"We're not always amateurs just because we're not being paid," Techamuanvivit said. "A lot of bloggers are really passionate food lovers, and we can just be as informed as anyone who happens to have an editor."
"You can look at my blog. You can make a judgment about my experience. … People make their own judgments about the validity of my opinion," she said. "I think it's to their disservice to say … 'People say crazy things on the Internet.' I think that's ego speaking, not reason speaking."
Ed Levine, the author of the blog Ed Levine Eats and the founder of Serious Eats, a network of blogs billed as a home for "missionaries of the delicious," straddles that line between amateur food blogger and professional restaurant reviewer, because he is both.
Levine has written regularly for magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Bon Appetit and Gourmet, over the years, and while he understands that blogs may not always be positive, he said the exchange of ideas they facilitate between restaurants and chefs was what really made them singular.
"I think the blogosphere is good for passionate eaters and good for chefs -- they need all the feedback they can get," Levine said. "You can't get a master's in restaurant criticism."
"You can be passionate about food and soak up knowledge from people and books … and then you render a judgment."
Not all bloggers may be well informed in the ways of food, but neither are all restaurant reviewers, Levine said.
"I don't think the blog has a monopoly on uninformed food writing."