Blogger Spotlight: 'A Boston Food Diary'

Blogger Spotlight: 'A Boston Food Diary'

Chefs & Experts

Blogger Spotlight: 'A Boston Food Diary'

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Fiona Coxe began blogging about her favorite subject—food, of course—in 2008 and has built a strong following in the the Boston area as well as other regions of cyberspace. Fiona, 30, says she has a wonderful family and boyfriend who all help out as food tasters and critics. “Sometimes they can be very hard to please,” Fiona notes.

Fiona Coxe

A Boston Food Diary is mostly about recipes, restaurant reviews and Boston area food events, but here’s an excerpt from her blog that finds Fiona writing about why she got into blogging, and about social media’s effect on food today.

When I started this blog, jeese almost two and a half years ago(!), I started it as a simple way for me to remember the food I was eating, to savor the bites longer, and keep a log of the flavors I was enjoying. Food is my passion, and A Boston Food Diary was started to help me delve into it further. However today, ABFD has taken on it’s own spot in this internet age with its own .com, Twitter account, Facebook account, and a Flickr account dedicated to it. It now has it’s very own Social Media presence, sharing and receiving information with like minded people all over the world. Through Social Media, culinary information has become even more accessible. We can tap into countless discussions and articles on the Locavore movement, sign Jamie Oliver’s petition to reduce child obesity in America, and learn the facts about organics. We can completely revise the way we grocery shop, and the food that we eat all with information obtained over the Internet. Heck, we can even order groceries to be delivered in our jammies.

We had a chance to toss a few questions at Fiona for our Food Channel Interview. Oh, and be sure to scroll down for some of her favorite recipes.

How and when did you get started blogging? I began blogging during the February 2008. I was looking for an outlet for my food passion, and a way to keep track of my recipes, so it seemed like the perfect way to let my imagination flow, and keep myself organized! Since that time, A Boston Food Diary has grown into a great resource for both the people of Boston as well as visitors to refer to when looking for a great place to have a meal, or for inspiration in their own kitchens.

Is blogging your ‘day job’? Blogging is not my day job, it is something that I am extremely passionate about, and something that I enjoy fully.

Why blog about food? What else is there? Seriously, food inhabits my brain 90% of the day whether it is planning my next meal, imagining food for future parties, trying to pair different ingredients, etc- I am obsessed with food. Blogging about food allows me to get all of those thoughts out, and build on them.

What makes your blog different from other food blogs? A Boston Food Diary concentrates on two different aspects of the food scene- my own cooking, and the food events in and around the city of Boston.

My own recipes concentrate on classic dishes changed up a bit to be either a bit healthier, or unique in any variety of ways. Italian Tacos was a fun dish to make- taking a classic from one part of the world, and giving it some flair from another. My recipes also concentrate on using your own imagination. I tend to add ingredients as I go, rarely measure but eyeball everything, and love to taste and season as I go. My writing encourages you to do the same. The kitchen is a place of creativity- why be bound by a recipe? (Unless you’re baking- use the recipe!)

The Boston Food Scene is currently really exploding with more and more young chefs settling here and bringing with them the new techniques and attitudes. However the real beauty of it is that Boston still pays homage to our long standing chefs, those who have been paving the way for years to make Boston a great food city. Here we really are blessed with both the tried and true and the new, and glorious combination of both. It’s a delicious city to be a part of.

Does anyone else work on your blog, or is it a solo project? A Boston Food Diary is a solo project, but I do accept help in people’s opinions of recipes, dishes, and if someone wants to lend a helping hand with the camera- I won’t turn them down.

What’s your favorite part of your blog? (The most fun for you?) Recipe Developing, and testing of course, is the most fun. I love to look at an ingredient and try to imagine any number of fun uses for it. I love to sway from the typical and add in punches and oomphs to really make the dish sing. To me, cooking is a place where I can be truly creative, it is an art form, a place to allow imagination to run wild. That is the height of fun for me. The calendar aspect of the site is also fantastic, I love letting the people of Boston know about the great food driven events that are taking place!

Any hobbies you enjoy when not cooking or writing about it? I have recently gotten into bicycling, I also enjoy hiking, skiing, reading, and traveling (to explore the food of course).

Have a favorite dish? Favorite dishes often depend on my mood- however all time favorites include steak, a hearty bowl of pasta with a perfect tomato basil marinara, or anything with a bit of heat.

Any chefs or cooks you especially admire? Several famous ones- Locally, Barbara Lynch is my inspiration. Her vision and dedication to using local ingredients is admirable, and her food is fantastic. Mario Batali ranks high for me as well, for his dedication to true Italian cooking, without the idea of letting America influence it. Julia Child and Jacques Pepin had a big influence on my childhood, as I watched them wend their way through cooking on TV. On their way to becoming famous- I have a few friends who are professional chefs, and I often turn to for advice and guidance. Normally they tell me to stop being a wimp. And finally, my mother, in her simple Italian cooking, has been my greatest influence, and taught me to never be shy with the garlic.

Are you a fan of any particular cooking/food shows on TV? Honestly, if it has to do with food, I’ll probably watch it. I do have a soft spot though for Iron Chef America, Top Chef, and Man Vs Food—it’s just entertaining!

Favorite Web sites? The Boston.Com food section has some great articles daily about food in and around the area, what local chefs are doing, and seasonal dishes that I use for inspiration. The Food & Wine website is also a wealth of information, and has great recipes for techniques that I may be unfamiliar with, or items I’m just scared of—take Caramel Sauce for example. Great stuff there. Saveur.com is another great resource and space for inspiration.

FIONA’S FAVORITE RECIPES

Pork Chops with Pumpkin Cider Sauce

Italian Tacos with Turkey Meatballs

Roasted Vegetable Stew with Turkey Meatballs

Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Strawberry Marscapone Crepes

Cranberry Rosemary Sage Dip

_Know a food blogger you’d like us to spotlight? Let us know at Editor

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