Nikki Jong is an earth-friendly eater who’s never met a vegetable she didn’t adore. In addition to her edible plant obsession, she nurses a neverending hankering for sustainable seafood and is a champion oyster eater (and shucker). Nikki loves hoppy beers, bold, spicy reds, and believes that nothing beats a cold glass of moscato d’Asti on a hot summer afternoon. As Editor of The Menuism Blog, she has the pleasure of interviewing some of the hungriest, thirstiest and most ambitious folks in food and wine.

Since Bee Yinn Low launched Rasa Malaysia in July 2006, it’s become THE go-to site for Asian recipes—from Malaysian to Thai, Sichuan, Korean and more. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, however; after all, with more than 400 recipes (and counting), it’s the biggest independent Asian recipes site on the Web–recently featured in Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia. So how did a humble food blog, which Bee began simply with the intention of documenting and sharing her mother’s recipes, make it to the big leagues? Besides the sheer volume of recipes, Rasa Malaysia features professional-grade (read: majorly droolworthy) food photos and the secret sauce in any big-time bloggers’ arsenal: great content—in Bee’s case, popular, recognizable restaurant-style recipes made easy enough for the home cook to tackle.

Fast-forward to present day: from her home base in Irvine, CA, Bee’s been hard at work on conceptualizing, developing and testing the recipes for her latest project: her first cookbook, out this week. Read on for the scoop—you don’t want to miss it. (Seriously, the recipes read like the favorite dishes at your beloved Chinese restaurant. Awesome.) Below, Bee shares some behind-the-scenes insights into her world.   (more…)

Posted by on September 9th, 2011

Lisa Leake and family. Photo by www.amyraderphotographer.com

In person, Lisa Leake is radiant. When she talks about her passion–eating real food–she lights up, and it’s easy to see how such enthusiasm, combined with conviction, was the springboard for 100 Days of Real Food, the true story of how Lisa and her family of four stopped eating processed food products and made the switch to an all-natural diet that included only whole, natural foods. True to the name of her blog, Lisa chronicled her family’s journey for 100 days, but along the way, something incredible happened. People started paying attention to Lisa’s story, and then more people started paying attention, and then the media got wind of it, and now, with more than 25,000 fans on Facebook, it’s clear: people want to eat like the Leakes. And Lisa is showing them how to do it.

Lisa and her family began their real food journey in May 2010. Since they completed their initial 100-day challenge, they’ve relaxed their eating guidelines, but not much. In fact, they followed it up with a second 100-day challenge, even more daunting than the first: 100 Days of Real Food on a Budget. For this challenge, the Leakes followed the same rules, but on a budget that amounted to less than what a family of four on food stamps would have to spend. The result: success, and inspiration for the Leakes’ many fans. What’s next for Lisa and her family? Keep reading for the scoop! (more…)

Posted by on September 2nd, 2011

Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. Photo by A.J. Bates.

True story: The first time I met Irvin Lin in person, he was wearing black-and-white spotted pants of an indeterminate animal print. As he finished chatting with a fellow food blogger, I waited to introduce myself when a woman ran up, grabbed his arm and blurted, “I love your pants; I just had to meet you!” Without skipping a beat, Irvin then asked the two of us if we could identify the animal print. Our companion guessed leopard; I was stumped.

Earlier, he’d tweeted, “Question. Should I go for outrageous gay pants or must middle-of-the-road gay pants at #BlogHer Food?”

Perhaps in part due to the deluge of responses he got begging to bear witness the outrageous pants, Irvin chose the former—which, I can attest, were incredibly well received. The print? Dalmation.

The baker-slash-blogger-slash-designer launched his blog Eat the Love in March 2010. Since then, he’s been keeping busy—very busy. In just over a year, he’s reached a level of success that many food bloggers can only dream of. Not only did he co-lead one of the most popular sessions (on branding and design) at BlogHer Food this spring, but he was also asked to moderate a panel on taking blog content mobile, which he did with admirable aplomb. (more…)

Posted by on July 22nd, 2011

Adam Roberts of The Amateur Gourmet

Adam Roberts is the kind of guy you just know will have an interesting story to tell. Long story short: the charmer behind The Amateur Gourmet began food blogging in law school, one thing led to another, and now he’s one of the most recognizable and admired names in the food blogosphere. He’s funny and about as down-to-earth as it gets, and exactly the sort of person you’d want to invite to your next dinner party (maybe a little bit early…so he could help).

In the seven years since Adam launched his blog, he’s been keeping busy with a ton of food-related projects, including freelance writing gigs at Salon and The Huffington Post. In 2007, he published a book of essays entitled “The Amateur Gourmet: How to Shop, Chop and Table Hop Like a Pro (Almost).” A year later, the Food Network invited Adam to host a behind-the-scenes web show called The FN Dish, where he interviewed and cooked alongside favorite Food Network stars. (more…)

Posted by on July 15th, 2011

Beatrice Peltre of La Tartine Gourmande

The triple threat is so passé. Want proof? Look no further than Béatrice Peltre, food stylist, photographer, blogger, journalist, and now, cookbook author. I’d call her a quintuple threat, but it’s not as catchy—and the truth is, it wouldn’t be accurate anyway; her talents exceed the editorially allowable number of hyphens it would take to list them all.

