Photo © Mike Le
Here, the blogs you should be reading right now with recipes and tips from their creators.
The Blog: Stephanie Le used to claim she could make most dishes she tried at restaurants. Her husband challenged her to do it. And thus, the beginning of I Am a Food Blog.
Your About page doesn't tell us a ton about your background. I'd love to know more.
I'm from Vancouver, a gorgeous city between the mountains and the sea. Vancouver is a fantastic place to eat and cook. It's super diverse and pretty exciting food-wise. I'm happy to call it home, but currently I'm lucky to be living in Tokyo, another crazily delicious food city. Aside from food blogging, I'm a freelance illustrator and soon-to-be cookbook author. I haven't said anything on my blog yet, but Page Street Publishing will be releasing my book this fall. I'm both excited and nervous—I shot and designed the whole book. It's my take on easy, modern comfort food.
I love those chip tongs you found in Japan. What other fun little kitchen/food tools have you come across?
I must say, I love looking at all the food/kitchen tools. They have so many neat items here that you just wouldn't think of. I recently bought a pour-over coffee set, which is not inherently Japanese, but they have a great love for pour-over coffee and I can see why—I feel like pour-over coffee is my new favorite morning ritual. There are a ton of items to make your food cute: They have vegetable cutters to cut your carrots and cucumbers into hearts, stars or teddy bear heads. In fact, almost all of their kitchen items are anthropomorphized. Imagine washing your dishes with a smiling apple sponge or buttering your bread with a panda. It's cute overload, but I love it.
Your food has such a fun sensibility. What inspires it?
Most of my recipes are something silly that I come up with while perusing the grocery aisles. I'm also inspired when I eat out—if I have a particularly delicious dish I'll set out to make it at home. I love nostalgic food and cook stuff for the big kid in me. I get a kick out of taking down-home dishes and elevating them, either through photography, ingredients or cooking method.
Your photography and design are also so fun and different. How did you learn, what inspires it, what are you looking for when capturing food?
I love giant photos and knew that the focal point of my blog would be one giant photo with a text overlay. I'm inspired by clean, minimal design and wanted my little corner of the Internet to be just that, as minimal as possible while still having all the necessities.
Photography-wise, I like clean backgrounds and either really even light or dramatic shadows. I learned what little I know about photography through trial and error, and from my husband, who isn't a professional photographer, but should be.
What blogs are you loving right now?
There are so many I could hardly list them all, but here are few that I keep going back to: Mandy at Lady and Pups comes up with crazy recipes and her photography truly inspires. I also love peeking in on Molly at My Name is Yeh. I've always not so secretly wanted to live on a farm and be a baker, so reading about her life is a treat. Adrianna's A Cozy Kitchen is always a fun read; she lives in the L.A. area and always uses gorgeous produce. Tracy over at Shutterbean shares my love of Sriracha and she has a good mix of food and everyday-life posts. Also, Melissa's The Faux Martha is always lovely, both design- and food-wise.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.