It all started in our little studio apartment in the heart of Chicago over three years ago. I was a newlywed who loved to cook and bake for my husband, family and friends. One day, my husband suggested I write down my recipes since I often got requests for them. The problem with this was that I cooked by taste, feel and well, improvised using whatever I had on hand. In fact, I had measuring tools in my kitchen but never really used them. Writing down recipes seemed so old school. That is, until I stumbled on Blogger. The concept of blogging quickly became my new hobby and I started to blog about the food I made, restaurants I visited and recipes I tried. Through these early blog posts I shared my ‘Culinary Adventures‘…
A few months after starting this new hobby of food blogging, we moved from that tiny studio and into a larger apartment. Around the same time, I created a social foodie club called, What’s Cookin, Chicago, to meet others who liked to cook and bake. Now with a larger apartment conducive to entertaining, we soon were throwing parties and hosting food focused events for members of What’s Cookin, Chicago. Having this social foodie club certainly gave me more culinary adventures to blog about including…
My Chef Spotlight Dinners highlight a specific chef or a group of chefs for the contributions they have made to the culinary community. Friends prepare a dish of the chosen chef(s) to share for a potluck dinner I host. Together we enjoy & talk about our dishes, the chef(s) & their contributions and have a wonderful evening with friends & food.
Being an organizer of a social foodie club, my friends and I definitely spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen. You can often find me on the weekends hosting informal cooking classes & interactive cooking events. Here you’ll find the different events I’ve hosted focused on specific foods and/or food themes.
Chicago is made of many different neighborhoods rich with diversity. Often times, exploring the city’s neighborhoods will make you feel like you’ve traveled many miles away, fully immersed in the cultures that surround it. Check out the different culinary neighborhood tours I’ve hosted where we explore Chicago’s diversity through food.
After a trip to the wine country of Sonoma & Napa, CA a few years ago, I was inspired to learn more about wine. As a result, our ‘Wine & Dine’ events were born. At these events, friends come over to learn about specific wine varietals and enjoy tasting many of them over paired foods of a certain theme/cuisine. The link above captures the wines we’ve tasted along with the types of foods we served them with.
Most people are familiar with Holiday Cookie Swaps, but I’ve taken it a step further to incorporate the idea & concept throughout the year. Friends prepare the chosen food that can be easily shared and/or portioned. When we get together, everyone takes home their portion of all our offerings to enjoy for themselves.
So when FoodBuzz asked food bloggers competing in the Project Food Blog Competition*, “What defines you as a food blogger and why should you be the next food blog star?,” I had to really think back to why I started blogging, the experiences I’ve had along the way and where it has led me. The passion I have for food and the culinary arts go beyond the walls of my kitchen and extends to the corners of the world. Aside from tried and true recipes, my blog captures how food encompasses my life, fosters the relationships I have with people and helps me learn more about the world around me. To me, that’s what a food blog star exemplifies, in addition to tried and true recipes, pretty photos and restaurant reviews. A food blog star embraces the food culture around them, shares their culinary experiences with readers, and encourages others to do the same both in and out of the kitchen.
*Project Food Blog is the first-ever interactive competition where thousands of Foodbuzz Featured Publishers are competing in a series of culinary blogging challenges for the chance to advance and a shot at the ultimate prize: $10,000 and a special feature on Foodbuzz.com for one year. Voting for entries on the first challenge will kick off September 20th, and contestants will be whittled down over the next 12 weeks via exciting challenges related to food blogging. Entries are voted on by Foodbuzz Featured Publisher peers and rated by our panel of judges including Dana Cowin (Editor-in-Chief of FOOD & WINE Magazine), Nancy Silverton (Founder La Brea Bakery, Co-owner Mozza) and Pim Techamuanvivit (Author of ChezPim.com and The Foodie Handbook). Winners advance to the next challenge, including one lucky Reader’s Choice winner who earns auto advancement to the next challenge (solely based on Reader votes; not applicable in the final round).