashed out at his colleagues.

    My life has been made better by reading Chowtimes and other Vancouver food blogs. Greyelf has been SOOOO helpful to anyone asking for advice; I am so sorry he called her out.

    Lastly, Thank YOU very much for your blog – readership is where the rubber hits the road, and you certainly have that and more.

  12. Brad says:

    I have been reading both Chowtimes and I’m Only Here for the Food (aka IOHFTF) for some time. Passively lurking and consuming what these 2 sites offer. It is curious that I have only ever commented on Chowtimes though. The reason being, that I find Ben and Suanne to be genuinely interesting and I love the way that they have been trying different ways to engage with their readers. I love that they hold events like the tasting one at Mamak. To me, the ethics of the King Crab dinner are comparable to the McDonalds coupon giveaway. I could see a problem with it, if Chowtimes was doing it for financial gains or if they didn’t disclose how they were able to provide these free things to the readers. But Ben did disclose (multiple times) that dinner would be free for him and Suanne and the readers. The impression that I got was that dinner was done with the intention to let people try the King Crab dinner and to have a Chowtimes gathering. Considering that the cost of the King Crab dinner is considerable more than something like the Mamak dinner, the fact that they were trying to be inclusive and find a way to take care of the costs for the readers is something that should be commended. I found IOHFTF’s post surprisingly angry with a level of pretentiousness gives Vancouver food bloggers a bad name. Kimho has these elitist ideals of what food blogging is whereas I view the blogs that I read as adventures at various local restaurants from people with comparable tastes to my own. It is funny that for someone that is “only here for the food” that Kimho feels it his place to go trolling. Don’t heed the petulant child in the corner, it only encourages them to keep baiting.
    TLDR; I support Chowtimes and don’t apologize or change your ways, you did everything right!!!

  13. Does anyone else feel sad and sorry for Kim? It baffles me how an individual can have so much pent up anger towards something so trivial AND have the time to write it. (The irony lies, of course in in how poorly written and error-laden his rant post is). Someone please extend the poor guy a hand and get him some help.

    Kim, I know you’re reading this. As I was reading through your post, I was getting nervous, afraid that you’ve forgotten to mention me! You got it all wrong, love. Don’t pull my words from one newspaper interview out of context. Unlike you, I don’t have TIME to pour negativity into the world. I’m a busy woman with a life, a successful business, a loving family, and a devoted fiance. I spend my time in going above and beyond to give back to my community. Those are the things that deserve my time and attention, not bitching about bad meals.

    Vancouver Food Tour is something I worked my ass off for. The hand that feeds me is NOT the restaurants, Einstein. It’s the tourists, visitors, and guests that don’t give half a crap about my latest article. I’m proud of my work and I love promoting places that I sincerely feel visitors should see. If your bitter little brain can’t handle that, then I must revert to my original sentiments: I feel so sorry for you.

    p.s. your writing sucks.

    • george periotakis says:

      I can’t help but notice that the phrase “people in glass houses…” applies here. If you are going to say “I don’t have TIME to pour negativity into this world”, then practice what you preach, move along. Lastly, for g*ds go back to grade 10 english, your writing could be the worst offence of all!!!!

    • agingteen says:

      Well said Melody Fury!!!heheh!

    • hahaha allright Melody! woo hoo! you go girl :)

  14. Nocturnal Vancouver says:

    Hi there, it’s crazy on how Kim mentions us, Nocturnal Vancouver, when we aren’t even a food blog!
    Just wanted to share with you all on what I posted on Kim’s post, but probably won’t get approved:

    “It is funny how one can keep a grudge of having their picture taken right? We sort of figured if we left your watermark on the picture it was credit enough and when we found out that it wasn’t we apologized promptly and changed it.

    Diana Chan is not part of Nocturnal Vancouver, only in it that we use some of her food knowledge and had her design our awesome logo. Bashing on her like this is not cool, and rather immature. You should know better than to bash on other food bloggers, you’re a food blogger and should only criticize food. I didn’t realize this was a blog about “I’m right, these people suck.”

