Mediocre Chef: 2018 Year in Review
On February 26, 2018, we posted our first blog post. We’ve come a long way since then, but we’re still learning — we’ll always be learning, which is the main point of Mediocre Chef. The world of cooking is vast and exciting! Although we haven’t quite been blogging for a year yet, we thought we’d review our highlights of 2018.
Brittany: I love cheese, so it’s no surprise that I’m choosing the Cheese Soufflé post we wrote, where we tried two different methods of making a soufflé (and two different types — savoury and sweet). I’m excited to try the easy method and tweak the ingredients to make different tasting cheese soufflés!
Trevor: I had a tough time deciding between the donair and the Sloppy Jessica. Both were super tasty and fun to make, but ultimately the Sloppy Jessica wins out. It’s not fancy, but it has the best quick chili ever, and it has mac and cheese and pizza in a bun — super tasty. It’s also from Brooklyn Nine Nine which definitely is a bonus.
Least Favorite Recipe
Brittany: Matty Matheson’s Lasagna From Munchies was the first recipe we made for the blog — it was a rocky start. As it was a recipe review, we decided to stick to the recipe and not make any alterations. This meant adding 3 tablespoons of red pepper flakes. 🔥 Despite how much mozzarella there was (and there was a lot, it was expensive), the spice ended up overpowering the entire dish. I’m sure this lasagna would taste delicious if you were to tweak the amount of spice added, but as it stands it’s my least favourite recipe we’ve made.
Trevor: It goes without saying that Matty Matheson’s Lasagna From Munchies was bad. It was too spicy, it was expensive, and honestly I’ve had better frozen lasagna. However, I think that my least favourite recipe from this year was the beef stock from our French onion soup post. That was 4 hours of my life and $30 of money that went down the toilet and added nothing to the soup. As we stated in the blog, had we actually spent the proper time on the stock, it probably would have turned out much better (and we would have gotten more than just a measly litre). But, I have to call it as it is, and say that the stock was my least favourite, not because of taste, but because of how little payoff it had.
Honourable Mentions: This mediterranean pastry pinwheels recipe didn’t make the cut for our Simple & Delicious Christmas Party Appetizer Ideas post. It was way too salty and rich! Womp womp.
Most Fun Blog Post
Brittany: How to Make a Completely Acceptable Charcuterie Board was a joy to research and write. We investigated places to buy meat and cheeses from, got to sample delicious food along the way, and bought a TON of meat, cheeses, and accompaniments for our boards. It was during this time that we discovered a few new gems such as Meuwly’s and Paddy’s International Cheese Market, which I am very thankful for. I also have a fond memory of eating the best sandwich of my life (from Meuwly’s) in Trevor’s car — we had to take a snack break in between all that shopping.
Trevor: Top 10 Food and Cooking Subreddits. Yes, there is nothing that we cooked for this post, but I had an absolute blast writing it. Brittany and I had planned on writing a list of simple tips that will help you be a better cook (and the keen observers amongst you will notice that we still haven’t wrote it — 2019 what up) but as we sat down to write, we completely changed what the post was about on the fly. We spent well over two hours sending each other links to reddit posts and laughing our asses off. For real, we were both laughing so hard that we were crying after reading this particular post. For about 10 minutes we were cry-laughing on the phone with each other. For that reason alone, I have to give this post the title of Most Fun Blog Post of 2018. Our charcuterie board post was a pretty close runner up though.
Coolest Social Media Interactions
Brittany: When a chef you idolize notices you, you get a little bit giddy. We made a GIF of Chef Alex for our French Onion Soup post, reached out to him on Twitter, and he responded! Alex is a super cool and humble guy.
Trevor: Someone actually used one of our recipes in their foods class. This blew my goddamn mind when I saw it. We are just two goofy people who write sassy blog posts on the internet and someone actually used one in a foods class. A real, credited teacher decided that we were an acceptable reference for today’s youth. I am still a bit shocked.
Kitchen Fails a.k.a Trevor Stabs Himself
Trevor: Not much to say here. I 100% stabbed myself with my chef knife. How did I manage that? Was I finely dicing onion? No. Was I filleting a fish? Nope. I was taking the safety cover off my knife and the knife slipped. And I tried to catch it. Yes, you heard it here first folks, I, Trevor Stinson, attempted to catch a super sharp, falling, chef knife. The nurses in the ER didn’t seem as impressed with me when I went to get stitches the next day. But hey, now I get to say that I’ve bled for this blog.
Brittany: I just wanted to add that Trevor was a champ and continued to support me as I took over making the curry for the blog post we were writing. I refused to let him do anything besides stir with his good hand, but probably should have insisted that he go to the hospital. But he didn’t die, so we’re good.
Eating & Travelling
Brittany: I visited multiple cities in Japan this year — it was the trip of the lifetime. I wrote about the amazing food that I had in Japan, my favourite being the Kobe beef I had in Kobe! If you’re ever in Kobe, go to Tor Road Steak Aoyama.
I also went to New York City and ate the most amazing Italian food. NYC knows how to make pizza and pasta! I love travelling because it means I get to try new food and discover even better of versions of food I already know and love.
Trevor: I went to Vegas and ate fast food. I went to Ireland and ate potatoes. Enough said. Actually no, not enough said, fucking go get In-N-Out if you ever have the chance. That was absolutely delicious. Also go to eggslut — the lines are worth it.
Brittany: When we first started Mediocre Chef, I wasn’t sure how long we could keep up the pace — we wanted to release high-quality content at least twice a month. But then one blog post went by, and another, and another. We cooked, we laughed, we ate, and we repeated that over and over. I remember thinking “no one is going to read this blog besides our friends and family”, and now we have thousands of people reading about our food adventures each month. If you’re reading this, thank you! We love learning how to cook and trying new things — expect more of that in 2019!
Trevor: Had you came to me 10 years ago and told me, “hey Trevor, you and Brittany are going to be starting a food blog 10 years from now” I would have laughed in your face. Had you came to me 5 years ago and told me, “hey Trevor, you and Brittany are going to be starting a food blog 10 years from now” I would have laughed in your face. Had you came to me...you get it, right? I never thought this was something that would happen. But I’m glad it did. I’m glad that Brittany had the ambition to give Squarespace’s two week trial a chance. I’m glad that she pushed us into doing this thing. (And low key I’m super glad that her day job is in digital marketing — it makes everything so much easier.)
It has been a wild year, and I’ve learned so much in such a short time about food, writing, marketing, and how to run a successful partnership with someone. Reading over some of our early blog posts, I can see us awkwardly trying to find a voice. We’re definitely still awkward, but it’s a refined awkwardness now.
I’d like to thank everyone who has read our blog, has subscribed to our newsletter, or has simply taken the time out of their day to like our mediocre Instagram posts — y’all are dope. I’d also like to thank my dear friend Brittany for coming with me on this weird journey. She puts so much work into making this blog what it is, and I can confidently say that she is the reason that this thing is where it is. Thank you, pal. Here’s to many more!
We look forward to learning, cooking, and sharing our experiences with you! Welcome to 2019.