For many years, Hollywood has reinforced the stereotype of food critics by feeding the idea that they are a separate species with a demanding palate, refined tastes, and a sharp pen. Now, reality is becoming more and more of fiction because Those who have the power to make or destroy a business (if dramatic exaggeration is permitted) are the ones who are loved as much as they are criticized. Gastronomic influencers That, by posting a couple of lines on Instagram or a brief review captured in a TikTok video, a local can guarantee the reach of thousands of consumers or, on the contrary, a wave of criticism across the networks.
However, can you make a living recommending restaurants to go out to for dinner? What are the challenges of this profession created by the modern era? and most importantly, How legitimate are revisions in today’s world where the world moves based on exchanges?
Irina Widuczynski – known in the networks as Buenos Ballad Aires or “hoe”And As her followers nicknamed her – she has worked in this field for five years and in an interview with LA NACION she was encouraged to reveal behind the scenes the life of a “gastronomic influencer”.
A foodie for as long as she can remember, Irina Widuchinsky was the one her friends went to for recommendations of bars, restaurants, and cafes. in 2018, Driven by the insistence of those who asked her to share her knowledge with the world, He gave life to the blog Buenos Ballad Aires In order to talk about the different gastronomic proposals made by the city.
To enter a field where competition has been increasingly fierce, shovel – As Irina tenderly referred to her project while talking to the medium – it has been able to grow steadily thanks to three simple values: Honesty and quality over quantity and highlighting the human factor behind every recommended place.
“I didn’t like that there was a lot of exchange. There was no one giving honest reviews. So I said: I’ll pay like everyone else and talk about gastronomy. Over time, I started to show the human side because I see gastronomy as something fundamental. I’m not just interested in eating a dish, but in knowing who makes it, knowing the history… getting more,” he explained.
Now, with five years of experience and a follower count that won’t stop rising, he’s showing that his modus operandi hasn’t changed. “To this day, I go, pay, consume, get up and leave like everyone else… because I can really be honest if they let me?” pointed out. He remarked, “I will never fail in this regard for people who trust my word just to eat for free. I have a responsibility as a communicator.”
The result of this emphatic position is that Buenos Ballad Aires It didn’t end up becoming his main source of income: “80% a hobbyI’m not gonna lie to you. They call me brands for work and most of them say no, because I will not recommend products or places that contradict my philosophy of life, so the income is minimal.”
However, his “real business” does not shy away from his passion for good food. how Photographer – with a special focus on gastronomy, Of course, he continues to expand his contacts in this competitive field and, little by little, finds the perfect way to combine the two professions.
Firstly, Irina sharply disagreed: “I am not a critic, I do not identify myself as one. I am far from that. Having made this clarification, accepting the title of gastronomic influencer with some resignation and almost anticipating the criticism that accompanies said label, she proudly states that her opinions are well supported. Not just because of the knowledge accumulated through travel, experiences as a girl and a bachelor (“seeing behind the scenes gives you another look,” he said) and niche readings, but because of the wise and simple advice he once received: “I met with a great food critic who told me “Beyond the courses, you have to eat”He remembers between laughs.
Thus, with more than a trained palate and the accumulated knowledge of someone who eats meals and coffee prepared by professionals, he revealed the factors that determine a good culinary experience.
Raw materials are the first thing I care about. That the product is of the highest possible quality makes the difference.”he said, after taking a couple of minutes to analyze the problem. However, other elements also have their weight on the scale: “Gastronomy is quite experimental. The crockery, the light and the music… It changes you a lot if you go and can’t take the noise anymore or if the music accompanies what you eat.”
But perhaps the most important thing is interest in the audience: “How do they treat you before and after. When you get great service, but something goes wrong, your reaction to that problem is very different. It is one of the most important and at the same time the most complex. Especially if you have a restaurant of a certain standard… In that case it’s almost more important than the food (laughs).”
At that point, who is behind Buenos Ballad Aires He considered it important to make a clarification: it is increasingly difficult to find people who want to work and do it well, but this is not only the fault of the staff, but due to the fact that the culinary environment has questionable values and customs.“It’s a complex field in terms of treatment, salaries and gender equality. So it’s not easy to analyze the attention of the audience if you start to think it’s someone who gets paid little and is treated badly.contemplation.
We have all been victims of gastronomic trends that many ironically and pejoratively attribute to bars and remains from Palermo. Empanadas in jars, noodles with toko served inside a glass, dishes designed to be more viral than satisfying diners, tables and benches fulfilling their aesthetic role leaving much to be desired in terms of comfort were one and a thousand – sometimes protagonists of debates raging in the networks.
Although these features are highly criticized by Twitter users and arrogant of gastronomy, And Widowchinsky is not quick to judge them. “Where there is a trend, there is an audience. There are those who consume it and like it, regardless of whether I share it or not. Not necessarily what I like, other people like, and if they pass on the virus it’s for a reason.”
“There are people who like to go to a place to sit down with the newspaper and be present, and others who want a special coffee and don’t mind ordering it over the counter. There are tastes to everything,” he concluded, resolving the eternal conflict between what is right or wrong when seated. to eat.