About Me

I never felt the need to put up a specific "About Me" section or lay out a clear-cut "editorial" policy because I don't think anyone should care who I am, and I always see my blog as a personal space in which I could do whatever I want. But as this evolved into something with a readership of slightly more than 2 people these days, I guess I should state a few guidelines which I have always been adhering to anyway so that whoever stumbled across this have a better understanding and know where my line was drawn.

It's partly adopted from Food Blog Code of Ethics.

1. Paid Reviews
I need to make this loud and clear - any offer to cash payment (or equivalent) to feature a restaurant or hotel or in fact anything, or as added incentive to sway the directions of how and what I write about and share my experiences, will be flatly rejected and scorned upon. Don't even try.

2. Media Invitations
From time to time I do receive invitations from marketers or PR agencies to attend hosted tastings or events. While I don't solicit such invitations, I am open to accept them (with much gratitude) if they came to my way and if that involved something that I am personally interested in - and if you read my blog regularly or follow my twitter/instagram account you should have a good idea what those might be.
Generally speaking any event/tasting invitation must come with no string attached - how and what I shared about the events I attended is at my own discretion. (unless it's a dinner date with Gigi Leung or something, then I will do whatever you want me to) Usually I will post on my social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and my blog in any way as I see fit - however I cannot guarantee coverage or any level of coverage. And any stories I shared in my blog that were derived from invited events or any vested interest/connection will be fully disclosed as such. The same applies to any product/service reviews or familiarization trips being offered (and accepted).

3. Fair and Honest Opinions
I try my best to be as fair and true and honest as possible when I share my experiences - whether that be related to food, travel or whatever I decided to write or post, and I stood by any of my opinion and content. You won't find any ratings here as I am in the opinion that there's no perfect way to do a 100% impartial review so I might as well not try.
I am especially careful when I deal with new establishments or if it involved a predominantly negative experience, knowing the challenges of starting something new, and the potential impact any negativity may inadvertently cause - even though it's never my intention to harm anyone. By careful I mean I will take those special circumstances into account, without sacrificing accuracy of what I said or my integrity. And I welcome any comment and/or criticism - but I am not obligated to post or respond to all of them, especially those of personal attack or offensive in nature.

4. Copyright
I retain copyright of my work here - including but not limited to words, photographs or other creative work by myself. Please seek permission if you want to use any of my materials - happy to discuss any licensing/right-to-use arrangements with any interested party. At the same time, I respect other people's copyright as well - I prefer using my own photographs but in the rare occasion that I need to use other people's materials, I will seek consent before I use them, and the source would be properly referenced and credited. Recipe is a particularly tricky one since it's almost impossible to have one 100% original recipe - I would try to be as transparent and forthcoming as I could if my recipe is derived from or inspired by another source, even if that means I would go beyond what the copyright rules required in my disclosure.

5. Advertisements
The ads displayed on the blog pages were managed by Google AdSense - it does not constitute my endorsement nor approvals for whatever products/services those advertisements were promoting. Proceeds of those ad revenues will go directly to my "Kitchen Toy Fund" - just so you know. 

6. Freelance Projects
I am open to any proposal for freelance work as copywriter or photographer on project-by-project basis, particularly on the subject of food, travel and lifestyle. Even though I myself don't think I am any good at those, but do feel free to get in touch with me regarding those opportunities. Some of my photography work could be licensed through Getty Images where I contribute regularly and you can find my portfolio here or here.

Okay, going back to the question of who I am. I do geeky thing for a living and to earn enough to support my after-work activities and hobbies. I like eating and (occasional) drinking as much as spending time experimenting with cooking techniques and new toys in my home kitchen.

I host my blog mainly to keep track of whatever life brought me to. As the name suggest - Joie de Vivre is a French term which can be loosely translated to Joy of Living in English - this is a space capturing my own experience as I tried to enjoy life to the best extent as I could.

You will also find my social media presence in other outlets, including but not limited to Twitter and Instagram under the handle g4gary, when I feel I can express myself better through a 140-character tweet or through pictures I captured on my camera or phone.

Other than eating, drinking, working and sleeping, I also enjoyed a game of golf every now and then (which has reduced to almost an annual event only these days), traveling around a little bit, and sticking my bum to the couch every Saturday evening rooting for the long underachieving Tottenham Hotspur football club (often with a plate of homemade dessert on hand).