Carol Itoh doesn’t hesitate to call herself a food snob.
She’s had dinner in cities from New York to Tokyo and said that experience will give her an advantage when reviewing restaurants closer to home.
“Eating all over the world gave me a passion for food,” Itoh said.
Other food aficionados in the Bowling Green area now have an online location to read food reviews, find recipes and comment on local restaurants.
BGFoodie.com is a Bowling Green-oriented food blog that includes restaurant reviews, recipes and features about food. It launched in October.
The idea for the blog came about from staff meetings at Itoh’s business, Itoh Press. Those meetings usually occurred at restaurants, and discussion always seemed to come back to food, she said.
While people can find short blurbs about some local restaurants on national websites, there wasn’t a place for them to get in-depth information and reviews, Itoh said.
She thinks the blog will be especially helpful to parents of Western Kentucky University students who visit town and want to take their child somewhere special to eat.
“They don’t know where the little jewels are,” Itoh said.
BGFoodie.com also includes recipes from Itoh and other contributors.
The website Pinterest has inspired Itoh to do more cooking, Itoh said.
“It sparked an interest in cooking from scratch again that I had not done in a long time,” she said.
Her recipes for things such as homemade pasta and shrimp corn chowder can be found on the blog.
Dalton Rowe, 23, of Bowling Green helped design the BGFoodie.com and now manages content for the site.
He wanted the site to have reviews in an informal writing style presented in a professional format, Rowe said.
He’s not afraid that they’ll run out of things to write about any time soon.
“We decided pretty quickly that the volume of restaurants in Bowling Green is exceptionally large for a city this size,” Rowe said.
Though he doesn’t write reviews, he does eat with some of the contributors when they go out to do a review, he said.
When he’s looking for a good restaurant, some of the most important things are simple ingredients and local sourcing, Rowe said.
Contributor Jarrod Foster, 23, of Bowling Green, said he watches for new restaurants and listens to what others have to say when picking restaurants to review for the blog.
“For me, the number one thing is the customer experience,” he said.
Bowling Green has a rich food culture, with offerings including a butcher shop, farmers market and international grocery stores.
The international influence is a plus for foodies in the area, Foster said.
“That really adds to the whole experience, in my opinion,” he said.
He’s planning on putting that international flare on display through projects such as a look at Asian grocery stores in the area for the blog, Foster said.
Bowling Green residents embrace good food, he said. New restaurants are typically packed for weeks after they open.
Though food in Bowling Green doesn’t have the same notoriety as it does in larger cities such as Louisville or Nashville, it still has a lot to offer, Foster said.
“It’s kind of under the surface there,” he said.