    When one needs to shut down a blog, I guess one wants to go down with a big boom. Congratulations on that part, but burning bridges is never a smart move. Good luck on your future endeavors.”

    Btw, big fan of you Ben!

  15. Thomas says:

    Social media & blogging IS unrestricted & open communication; we all have a voice speaking into the ‘big-room’. Some of us do it better than the others & the beauty of the internet is that we have the ability to filter out the crap to hear the voices that interest us most.

    Chow Times speaks of the (food) things that interest me. Clearly there is terrific work involved. Risks have been taken. Learning has been accomplished. Fun has been had.

    Ben, I’m impressed that you would feature Kim’s post like this. Your approach to disclosure is honourable. Please carry on posting about the spicy food I want to eat.

    Chow Times boleh!

  16. trashedretro says:

    I was one of the winners of the free AKC dinner and in my opinion, nothing is wrong with it. I felt that Ben wanted us (the readers) to experience AKC as many of us haven’t experienced AKC. Unfortunately, people thought of it as a sell out.

    This is my first time ever commenting on a food blog as I have always been a silent reader of food blogs. Ben & Suanne, IT IS OKAY. Once something gets popular, or too popular, this is bound to happen.

    Kim, I admire your blog as well but your post is just too much. It is disrespectful and uncalled for.

  17. karen says:

    ben & suanne, food blogging is purely for the fun & ability to share your adventures with the online community. that’s exactly what the two of you do, and you both should be very proud of it. i can’t remember the number of times i’ve laughed out loud while reading your blog, talking about your kids and the fun family experiences.

    kimho has serious issues, doesn’t understand the difference between food bloggers and food critics, and needs to learn to stop being such a jealous warden man. he only wishes he was half as successful as you two. at the end of the day, he doesn’t understand that food blogging is a hobby and it’s not his business to judge how other’s approach it.

    ben & suanne, don’t change! only be happy that petty people like kimho are out of the community. his decision to leave is definitely appreciated!! don’t ever come back!!

  18. Ryan says:

    Guys,

    Chowtimes is bar none the best food blog in Vancouver. I know for a fact they do it out of their interest and not for profit, and their level of dedication shows in their work. I will continue following this blog for as long as they write. They are very generous with their freebies, and even pay for the postal to send them out. Ben and Suanne – please continue to do your great work.

    However, in the future, you do need to re-consider when openly asking for freebies. I agree with KimHo OPINION about the AKC event being a sell-out (or can be easily mistaken as one) and loosely disguised as a marketing/advertising opportunity instead of a get-together. (I did put my name into the draw BTW). This is obviously only an opinion, and in social media, everyone is entitled to one.

    But the key thing about Chowtimes is they ACCEPTED THE CRITICISM and used it as a learning opportunity. Mistakes happen, but as long as you learn from them, people will forgive. When Ben makes a comment about a waitress appearance on one of this on-the-fly iphone posts, I commented on it. But you know what? He took it in stride.

    Chowtimes forever!

  19. Pauline says:

    Ben: You have my support and respect. You are a class act in being open to others’ opinions and trying to understand their perspective, even if these may be different from yours. KH, not so much.

  20. LotusRapper says:

    Kim’s had strong opinions about Chowtimes for awhile now:

    http://imonlyhereforthefood.com/2009/06/blogging-perks-and-accountability/

  21. Cyndi says:

    It’s very interesting, and at the same time, very cowardly that this man would leave the food community while targeting certain blogs with his hate and negativity. All-in-all, it is a blog and it would be hypocritical of him to say that there is a “code of ethics” that bloggers should adhere to, yet I’m sure he is breaking quite a few himself.

    Ben, you blog about what you like to eat and where you like to go to, and I think that’s really all you can ask for on a basic level of blogging. However, you go beyond that because you’ve created such a great community of followers where you want to share your experiences with online and offline.

