Name: Alex Boake
Blog name: Boake Blog – Illustrated Gluten-free Recipes
Where were you born? I was born in Toronto.
Where are you living now? I still live in Toronto!
Why did you start your blog?
I started my blog after a major overhaul in my way of eating. About six months before I started my blog, I changed over to the Paleo/Primal diet. Without getting too technical, since there’s many excellent resources out there about it; essentially, I gave up eating wheat and processed foods. Previously, I’d been super into baking every weekend, twice a week sometimes, and it was negatively affecting my weight and my health. With that change, I started having to cook more meals at home, versus focusing exclusively on sweets. I became fans of many “Real Food Bloggers”, and after making their recipes for a long time, I started to make my own. After a while, I figured, I might as well share my recipes as well! However, I’m not super interested in photography, and I love to draw, so my illustrated food blog was born. I’d consider myself an Illustrator first and a Real Food Blogger second.
How did you decide on your blog name?
It’s not very creative, as it’s my last name and the word “Blog”—I just like alliteration.
What do you blog about?
Typically I just blog about recipes, and projects I’ve worked on. Recently I’ve been involved with more freelance clients, doing illustrations for cookbooks and other blogger’s start-ups, so I’ll post about the work I’ve done, and post a few sample pieces if the project is in print.
What post are you most proud of and why?
I’m most proud of my first-ever recipe post, though my style has come a long way since then. Doing an illustrated food blog seemed crazy at first. I wasn’t really sure if people would accept it, since you never see the food that I make. I was convinced people would think it was a scam, or that I never actually cooked anything. Luckily people seem to really enjoy it, and I’ve found some success with my unique recipe delivery style.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Rather than one post, I actually have a whole section of recipes that I wish received more love. A while back I got the idea to do a series of “fandom” recipes, inspired by comics, video games and movies. Fandom Foodie ended up being a fairly short-lived project. I produced a bunch, but it never really took off in the way that I’d hoped. It was fun though, so perhaps I’ll return to it in the future.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
My recipe for Tzatziki Sauce is my most popular recipe on Pinterest, with apparently over 12,000 pins. I never knew people were that interested in making it! This was one of my first illustrated step-by-step recipes, so its success encouraged me to occasionally illustrate my recipes using this style
What is one (non-kitchen) gadget you can’t live without?
Probably my smartphone, sadly enough—I use it to play music in my studio, manage all my social media pages, listen to podcasts, and look up reference photos when I’m sketching. It’s my one stop shop for entertainment and information.
What is one kitchen gadget you can’t live without?
This one is tough because I really love my slow-cooker—which I use to make stews and broth—but I think the gadget I couldn’t live without is probably my immersion blender. I puree things all the time, or use it to mix in lieu of my food processor or electric beater. It makes way less mess than dirtying all the parts of the food processor, and can handle a lot of the same tasks. If you don’t have one, you should get one!
Favourite food, care to share a recipe?
I’m big on different flavours and keeping things interesting, but my favourite thing to make is sweet potato wedges. I could eat them any time! Sometimes I go spicy, sometimes I go with cinnamon. It all works for me.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
Goats are my favourite animal. They’re so cute and funny. My handle on social media is scapegoated. This might confuse some people, or lose me some cross-traffic, but it has sentimental value and really resonates with me, so I’m never going to change it.
What makes your blog unique?
I’m probably the only Gluten-free Illustrated Food Blog out there! Though, the business is booming, so you never know!