Blog name: Eat This Town
Where were you born? Halifax, NS
Where are you living now? Halifax, NS
Why did you start your blog?
I started what I call “food questing” when I moved to Halifax after university. The first quest dealt with chicken wings because we didn’t trust the reader’s polls. A friend and I would go to several places in a night, split a basket of wings at each place and score them by category. I had no idea what to do with the data at the time because blogging wasn’t on anyone’s radar back then.
It wasn’t until I had backpacked across Canada and started noticing all the regional differences when it came to food. Then I was living in Calgary and my first job was graveyard security where I was alone in a building all night with just a computer to keep me company. I began looking up recipes and writing them down, filling up entire notebooks. I would come across ethnic and regional foods and spend time learning more about them. I also spent a lot of time on Chowhound trying to navigate Calgary’s culinary landscape. That’s when I discovered food blogs. I eventually started a trial blog in Calgary, where I played around with reviews and recipes. I realized that my passion was regional foods and the restaurant scene. When I moved back to Halifax I promptly started Eat This Town. I couldn’t wait to start blogging about Nova Scotian foods and Halifax restaurants!
How did you decide on your blog name?
I guess the name reflects what I do when I’m in a town or city – I do lots of research and cover as much ground as I can. I “eat the town”, so to speak. Right now it’s a Halifax-based blog but I think the name will be easily transferrable if/when I decide to expand it to other cities or go Canada-wide. “Eat This Town” – it could be any town.
What do you blog about?
The main thing I’m doing right now is “food quests”. Basically, I choose a food item and try to figure out who does it best. Sometimes I’ll even enlist a team through social media. It is a democratic process involving scoring sheets and data collection. It’s a nerdy pursuit but also fun and social! The nacho quest is really fun because it’s basically a big pub crawl where we go around eating nachos at different pubs.
My first few posts dealt with regional foods in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, as well as some coverage of regional foods from my travels. And I want to get back into that. I’ve been sort of stuck in Halifax for the last couple of years and just growing my blog here with a local audience.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you?
I think the Halifax Pizza Finals really demonstrate where I am right now especially in terms of partnerships, events, and video.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Tofino Fish Tacos, or really any of my travel posts that were written before I had much of a following. Many of my cherished food stories are hidden away in the archives now. But I’m personally a big fan of my “On the Road” tab. Man… I’m REALLY overdue for a travel binge.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
6 Unique Foods of Newfoundland. This was the first post I ever published under the Eat This Town banner. Then suddenly, last year, somebody found it and posted it to “TIL” on Reddit and it exploded.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Gaining popularity and followers has always been a grind. The challenge I have my sights on now is creating more of a Canada-wide audience and I can only do that with Canada-wide content, which means investing in travel. Blogging can be expensive – which is the other challenge. How can I make this lucrative without compromising my vision?
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
The two blogs that originally inspired me are Wandering Chopsticks (LA) and Homesick Texan (NY).
Homesick Texan introduced me to real Tex Mex cuisine – I love her recipes and writing style. Now she has cook books and recently opened a restaurant in NYC – a real inspiration.
Locally, I like The Local Traveler NS. They create a lot of useful content relating to food and tourism around Nova Scotia.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
I have many favourite foods, but if I had to choose just one it would be pizza – ever since my Ninja Turtle years! When you’re in Halifax, you should totally check out Salvatore’s. It’s sort of a New York/Italian hybrid. Best in the city! But Nova Scotia also has its own unique pizza style that hails from Pictou County, marked by its special brown sauce and Halifax-style pepperoni. Acropole Pizza actually ships the stuff out to homesick Maritimers in Fort McMurray.
What are you working on next for your blog?
I just started a new pizza quest, and I have a few other quests up my sleave! I’m planning some trips, and I’m also looking at getting into video.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I have a philosophy degree. That was my first love before food.
I adore Nova Scotian music – most genres but especially hip-hop.
I’m a proud pedestrian and public transit user.
Also, when I’m not eating for my blog, my diet is largely vegetarian and fish-based. And I go to the gym. That’s why I’m not 200lbs!
What makes your blog unique?
Probably my food quests – it takes a certain level of crazy, I think. Not only does it require a lot of planning/eating/post-analysis, but also the whole practice of recruiting volunteers from the internet – the social component.
What’s your Favourite FBC Feature?
Some of the self-help guides are pretty useful. I also like that I can discover other Canadian bloggers by browsing the membership directory and the featured bloggers!
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