    The Free Alaskan Crab Dinner idea is perfectly acceptable in my opinion. Perhaps it’s because I’m a Business student, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. “With great power, comes great responsibility”. I think it’s admirable that you want to use your food blog to provide your readers with a chance to eat something like Alaskan Crab, especially since it is so expensive! Not a lot of people would be willing to try something like that on their own. You definitely don’t have to go out of your own way to plan events and dinners, but you do and that’s more than what a lot of other people can say in regard to how they give back to their own readers.

    It’s amazing that you reach out to your readers, and I don’t think there’s anything ever wrong with that. :)

  22. Pinoy Gourmet says:

    Good Riddance to a person who tries to make his candle brighter by snuffing out other peoples candles.FYI My IT agreed to do the special order in exchange for AYCE Dinner at Shabusen and a case of Beer.All I need is to confirm the order for the custom software I asked him to quote for me.Amazing what people would do for beer

  23. LotusRapper says:

    Now there’s a thread going on Chowhound:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/777303#6449405

  24. LotusRapper says:

    Man, all this posting makes me want to suggest a group chowdown at Kalvin’s ……. :-D

  25. Andy says:

    All this is kind of childish. Nothing is ever going to be perfect for everyone. So just read if you want, don’t if you don’t like it. Pretty simple. Your opinion matters to yourself but it doesn’t really matter that much to everyone else.

    But as with most things, once money or things that money can buy get involved, then all sorts of bad behaviors come out. Add if you add the popularity contest on top of it. Yeah, this was bound to come out sooner or later.

    We the readers have our own opinions about the different restaurants. Sometimes we share, sometimes we don’t. If you want to build a community, then you have to tolerate some of these things.

    While I would agree with Kim on some of the criticisms at various sites, but at the end of the day, everyone can do whatever they want with their own site and make their choice whether to monetize it or not.

    I would however love to see more in depth research but hey, I’m just a reader.

  26. Barb says:

    Ben and Suzzane,
    What you blog about is your business. Nobody has any right to sit on a mighty throne to pass judgments of any sorts on what or any other blogger out there is writing. If someone doesn’t like it, they should not read it.

    I actually lost interest about a quarter of the way through Kim’s post. He’s likely got more pressing issues then he cares to admit or is aware of. Kim, if you’re reading this, it’s no joke, but I would recommend you to seek counselling. Anger management skills may be helpful.

  27. Nopiem says:

    Makes me glad that I live on the Island now. I loved the food scene in Vancouver for the 20 years I lived there, loved sharing the experiences of a new place with friends. The unfortunate part of Social Media is that we have learned that Trolls don’t just exist in Fairy Tales. This was an interesting read and rant. Thanks for the entertainment.

  28. Sandi says:

    So many things I want to say…. his rant was borderline disturbing – such venom!! Sure Kim – let it all out and them shut down shop. I read a lot of blogs and enjoyed his, but not as much as some of the other (like this one). He made too many parting shots, many of them personal. Not cool. I’ll stop now so THIS doesn’t turn into a rant…

  29. Sherman says:

    I really wanted to stay silent on this issue because it is so controversial; but… *man*. As I have already mentioned on Kim’s blog, as much as he makes some valid points, I cannot associate myself with that particular post (even though he mentions me in it). Ben knows me personally and although we don’t see eye-to-eye on certain matters, it’s always been a cordial and friendly relationship. Much like most relationships amongst people. I don’t hate. So, my 2 cents is that people have the right to do whatever they want, including myself. If it doesn’t make someone happy, so be it. It’s a free world. You can’t please everyone.

  30. bdachow says:

    Hi Ben,

    I’ve been stalking your blog for a long time and really enjoy it. This is my first post and just wanted to say keep up the good work. A blog is a personal thing, if someone chooses to read it, that is their choice.

    I’ve never read Kim’s blog before and having read the rant, I was not impressed with the personal attacks on you and others. I think it was completely uncalled for. You admitted in your AKC post subsequently that you thought it was a bad idea afterwards so live and learn. Kim obviously did not read that part where you expressed some regret over it.

