What exactly is food with a view?
Food with a view is starting out as an opinionated guide to [north jersey] food. It is a guide to food experiences in northern New Jersey, including restaurant reviews, cooking experiences, cookbook and other food-related book reviews, kitchen design and product reviews, food and drink pairings, culinary travel and food events, and entertaining. Because I love to travel, it will cover experiences outside of my home area. Because I have high hopes for foodwithaview.com, I created it in a way to allow for other locations to become the focus with a simple swap in the [brackets].
Do you ever review restaurants or products you don’t like?
Those who know me well know that “ray of sunshine” does not describe my general attitude about things. They also know that there is nothing this girl hates more than a bad meal. I’m not saying I’m negative, or pessimistic – just candid. I do, however, have great respect for those who venture into the restaurant or food business, or spend the time and energy to become professionally trained chefs, bakers, restaurant managers, sommeliers… principally because I envy their bravery.
I balance these two seemingly at odds principles by focusing on all the good that is out there, discovered or not, in the northern New Jersey food world (and, occasionally, beyond). When it comes to restaurants, if you don’t see it reviewed here, it could mean I haven’t been there; if it’s in Maplewood or the surrounding communities, it probably means I didn’t think it was worth writing home about. For products, specialty food stores, food events, cookbooks, and the like, my focus is purely on sharing what I discover and like. It’s certainly not exhaustive, but if I found it share-worthy, you’ll see it here.
Are your meals discounted or free at restaurants or food events you review?
No. Never. I actually go out of my way to avoid being detected as a restaurant reviewer. I’m not saying I go all garlic and sapphires with disguises, but I try to avoid obvious note taking, food photography, and other tell-tale signs. If food with a view becomes so famous I can’t go anywhere without the foodie paparazzi following me, I’ll revisit. It doesn’t strike me a significant risk for now.
Do you receive compensation for products you review?
No. Never. Everything I tell you about on foodwithaview.com is because I love it myself. If you see an affiliate link to amazon or any other website, it is for your convenience if you choose to buy it yourself. For the trouble I go through in creating this specific type of link, amazon pays me a few cents if you click-through and make a purchase. I assure you, my primary goal is your easy access to my favorite things. Official statement: Jennifer Kosar is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Where does your photography come from?
I am a budding photographer learning how to use a really expensive camera. Photography that is not credited is my original work (you could probably tell from its amateur feel anyway). I also support Jakub at foodiesfeed.com through purchase of his photography as well as a donation to support his free work, which allows me to use thousands of beautiful food pictures without attribution. I still attribute those images as I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Any photographs from other sources will be captioned with information on the original artist and website.
What qualifies you to write about food?
Nothing, if you want to get all official about it. I’m not a trained chef. I didn’t go to journalism school (although I had planned to — somehow business school seemed more attractive at a critical juncture). And my husband can attest to the fact that I have no business running a website given my technological challenges.
But we live in a world where we make purchases based on a recommendation from a Kardashian. Or worse, we choose a restaurant based on the reviews of random strangers with god only knows what biases or personal tastes contradictory to our own.
So no, my opinion is not based on extensive professional training or credentials. But it is based on years and years of trial and error. Cooking. Eating. I do it all the time. And, odds are, I’m just like you. I’m a member of the community, I have small children, I go to work every day, I try to get decent meals on the table. And I love experiencing food. And while you may not always agree with me, you can rest assured that I am bringing you my view in an unbiased, candid way.
Do you author your own recipes?
No. And while I won’t say “never” this time, I don’t foresee authoring my own original recipes anytime soon. I’m content to try the ones I find in my travels and let you know how they turned out. I’ll always let you know where I found my original inspiration so you can see more of what they have to offer. I will also let you know if I made any changes from the original recipe, either because I found it tasty, or for convenience of creating leftovers.
How do you feel about comments on your posts?
I love them! Food is all about sharing memorable experiences with friends and family. The love of all things food is spreading because we are willing to engage as a community around our shared passion. But with passion comes opinions — strong ones! I’m looking forward to hearing what others have to say and am quite sure I will learn new things and find new experiences along the way.
Having said that, food with a view is a positive place. I respect what those in the food profession do, and I expect my readers to do the same, by remaining constructive in our commentary. This goes for how we talk about restaurants and products as well as how we treat each other. I will moderate all comments until I am comfortable you are abiding by these principles, and remove any comments that don’t.
Can I share your photography or posts?
Absolutely, please do! I tried to make that easy for you with buttons and links, if I missed anything please let me know. If you like one of the photos I feature from other photographers, please give credit to those artists when you share.
Where can I get more?
Food with a view is on the major social media platforms (facebook, instagram, pinterest, tumblr, and twitter); you can connect with me via the related social media icon on most pages. I’m learning the many, many other platforms out there, but you can generally find me on your favorite as foodwithaview (including foursquare, foodspotting, foodgawker, StumbleUpon, and Flickr). I occasionally post restaurant reviews on Yelp and OpenTable as Jenn Kosar.
all photos on this page by jakub at foodiesfeed
Something on your mind I missed? Email me at jenn at foodwithaview.com or leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!