Welcome to Menuism's Interviews with chefs, food bloggers, experts, and culinary leaders. Not sure where to start? Check out what Doug Quint of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck had to say, or meet Thi an Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen in Los Angeles. Get to know Don Russell of Joe Sixpack, and Debbie Thomas of Thomas Hill Organics.

Kirstin Jackson is a professionally trained cook, wine bar manager and cheese program director, food and wine writer, consultant, and instructor, whose fridge and head is almost entirely consumed with cheese. Her cheese blog, “It’s Not You, It’s Brie,” was launched in April 2009, and has since received accolades from Blogs.com, Foodista, and Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchen. And now, we’re proud to say, she’s joined our expert ranks at Menuism! Get to know Kirstin a little better with this interview, and please help us welcome her to community. (more…)

Posted by on February 16th, 2012

Joe and Debbie Thomas began as a teacher and marketing executive, respectively. But today, they run a ten-acre organic farm in the east hills of Paso Robles, California. With more than 900 fruit and nut trees, a vineyard of Italian varietals, and beds of specialty greens, garlic, tomatoes and herbs, they began a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, sharing baskets of fresh produce weekly with their neighbors. A few years later, they opened Thomas Hill Organics, a market bistro and wine bar, where they serve seasonal, organic produce from the farm, wines from the Central Coast, and locally-sourced beef, poultry, and fish. As part of California Restaurant Month, I spoke with Debbie Thomas by phone about organic farming, eating local, and the challenges of running a farm, CSA, and restaurant all at once. (more…)

Posted by on February 14th, 2012

Photo Credit Robby Virus

Mr. Lew may be elusive when it comes to his personal identity, but one thing he can’t hide is how much he loves food—especially bacon, cheese, and of course, burgers. Since 2009, Mr. Lew has been exploring Montreal and its environs seeking out the ultimate in burger offerings. He’s tasted and blogged about over 100 different burgers, from major chains to small delicatessens. (more…)

Posted by on January 24th, 2012

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

John Brady of Brady's Beef

Listen to John Brady talk about meat–and specifically grass-fed beef–and no matter how brief the period, be it a few minutes or much longer, you’ll come away having learned something important about the meat you eat. John is a third-generation family rancher who’s been raising cattle all his life, but his knowledge runs a lot deeper than that. He’s passionate about ranching, as he puts it, the “new old-fashioned way”–a method that’s stuck a chord with quality-conscious carnivores across the country. 

On the Brady’s Beef blog, John writes about everything from the health benefits of grass-fed beef, to what’s being served in school lunches, to the latest legislation affecting our food growers and, in the end, eaters. We’re kicking off John’s brand-new column all about beef this week, so come back soon and check back often! (more…)

Posted by on August 22nd, 2011

Duggan McDonnell, proprietor of Cantina and producer of Campo de Encanto pisco.

Duggan McDonnell is the kind of guy everyone wants to have a drink with. When he’s behind the bar, you’re in for a treat: he possesses all the craftsmanship, charm and wit you’d expect from a bartender of a bygone era, combined with a thoroughly modern–and creative–sensibility. Believe me when I say that watching him construct a cocktail is half the fun.

The passionate drinker and traveler has logged time at breweries, wineries and distilleries on five continents, but he makes his home in San Francisco, where he’s the proprietor of Cantina, one of the City’s hottest watering holes. Duggan also produces award-winning pisco in Peru with his business partner and master distiller, Carlos Romero. To say he’s well versed in booze and beverage would be an epic understatement. (more…)

Posted by on July 25th, 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

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