Why food? Why blog? Why me?
With a family legacy of ingenious cooks, a nutritionist and chef-extraordinaire mother, and a father who introduced me to steak and caviar when I could barely reach the table, I had no choice but to acquire a keen awareness of food during my childhood years in Dubai. But it was only after I found myself on a college campus in Philadelphia – far away from home, too cheap as a student to spend on anything other than pizza, and with dorm rooms that had little rat-holes of kitchens if they even had them at all – when I developed a heightened appreciation of food. An appreciation of food that I once ate every night at the dinner table in Dubai, but that was now an entire ocean away. I lusted for the culinary treasures that lay outside the stale walls of my college dining hall, hijacked friends’ kitchens to try my hand at something, anything, remotely edible, and greedily raided different websites in search of highly-rated restaurants.
After my move to New York to work for a consulting firm that secretly harbored self-professed foodies, my appreciation transformed into a passion, an addiction. I felt like everyone around me in New York was talking about food: where to get the best cupcakes, pizza slices, banh mi, kati rolls, pho, fried chicken, and every other food item out there that is just a plain old dish in some part of the world, but that’s become hyped to unforeseen proportions in New York. What fuelled my addiction over time was travel to different cities, both for work and play, which gave me unfettered access to the culinary havens of not only New York, but also of DC, Virginia, Chicago, Houston, Vegas, Austin, Seattle and even a little town called Bentonville (Arkansas!).
After 9 years away from home, I’ve finally taken the leap to come back to Dubai – with not just an awareness, but a genuine appreciation and passion for what I’d taken for granted as a child. Mom, I’m back to reclaim my seat at your dinner table, and to rediscover this city with its ever-expanding menu of international flavors.
Will I write if you feed me free food?
I love free food, don’t get me wrong. I’ll stop short of serenading you in public for free food…and in some cases [which will typically involve one or all of the following: melted cheese, smokey kababs, and crusty fresh bread], I’ll even go that far.
BUT, where I draw the line is sponsored reviews of restaurants, events, products, or anything similar that is associated with a commercial group. If you’d like to invite me for a restaurant opening or culinary event, or gift me a free stand mixer [someone do it already!], please know that I will most likely not blog about it…unless it’s one of those rare cases where my loyalties to unbiased reviews get totally swayed by some profound life-changing food experience that I feel compelled to share with my readers. But like I said, those cases are rare. Super rare.
Dearest PR companies – while I may not be able to give you the coverage you need, I’ll leave ya with this little tip. If you’re hunting out for some U.A.E. blogger coverage, you’re better off contacting the massive food blogger group I’m a part of – Fooderati Arabia at contact[at]fooderatiarabia[dot]com. Someone on that end may be able to connect you with the blogger of your dreams.
Have a burning private foodie question that you’re dying to ask me?
Ping me at blogger [at] iliveinafryingpan [dot] com. My only plea: no spam…no sponsored events requiring coverage…no anything-you-wouldn’t-want-in-your-own-inbox. Just lay your foodie e-love on me…that, and any questions, thoughts, or anything else you think would tickle a crazy foodie blogger.