Thecarousel.com’s food editor, Anne Marie Cummins ventures into the world of super food blogger, Phoodie. This Aussie cook knows what you want to cook and eat and has a huge following to prove it.
What inspired you to start your blog and how would you describe your style of cooking?
After a 10 year career in Architecture and Design my husband and I decided to move to London. He had a working opportunity over there and I had wanted to live in the UK for a long time, so we went. Leaving my job in Sydney and moving overseas were probably the two big changes in my life that gave me the confidence to do what I have always wanted to do, what I was born to do and that is immerse myself in the world of food. I enrolled in London’s Le Cordon Bleu Cooking school, started my blog in our tiny, freezing apartment and cooked and ate new things day and night. It was one of the best years of my life so far!
Your writing and social media channels exude such positive energy and enthusiasm, how do you schedule time for blogging with a young family?
Food is everything to me. Everything. I am so genuinely passionate about it that it would be absolutely no effort at all for me to talk, write and live it day and night, if I had the time. What’s that quote? “When you find a job that you love to do, you’ll never work a day in your life!” The reality is that I do have a young family and a husband and other commitments and, like everyone, life is always a juggling act! I have a pretty good little routine going (that doesn’t always go to plan!) and that is to cook and photograph on the weekends when my husband isn’t working and then to write (the recipes, blog posts, business documents, back end website stuff, etc) at night time. If I can cook 2 or 3 recipes each weekend it means that when I get the chance to sit at the computer and write (which is only ever night time) I will always have enough material to work with. It’s very hard to cook (and photograph every step along the way, which is what I do) with a two year old trying to grab a lick of a chocolate coated spoon!
With Greek and Lebanese heritage, what is the dish that takes you back to your childhood?
On the Greek side it has to be lamb on the spit from our Greek Easter lunches. If you are a meat eater and have not eaten lamb prepared by a Greek family on the spit then I don’t think you’ve lived! On the Lebanese side it’s definitely my grandmother’s M’Judra. M’Judra is a vegetarian dish made from lentils and rice and topped with deep fried onions. It is insanely delicious. It is honestly my family’s equivalent to a warm and loving hug!
Greatest Phoodie achievement/moment?
Hmmm. Probably being followed by Stephanie Alexander on Social Media! Oh and the time when my 1000 layer crepe cake went viral on Tumblr in the early days of my blog.
What are the 3 most popular recipes on your blog?
Everyone has such different tastes but overall three of the very popular posts on my blog are:
3 My Roasted Cauliflower Salad (potentially the most delicious thing you will ever eat. I have had cauliflower haters email me saying they are now converts!)
5 top tips to getting your website/blog known?
1 Social Media. Social Media. Social Media. What more can I say? Your presence on SM is just as important (if not more) than your presence on your actual blog!
2 Keep writing. The more you post the more people will read you. If you don’t update your blog for weeks at a time people will quickly lose interest.
3 Send your work to larger websites or blogs in your industry that write the same type of posts as you. If they republish you, your work will be exposed to their large audience and you will gain followers from that experience. Always make sure they link correctly back to both your blog and your Social Media pages. That said, be wary of writing original work purely for “exposure”, it is often overrated.
4 Attend industry events if you can. With two young kids I have always found this difficult and actually wish I could have gone to more. The reality is that the more people from your industry that you meet in real life, the more memorable your online persona will become to them.
5 Create something worthy of going viral. People love sharing online! They want to find things to share. Why not make your work such a thing? My Tim Tam Cake, Triple Peanut Butter cheesecake and the aforementioned Crepe cake are all examples of this.
Favourite foodies you follow religiously?
Yottam Ottolenghi, Dan Hong, Chocolate Suze, thefatboyeats, Stephanie Alexander, Neil Perry, Shane Delia, grabyourfork, thefooddept, David Chang….. the list goes on and on and on and on!
What is the weirdest flavour combination that actually tastes great?
To be honest, when I write recipes and cook in general, I like sticking with all the classic combos. That said, Gelato Messina’s “Mr Potato Head” flavoured ice cream involves white chocolate dipped potato chips and it is freaking incredible.
Do you have a Secret food location you could share?
My grandmother’s kitchen. Unfortunately not opened to the public! She’s nearly 90 years old and the food that comes out of there day in and day out is still my first choice every time.
And the future for Phoodie? Any exciting developments we should watch out for?
So many exciting things to look out for! All of them involving a tonne of ‘hard work’ but as I said above, because it is all food-related its not that hard for me at all! Time consuming? Yes! But difficult? No! I’ve been doing lots and lots of filming and I am hoping to bring some of that to the followers soon. Watch this space!
To follow Phoodie on social media hit the link below: