Nastassia Johnson, blogger behind Let Me Eat Cake, has picked out several items to try at downtown’s Semi Sweet Bakery on a recent afternoon: a croissant flecked with chocolate, an Almond Joy doughnut, and a cookie called “Triple Chip” — chocolate, butterscotch and potato. She wanted a slice of 7-Up Pound Cake, too, but another customer nabbed the last one. Johnson samples baked sweets all over L.A., and shares discoveries on her blog. (And Instagram, too.) She also posts recipes from her own baking experiments — buttermilk spiced doughnut-muffins one day; ginger aprium muffins another. Also cheesecake infused with ube (a purple yam used in Filipino cooking) in a nod to her Filipino heritage….
Valentino Herrera abides by two philosophies: Try everything, at least once. And share unusual experiences with others, especially when it comes to travel and eating. Both ideas are evident on his blog, Trippy Food. Don’t expect hallucinogenic mushrooms. For Herrera, “trippy” means unusual items, ranging from pork spleen to deer penis soup and nutria to iguana. He eats it all, and with gusto. In our interview, Herrera explains the appeal of bizarre foods, declares a fondness for gallina rellena and comments on the local food blogger scene.
At the Antigua Cultural Coffee House on a recent afternoon, Valentina Silva talked with us about Eastside Food Bites, her voice carrying over the coffee grinder’s noisy whirr and the stereo’s booming cumbia. Silva often eats at local spots such as Antigua, close to her Mt. Washington home in northeast L.A. Many of those eateries become topics for her almost 2-year-old blog. The site features first-rate photos alongside crisp, engaging prose. How could you resist mole poblano chilaquiles from CaCao Mexicatessan in Eagle Rock after reading…
Angelenos often drive across town for food — say, to the San Gabriel Valley for dumplings, Artesia for samosas, East Hollywood for pad thai, Melrose Ave. for celebrity-chef creations, or Venice for burgers on the boardwalk. Amy T. Shuster says we should also frequent the restaurants close to home, wherever that may be, and support our own communities. Her determination to support local, independent businesses drives her blog,Backyard Bite. We talked with Shuster about her dining-local philosophy, blogging style, and background as a food-lover and Chicagoan-turned-Angeleno.
Adam Roberts is one of those food blogger-turned-published authors whose success makes the rest of us drool. He created his blog, “The Amateur Gourmet,” in 2004 while studying law at Emory University. “I’d come home from a long day of law school, my brain would be fried, and the only thing I could tolerate on TV was Food Network,” Roberts explains in a post. Determined to learn about food and cooking, he began blogging to document his education. In 2007, Roberts published The Amateur Gourmet: How To Shop, Chop & Table-Hop Like A Pro (Almost). The Food Network took note and hired Roberts to host online shows. Salon.com, The Huffington Post, The Epicurious EpiLog and Food & Wine solicited articles. And another cookbook is due in the fall.
Where does Billy Vasquez, the 99 Cent Chef, find inspiration for his blog? At L.A.’s ubiquitous 99 Cents Only Stores, of course. His blog reports on the current food items (some vary from day to day) as well as other under-a-dollar bargains at local markets. Using these cheap ingredients, “The Chef,” as he refers to himself, creates clever, tasty and often health-conscious recipes that he demonstrates with photographs, video and stop motion animation.