I spend a lot of time highlighting my French blogging friends with my A Passion for Paris and Beyond Paris series so I decided it was time to spotlight a few other readers who have been around these parts for awhile but don’t necessarily live in France.
I timidly sent out three requests to three bloggers close to my heart and they all agreed! Now the dilemma was, who to go first? I could not decide so I put their names in a hat and pulled out a name.
And with that, I would like to introduce you to Carolyn Jung a.k.a. Food Gal. She is a San Francisco Bay Area food blogger who gets to go to all the fabulous restaurants and food festivals and write about it – yum! Not only that but I love her photos and she was ultimately the one that introduced me to my new soul mate. I sent Ms. Food Gal over a few interview questions to answer not only because I thought you might be interested, but also because I was darn curious!
[MWA]: Tell us a little about yourself, what’s the elevator pitch on you?
[Food Gal]: I’m a long-time newspaper reporter who is re-inventing myself in this new world of media. I started out my career, covering everything from plane crashes to minority affairs issues. And in the last half of my career, I’ve been lucky enough to write about what’s always been a passion for me — cooking and eating. As I tell people: I was born and raised in San Francisco, so I can’t help myself.
[MWA]: How did you start blogging? What was your inspiration and what keeps you inspired?
[Food Gal]: Although I dabbled in blogging a little bit while I still worked as a food writer on staff at the San Jose Mercury News, it wasn’t until I left the paper in 2008 that I started my own blog, FoodGal.com. I was very much a newbie to blogging, but I’ve learned a ton along the way. In fact, a year later, my blog was named second best food blog in the nation by the Association of Food Journalists.
What keeps me inspired is two-fold: First, the creativity that blogging lends itself to. I feel like I get to create my own food section each and every week. And second, the readers, themselves. I feel so fortunate to have so many wonderful readers who used to follow my writing at the newspaper and who continue to do so now on my blog. Quite a few have become good friends. Their encouragement and their support definitely keeps me going.
[MWA]: You pretty much post every single day, how to you do it?
[Food Gal]: I post five days a week or Monday through Friday. I never have a shortage of topics to write about. The hardest part is just finding the time to do it consistently, since I also do a lot of freelance writing. When you post that often, I think you just have to be really dedicated to it, as well as super organized and willing to devote a lot of hours to it.
As a freelancer now, I find myself working most weekends, at least a couple hours each Saturday and Sunday. I work more hours now than when I was fully employed at the newspaper. It’s rare that one loves what one does for a living. But I definitely do. And so it’s hardly ever the case that all those hours of work actually feel like “work.”
[MWA]: How do you go to all those wonderful restaurants and food events without gaining a thousand pounds?
[Food Gal]: Believe me, it gets harder each year as you get older. Your metabolism slows down and it just gets naturally more difficult to keep the pounds off when you eat out a lot. But I try to keep a balance. I work out probably five times a week, doing everything from pilates to spinning classes.
[MWA]: What is your favorite all time meal? All time restaurant?
[Food Gal]: That’s a tough one. I guess I would have to say the French Laundry. I have eaten there several times over the years, but I still remember the first time there, back when it was still Thomas Keller’s only restaurant. The food was glorious, of course. Each course was this precious, three-bite morsel that had such finesse and whimsy. But what I most remember is the astounding depth of flavor his food had. The flavors were just so intense that you felt like you were tasting food for the very first time in your life. No meal since has ever left me with an impression quite like that.
[MWA]: Which restaurant(s) is your dream list of must try before you die?
[Food Gal]: I would say El Bulli, but since it’s closing soon, I don’t think I’ll be able to get to it in time, unfortunately. Maybe in another lifetime, huh? So, barring that, I’d have to say Alinea or Next. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Grant Achatz a couple of times, and he is one of the most articulate chefs I’ve ever talked with. After hearing so much about his daring, imaginative cuisine, I would dearly love to finally experience it first-hand.
[MWA]: One word that summarizes you.
[Food Gal]: Resilient.
Thank you Carolyn!
You can check out Carolyn’s blog Food Gal every day during the week where she will entice you will her food adventures. In addition, you can follow her on Twitter and if you really fall in love with her she has a shop with logo’d products.
Photo credit: Joanne Hoyoung-Lee