    You have done nothing to deserve such a virtiolic rant against yourself.

    Congrats on the success of Chowtimes and much continued success in the future. I hope to get a chance to meet you and Suanne one day when I come back to Vancouver.

  31. zud says:

    kim shutting down his blog due to what others are doing is immature, imho. if you believe in what you do, do it according to your standards and if your standards are in line with what others desire, then you’ll continue to shine. he’s taking his toys and storming out of the sandbox.

    would people have reacted differently if golden great wall approached ben, instead of ben soliciting restaurants? i don’t think the akc dinner win win win situation was faulty at all given the disclosure.

    every blog has pros and cons, chowtimes has recipes which i like, but his restaurant reviews are a bit repetitive and boring. but he does travel which i really like. shermans is the best restaurant blog hands down, he eats everywhere and a great mix of high end, trendy, hole in the wall, ethnic, etc.. i only wish he would post his receipts like chowtimes does. kim heavily associated costs with value and food in his posts which i love as well.

    • Sherman says:

      Hi Zud,

      Thanks for the kind comments. If you can believe it, I have nearly all the receipts from my meals. I have no problem taking a picture of them and posting it. Some might scare you, such as the Tojo’s one. It sure scared me…

      Cheers,

      Sherman

  32. joyce says:

    WTH, this is ridiculous. I didn’t bother reading the whole thing. I don’t care what other ppl are saying because I LOVE and ENJOY reading your blog. The way you write your blog is exactly what I would do if I had my own. It’s fun, personal, honest and educational. I don’t think there is anything wrong with experimenting new things such as the free AKC dinner.
    I say keep up the good work and don’t let those “mo lieu” ppl ruin your day.
    Have a good weekend!

  33. schweetb says:

    Forgive my honesty but a while back when Chow Times went to the Golden Great Wall for dinner, from the pictures, it was obvious that the restaurant went beyond their normal serving presentation to impress Chow Times. That post itself was already questionable despite whether or not they really are great. And am I really surprised that they are the same restaurant you go back to for the AKC dinner….of course not. They already impressed you the first time….second time should be a walk in the park.

    Ben and Suanne, I agree with much of your readers that this is your blog and that you certainly do have right to post what you want to post….and you’ll never be able to win that all over.
    Anyone who is ever successful and popular with doing what they are doing will always have people out there that are less favourable.

    I think this whole ‘arguement’ over the internet is a bit childish and I think both sides should just let it go.

    If you really accept the negative with the good….then be gracious about it and just … let it go. Is it necessary to point out who thought you were in the wrong? Now that you’re drawing even more attention to whole topic….how’s that working out for you?
    I don’t think fueling the fire changes anything accept Chow Times it seems as though the site is seek for support to justify your ‘actions’.

  34. Merilee says:

    Dear Ben,

    I have been a long time lurked but feel the need to say something to you. I don’t think that you should feel bad or apologize to anyone for what you did with regards to the crab dinner. This is your own personal blog that you obviously dedicate a lot of time to for the benefit of your readers. I know that I read this blog for entertainment and fun. People need to realize that all blogs do not have to follow the same pattern. I personally don’t want to read about the history of a certain dish for any great length. I love reading your blog because of your excellent pictures and reviews. I think that people need to calm down a little bit. If they don’t like what they are readin then they don’t have to visit your site. I don’t think that anyone has the right to make you feel bad for the dinner you arranged for your readers. I don’t know you personally but I feel like I do know you through your blog and the type of person you are translates in your posts. Good for you for having the guts to do what you did. Keep on doing what you’re doing because you do it well.

  35. schweetb says:

    Sorry – I wanted to mention this in my previous post above:

    Ben, you titled this entry: Why the Anger?
    Would you agree that by posting this up only encourages more negativity? If you wanted to know “why the anger?” why not contact Kim personally?

