When did you know that you wanted to work in food?
When starting MyLifeRunsOnFood.com, I was unemployed. It became a break between writing cover letters, organizing my design portfolio and revising resumes. Today, I'm a Graphic Designer working at a non-profit organization. Is my life dedicated to working in the food industry? No, but I love writing and learning about food as a hobby. Food writing frees me from deadlines, hustles, business transactions and so on; it's my creative, selfish space. Graphic Design is a creative, sharing space.
How did you get your current good food job?
I created it myself by starting MyLifeRunsOnFood.com. It was an accident. I was working with a partner in developing a beauty brand. WordPress was going to be the backend of the website. I decided to learn about wordpress by starting a blog. The first test post was about food. One lesson led to another lesson, then I was researching other food blogs, next I was sketching ideas for my own food blog name and finally ended my partnership as a beauty brand to entirely focus on doing a food blog. I recognize it as a creative process that created a few marketable job skills, such as social media. Along the way, I started working as a designer again, but I continue to be a food writer.
How did your previous work or life experience prepare you for a good food job?
As a graphic designer, I quickly learned wordpress because of my experience in working with HTML, knowledge of photography and design. Those skills contribute to being a food blogger. The other life experience is my Dad's influence. He loves to cook. As a child, I loved spending time with him in the kitchen. Like most young cooks, Dad started me in the kitchen by peeling onions and garlic. My lesson in handling sharp objects was learning how to peel carrots and potatoes. And I magically appeared in the kitchen when I heard Dad creaming butter and sugar in a mixture for baking a cake.
What was the greatest obstacle you had to overcome in pursuing your Good Food Job dream?
There haven't been any obstacles, because I refuse to let my food blog be as stressful as my design job. If I have to pick an obstacle, it's my time management. Food blogging is so fun that I have to balance my job and household responsibilities around it. But, life is a balancing act for most of us, so that's not quite a serious obstacle.
Name one positive thing that a former employer taught you that you continue to appreciate?
After being unemployed, it was a difficult transition of adjusting to work hours, deadlines and being in a new environment. It's why I made a few major mistakes my first year. When I asked to talk with the Director about the mistakes, she said, 'This is the place to make mistakes and learn from them.' I continued to struggle that year, but I feel I'm a better employee today because I'm learning to properly analyze my mistakes by focusing on moving ahead with solutions, instead of concentrating on the problem.
What can you identify as the greatest opportunities in food right now?
As a food writer, I'm starting to read about nutritionists advocating realistic, healthy diets without omitting a food group and food activists (especially of color) reclaiming our past and current contributions to the food community. For people of color, the time is now to continue creating our own media spaces - a magazine, website, podcast and so on - about our community's contributions to food. There are many people of color creating work about food, but there's room for more people to get involved. Everyone's story should be told from the voices within their community.
If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?
National or international all-expense travel to learn how a culture and its environment influence cuisine.