Béa’s award-winning blog, La Tartine Gourmande, has been praised by The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and Saveur, among others. Design Sponge called the French expat a one-woman wonder, and with good reason: she’s a singular force in the food blogosphere. She does it all, extremely well, and yet everything she touches seems utterly effortless. It’s the mark of artistry, passion and true talent. (more…)

Posted by on July 1st, 2011

Robyn Eckhardt of Eating Asia. Photo by David Hagerman.

Robyn Eckhardt is the vivid voice of EatingAsia, a popular Malaysian-based food blog whose mouthwatering images are captured by her husband and collaborator, pro photographer David Hagerman. Together, they’re the dream team of the foodosphere: committed journalists with a profound passion for discovering, and reporting on, culinary culture and food traditions throughout Asia. But just as importantly, they’re avid eaters with an insatiable curiosity about the world we live in.

Robyn’s food and travel writing has appeared in Travel + Leisure Southeeast Asia, Saveur, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Asia. Robyn and Dave are currently collaborating with three Thai co-authors on a book about Gat Luang, a historic Chiang Mai neighborhood renowned for its vibrant markets.

When I first reached out to Robyn to request an interview, I did so as a longtime fan of Robyn and her travel writing, although I knew her best as the blogger behind EatingAsia. Over the course of conducting the interview, I gained so much more respect for Robyn—on a personal level, she’s just as knowledgeable and kind as you might expect her to be if you read her blog. She is also incredibly generous, compassionate, articulate and funny. Every now and then, the wide world of the Web still surprises and amazes me. I couldn’t be happier that once, a long time ago, I stumbled across a colorful corner called EatingAsia and have been caught up in that web ever since. (more…)

Posted by on May 6th, 2011

Photo by roblisameehan

We think Chicago’s Food Bank, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, is pretty great. Consider this: in 2010 alone, they served the equivalent of 135,000 meals–every single day. That’s pretty amazing, don’t you think? We do, and that’s one of the reasons why Menuism partnered with the Food Depository for Feeding Hunger: Chicago.

But it’s not simply the Food Depository’s reach that’s so impressive; what it really boils down to are the whos and hows. More than a dozen longstanding programs administered by the food bank, including four dedicated children’s programs and two programs devoted to seniors in need, are excellent examples that demonstrate the Food Depository’s firm commitment to community. (more…)

Posted by on April 28th, 2011

Photo by chispita_666

At Menuism, almost every thought we have revolves around food. No big surprise there. But earlier this year, we made a commitment to focus on food in a different way: by supporting hunger eradication efforts in our local communities. So today, we’re thrilled to announce Feeding Hunger: Chicago, Menuism’s partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Working with an impressive network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters, Chicago’s food bank serves 678,000 people in Cook County every year. Last year alone, the Food Depository distributed 66 million pounds of food—the equivalent of 135,000 meals every day.

(more…)

Posted by on March 28th, 2011

Chris Cosentino of Incanto

Chris Cosentino’s career is red-hot. The chef and co-owner of Incanto in San Francisco has dozens of national TV appearances under his belt, including spots on Food Network’s  “Iron Chef America,” where he faced off against Mario Batali in Battle: Garlic and Michael Symon in Battle: Offal. Recently, Chris made an appearance on the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” with Andrew Zimmern, where he created the “perfect meat cone situation,” replete with pig “brainnaise” (yep, that rhymes with “mayonnaise”). Until last fall, Chris co-hosted “Chefs vs. City” with Aarón Sanchez, and he’s made multiple appearances on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” Quick recap: he’s partial to Humphrey Slocombe’s prosciutto ice cream, Yank Sing’s baked barbecued pork buns and Dynamo Donutsbacon-apple-maple donuts.

(more…)

Posted by on March 25th, 2011

Chef Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats

Ryan Farr is a chef’s chef whose early passion for flavorful food once inspired a job as a dishwasher when he was in his early teens. Fast forward to the present: Chef Farr’s ascension through the restaurant ranks ended on a high note, as (former) executive chef at Fifth Floor in San Francisco, where he helped earn a coveted Michelin star. He’s been called a lot of things during the course of his culinary career—namely, a hot butcher, sausage maker, chef-turned-butcher—but all of these descriptors pale in comparison to what just might be the most apt nickname ever: the meat whisperer.

In early 2009, Chef Farr founded 4505 Meats with his wife, Cesalee. Although it may have originally been best known for its bacon-studded hot dogs and chicharrones (aka deep-fried pork skins, aka “puffy pork cloud magic”), like so many chef-backed ventures, 4505 Meats is being eclipsed by its founder. So if you want a piece of the chef, get in line. Chef Farr showcases his “whole animal” perspective with regularly scheduled butchery classes and popular, periodic parties held around town where he breaks down and roasts whole pigs on site. If you want the meat without the mess, 4505 also offers monthly CSAs in the form of meat coolers, featuring freshly butchered, locally sourced meat—recent boxes included milk fed lamb and pastured pork. 4505 Meats works with local farm favorites from Dirty Girl and Fulton Valley to Napa Valley Lamb Company.

Find 4505 Meats at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market every Thursday and Saturday until  2 p.m., and get updates via Facebook, Twitter and the 4505 Meats blog, which Chef Farr promises will have more updates soon.

(more…)

Posted by on March 11th, 2011

Dave Jensen

Dave Jensen
Craft Beer

David R. Chan

David R. Chan
Chinese Restaurant

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich
Fast Food

Justin Chen

Justin Chen
Menuism Co-Founder

John Li

John Li
Menuism Co-Founder

Kim Kohatsu

Kim Kohatsu
Managing Editor

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