    • Ben says:

      Hi schweetb:

      For what it is worth, I can tell you that I had put out word that I am reaching out to Kim. It is through someone who are both the acquaintance of Kim Ho and I. That person I had approached is monitoring this comments I know. However, I will not identify that person and hope that the person reading can help vouch that I did that this morning. I can tell you that the following was what I wrote in the email verbatim:

      “Kim is not entirely wrong. He has his good points. What I do not know is why did he hate me more than others? What did I do? If you do speak to Kim, let him know (if you want) that I don’t mind reaching out to him. I want to hear his side of the story and I will tell him my side too. Because this is public domain now, I would want to make it public too … let the world read about it and I am game to stand responsible for whatever fault I have.”

      I do not want to prolong this matter. I am trying my best to do the right thing here. I hope you understand. That was the reason I put the title up. I was shocked reading what I read this morning and unfortunately my first reaction was “Why?” … hence “Why The Anger?”

      Ben

      • zud says:

        ..since you said hold no punches! why are you going thru a middleman? do you feel since kim has the beef, he should contact you first? if you are being sincere about not prolonging this matter, call kim and talk about it.

        • Ben says:

          Hi Zud:

          I had done above and beyond what I need to do in these circumstances. I don’t think I need to do anything more. I am sorry. I think I am man enough to pick up a phone to call Kim Ho but I hope you understand that his words that says:

          “Ever since, other than in one dinner, we haven’t seen each other face to face. Do I care? Absolutely not, as I have no respect for him. Of course, he will say that he discloses everything and what not. Believe me, ladies and gentlemen, that is pure BS.”

          … those words still rings loud and clear after all these hours. Sorry I know I should not take his own words and replicate here again (to prolong the issue) but I am just trying to tell you how hurtful those words were.

          I hope you understand my position Zud. Despite those words leveled on me I am still trying to do what is right. It is already awkward and humiliating for me to ask an acquaintance to be a middle man to so that we can sort this out person-to-person. Believe me, I do not hate Kim Ho.

          Ben

          • LotusRapper says:

            Zud, walk a mile in another man’s shoes ….. walk a mile in another man’s shoes …..

  36. Merilee says:

    Oops auto correct. Pardon my bad grammar. :)

  37. Jared says:

    While I agree with Kim’s post, I can’t help but think it should only apply to food reviewers. Since I started reading this blog I always thought of it as a blogging site that discusses food, not a full on food critic. I think that’s where the differences lie. I wholeheartedly agree in due diligence and transparancy, I think it only applies to sites that categorize themselves as such.
    To the point… I’m glad to see that this site has changed to give the reader full disclosure of exactly how the experience may have been altered. And while Kim may have all valid points to a food critic, this site has never sought out to be one.

  38. To respond to your title and hopefully not towards Kim’s post, I believe from Kim’s post that he is angry/offended on some matters on writing. Specifically the last paragraph he quoted from you… this statement only: “but of course the food and service better be good.” Personally I feel that if you didn’t include that statement at all in your post he wouldn’t have been angry at all- his anger is more so directed towards those few words, but that’s how small details in many situations can tick people off!

    I think you were trying to say to the restaurant who would offer the dinner (if I recall correctly you were offering restaurants to do the AKC dinner at the time) that the food quality must be at their regular standards. Essentially stating “don’t slack off” to the restaurant even if the dinner they are making is free? Kim to me looks like he/she took the words as everyone has proclaimed ahead of time that the food is good and only good- can’t be anything else.

    Maybe this would would work better to not offend?-

    “We will blog about the AKC feast in return for the dinner provided by the restaurant (to be determined). Although this dinner may be free, it is requested that the people in attendance will write an honest opinion about our experiences at the restaurant.” (ok, this doesn’t parallel with the rest of the original posting but I think you’ll get what I mean)

    That’s my analysis of his rant anyway on chowtimes…but either way, I don’t think you should feel bad for anything Ben. You have the support of so many readers including me and what you do for the community is great! I have learned a lot on Vancouver restaurants even not having been to Vancouver at all and just from this post itself and you should certainly not feel let down by one person- there may be something to learn behind their writing but you should not feel down as a result. As always, wishing you continued success in the future!

