Name: Ayngelina Brogan
Blog name: Bacon is Magic
Where were you born? North Sydney, Nova Scotia
Where are you living now? Toronto, Ontario
Why did you start your blog?
In 2010 I took a career break from my life working in an ad agency. I sold nearly all my possessions, ended a long-term relationship and bought a one-way ticket to Mexico. I thought the site would be a nice way to document the journey.
Oddly enough I scoffed when a strategic planner at the agency told me I could make money from it and now I blog as my profession.
How did you decide on your blog name?
I hate to disappoint people but I’m not one of those people who needs a giant slab of bacon on everything. For me pork is more of a garnish or a flavour enhancer.
Bacon is Magic was a joke between friends of mine because I always put a bit of pancetta in my vegetarian minestrone, chorizo in roasted tomato sauce and I wrapped asparagus in prosciutto – because pork makes food taste better and bacon is magic.
What do you blog about?
We share stories of food around the world and the food we make at home. For the first few years it was about my solo travel but in 2013 I met a chef and we fell in love so now the story is about what we discover on the road but also what happens at home because food is at the center of everything we do,
What post on your blog most encapsulates you?
If it were a video I’d choose – Los Pescadores because it was when I realized the power of storytelling in video. I really wanted to show the people who work behind the scenes in at a beach destination in Ecuador where people party.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
A Day at the Abattoir – Dave worked on Prince Edward Island for 7 years and took me to his meat supplier, the last small abattoir on the island.
I went to shoot a video about a pig slaughter as I felt as a meat eater I should watch the process and also share why it’s so important to support small businesses like this instead of industrial meat production.
Interestingly vegetarians were my biggest supporters of this post but I wish more meat eaters read the post and watched the video.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
The Year I Walked Away from Love – It’s an old one but really shaped my site as I realized although I wanted to be a resource, people still wanted to connect with me as a person. It continues to be one of the most read posts and also why I brought Dave onto the site and completed the circle with The Year I Walked Toward Love.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Time. Even though it’s my full-time job I still don’t have enough time in the day to do everything we want to accomplish.
We outsource where we can and I’m always searching for good people to outsource more work. Sometimes we just have to let some things go. We can’t be everywhere and as much as we love our jobs we also need a day off.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
Migrationology.com – A culinary travel blog by Mark Wiens, he is American but lives in Asia and shoots great video sharing local food. He’s been such an inspiration and great help when I started shooting video.
LegalNomads.com – Jodi is from Montreal, although she also lives abroad. Despite the name most of her site is focused on food. I consider her a friend and in the travel blogging community we laugh because we’re the short Canadian bloggers who love to eat.
SheEats.ca – Another Canadian, I like the look of her site and she features great food and cocktails. She looks like the kind of person who you’d want as your neighbor because they’d always be inviting you over for delicious treats.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
My absolute favourite food is lobster, growing up in Nova Scotia I was spoiled but I don’t like to eat anything with it, no garlic butter or any accompaniments. In fact I like to eat it cold.
One of my favourite dishes on the road was sudado in Peru which is a fish stew in the north.
What are you working on next for your blog?
We recently traveled to Italy for a 5-week “meatcation,” which means we toured to learn more about salumi and curing meat and taking lots of video.
So many people asked Dave on Instagram for information on where we went that we’re creating a free downloadable PDF when you buy our Meataly t-shirt.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
We’re pretty frank on the site. I don’t pretend everything is amazing. In fact I wish people were more honest. I don’t believe we should pretend things are okay, it makes you feel lonely and like an imposter.
It seemed risky at first to express my doubts, fears, insecurities on the site but now I think I’m lucky to have an outlet. People think we have an amazing life but the truth is we’re living in a 400sq ft bachelor, running a pop-up restaurant in a bar and just trying to make it long enough that we can find investors to fund Dave’s restaurant. It’s terrifying but I wouldn’t have it any other way,
What makes your blog unique?
Us. The story is about how a professional eater met a professional chef and now we share stories, recipes and video on our site.
We like people to feel comfortable in any situation. So if you want to go to Italy we share inside tips so you don’t look like an idiot in restaurants, or if you think foraging is cool we have a beginner’s guide to edible plants or a fool proof way to poach an egg.
What’s your Favourite FBC Feature?
Kitchen Geekery. I often read it aloud to Dave, he’s been cooking professionally for 20 years but loves learning more – he loved the cocoa powder post.
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Meet Ayngelina at FBC2015
Want to get to know more about Ayngelina and how she turned her site, Bacon is Magic, into a full time career? Join us at FBC2015 where she will be teaming up with Davida from The Healthy Maven to talk about taking your blog from hobby to profession.