Name: Julia Frey
Blog name: Vikalinka
Where were you born?
I was born in Russia but moved to the States for college and married a Canadian guy who convinced me to move to Canada.
Where are you living now?
Three years ago we moved to London, UK where I am living now.
Why did you start your blog?
I started Vikalinka because I simply wanted to record my recipes but very quickly realized that when I am blogging I am in my most creative state. I love pushing that side of myself and constantly finding that creativity has no limits.
How did you decide on your blog name?
I wanted my blog name to reflect my Russian roots but also be simple and memorable. My daughter’s name is Victoria, or Vika for short in Russian. My husband often calls her Vikalinka which became the name of my blog.
What do you blog about?
I mostly blog about food, my posts are literally our dinners and desserts. I never post a recipe that we wouldn’t eat as a family, Vikalinka is all about family eating together. Once in a while I also post some travel photos from our trips around Europe. I really love my camera!
What post are you most proud of and why?
I am particularly pleased with my Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry. Curries are well loved by our family and I was getting requests to post some recipes. I was delaying it because some of the tastiest foods are not the most photogenic, but when I finally gathered enough courage to do so it really payed off. I love the photos, I got a lot of positive feedback from my readers and the recipe got featured on Pataks Canada as well as on a number of other websites. It’s one of the most popular posts on Vikalinka.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
My Coquina Squash and Chestnut Soup with Porcini Mushrooms. I always felt that if people only could taste how incredibly delicious chestnuts, squash, mushrooms and bacon could be in a soup they would’ve given up on Cheesy Broccoli and Chicken Noodle Soup for ever!
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
The cake I created for my Christmas birthday at the end of December. It’s a classic Russian sponge cake filled with mascarpone cream and raspberry compote and covered in white chocolate buttercream. The recipe itself is a variation on cakes my dad used to make for special occasions. I realize that cakes are usually an easy win and I’ve posted cake recipes before but I have never seen people go completely crazy for a quite complex recipe. I saw my cake all over Pinterest-pinned and re-pinned by bloggers I have the most respect for and I gained a huge amount of followers thanks to that cake.
What is one (non-kitchen) gadget you can’t live without?
My 5D Canon. It’s an intense love affair that makes my husband jealous.
What is one kitchen gadget you can’t live without?
My Magimix food processor. It’s my sous-chef. It makes all tasks so much quicker and manageable.
Favourite food, care to share a recipe?
Real Italian pizza.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
Apart from being a food blogger I am also an English teacher. Cooking and writing about delicious food and teaching are my two passions. I love that I get to do both.
What makes your blog unique?
I was born and raised in Russia and having since lived in the US, Canada, Philippines and England plus much travel in between my cooking and eating style are naturally influenced by many cultures. I don’t cook recipes from all over the world because I want to appear cross-cultural or trendy. My food choices reflect who I am and what I love, and I believe it’s apparent through my blog.