  39. agingteen says:

    I love reading Chowtimes! I think what Kim wrote was out of line and totally classless, he has serious issues and taking this food blogging thing a bit too seriously. As for the AKC dinner, I don’t think Chowtime did anything wrong, Ben and Susanne had good intentions in that they just want people who never try AKC to try it. Also, Kim has no right to dictate how bloggers should be conducting their blogs!

  40. joyluckclub says:

    Don’t feel bad Ben…..you and Suanne provide an entertaining perspective on YOUR dining adventures.I love reading all your posts. I may not always agree with your tastes…but surprise!!! WE ARE NOT THE SAME PERSON AND I HAVE MY OWN PERSONAL TASTES! I respect your dedication, honesty and fun loving approach to your blog.

    You have inspired me to write my own blog and I thank you for that. I suppose Kim is pointing a finger at me too for some of my “lack of depth” posts…..but he/she does not have the right to tell me or anyone else how to write. It’s my personal journal of sorts…..like it or leave it.

    To all the other food bloggers, it’s great to read what’s out and about on the food scene and see what you think…..I may not always agree with what you are saying…..but I still enjoy reading about YOUR experiences.

    Kim, It seems that timing is everything and your time is up…….it’s “Ciao”-Time!!!!

  41. neige.tyro says:

    ben – here is some hip hop knowledge. when rappers needs attention, they will create a disstape (diss+mixtape).
    nas, jay-z, eminem and 2pac have popular diss songs that called people/ each other out but that was lightyears ago. while kim may not need extra views, he’s definitely being an attention whore and a lil b|atch.

    personally, that free akc dinner was WAAAAAAY too nice (presentation was off the charts), but you should do fun things like that once in a while.

    in general, your blog is too positive sometimes. BUT I LOVE YOUR BLOG because it seems to hover around a care-free personality about you (& your family).

  42. Alice says:

    I’ve been following your blog for more than a year now (along with a few other blogs of course, including KimHo’s).
    I really didn’t think there were that much drama between all the food bloggers out there. After reading what Kimho wrote I’ve pretty much lost all respects for him/her. Everyone is entitled to their opinion for sure but he didn’t need to make such a big deal out of this!! It’s really sad that he is going to let his blog end like this.
    I think chowtimes has a lot of fans out there and what he said will definitely not change that.

    Also for the AKC dinner thing, I really don’t see anything wrong. AKC is not something that people can just go out to eat. I don’t have a big family so it is pretty much impossible for me to go and eat it since that crab along can feed like 10 people. So by organizing an event like that single people like me will have the chance to experience it.

    P.S like a few others that have commented I’m also a ‘silent’ reader, although I read your blog everyday I’ve never commented, but I feel the need to comment on this one!

  43. Jimbo says:

    HAHA.. Pwnd!!

  44. Stephen C. says:

    Hi Ben and Suanne. Only my second post, but I’ve been reading your blog for years. I’ve really enjoyed your reviews, pictures, travels, and recipes. I’ve found many great restaurants because of your blog.

    I think Free AKC Dinner was a great idea with good intent. There are dozens of ads in the newspaper. What better way for a restaurant, confident in their food, to stand out. As a reader, I am fully aware the restaurant would do their best (wow, by the sculptures… they sure did), and the review may lean to being more positive. In the end, I think it was a win for all parties, as I learned about their style of AKC.

    And unlike advertising ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbCwi6EeNAE ), I have always found your reviews and pictures accurately reflects the true experience when I visit the restaurant.

  45. M says:

    Ben, do what you feel right. This is your blog right?

    Your readers are here because they love what you do for this blog and sharing your passion with us.
    Thank you

  46. Layla says:

    Everybody’s entitled to an opinion, but please don’t let any of what Kim said bring you guys down! Whether you realize it or not, you’ve opened up a lot of eyes to the wonderful world of culinary arts :)

    At the end of the day, you’re two extraordinary people doing what you guys love while generously sharing your passion with others.

    Keep it up! Much love <3

  47. Chris says:

    Hi Ben and Suanne, Thank god we live in a country where there is freedom of speech and expression(we were born in a country where that concept is not possible, right??)! So, let Kim say his piece. I can’t help but think he has issues with himself….anger? insecurity? envy?? *gasp* There is no further need to deal with pond scum like that..let him go quietly into oblivion. Wish him well because Chowtimes readers have class. And u folks did nothing wrong….don’t let anyone say otherwise.

  48. Sunny says:

    why all the hate, can’t we all just get back to the food… i mean people read food blogs to wet their apatites and get ideas of new places to try out, where is the love? the love for food that unites us all :D

  49. S says:

    While everyone is allowed to vent and express their opinions, I am disgusted by the way that Kim Ho approached this. I don’t read negative blogs or follow negative tweets, because, really, there’s enough negativity going around. Needless to say, his/her blog never caught my interest to begin with. Why bother?

    The way he/she slammed so many bloggers is definitely not “traditional chinese” as he/she claims they are. There’s no face.

    If Kim Ho has an issue, perhaps he/she should vent it privately as his/her post makes him/her look worse. I doubt the bloggers he cited as awesome would like having their names associated with his/hers.

    I follow Chowtimes for getting great suggestions on where to eat in Vancouver since we share similar tastes. I have to admit that I don’t just rely on Chowtimes’ suggestion, I also check Urbanspoon and Dinehere before I go, as an informed diner.

    As to your apology Ben, there was adequate disclosure and numerous apologies issued for the AKC dinner that there’s no need to issue further apologies. I think it’s time to move on Ben. And those people who can’t, I say to them “go do something productive with your life and don’t share your misery!”

    Anyhow, I will keep reading Chowtimes. Keep positive Ben and Suanne; you have a loyal following and keep sharing your great finds. :o)

  50. Joan says:

    Ben and Suzanne,

    Can you feel the love of your readers? One very wrong comment can not over rule all the love and respect you get from your readers.

    It is my wish that someday, all the chowtimes readers could come together in a venue larger than a restaurant for a potluck holiday dinner… could you just imagine the food???

  51. Ben says:

    Hi All:

    I want to let you know I will close off the comments on this post. Suanne and I appreciate all the kind words. We are are not taking this badly at all but certainly there are a lot of learnings we had from this post.

    The hardest for me today at work as the question: “What would Arkensen and Nanzaro think?” Well, Arkensen does not really read chowtimes but Nanzaro does. He came back from school today and I observed him checking chowtimes on his notebook at the desk next to me. He exclaimed, “What?!?” and I have no words for him other than saying “yeah, things like this happen just like what you see in your own forums”. I looked away for a few and then I saw him typing comments on Kim Ho’s website. I stopped him and said “Don’t do it”. He asked “Why?”. I said “Because”. It took me a while to compose myself. And all I could muster was “Because it is wrong.” Not today. I will leave it to some other day to talk a bit more about that to the boys.

    For those of you who think I am wrong to replicate Kim’s website here, my intention was to face it as it is. I know many of you are passionate about the GGW AKC issue. I want to confront this question and demonstrate I had nothing to hide. The dinner was ONE mistake on my part. By replicating Kim’s post, I want to put myself up to be chastised by all. I want to put it to rest once and for all, so that I can move on. That was my only intention. I have no malice against Kim Ho despite me still not knowing “Why?”.

    I have a lot of rebuttal to make against Kim Ho’s post but I think it will not do anyone any good at all. So am going to just let it slide and get back to things that matter. BTW, thanks also for all the emails and phone calls today. Suanne and I are alright. We really are.

    Ben

  52. [...] a month ago, in the midst of a whole bunch of stupidity, Kevin from 604foodtography, suggested a big ol’ chowdown at Kalvin’s Restaurant. [...]

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