Name: Rekka B.
Blog Name: Grim Grains
Where were you born? I was born in Calgary, Alberta.
Where are you living now? I’m currently based in Montreal, Quebec.
Why did you start your blog?
I started Grim Grains when I realized that food could be artistically fulfilling. Cooking became an alternative to drawing—another way to express myself. The blog also happened because I wanted to document my learning how to cook. There are so many things I don’t know how to make still and having a place to put it all is a great way to share my experiences while keeping track of what I make.
It was also an opportunity for me to illustrate food—something I really enjoy doing.
How did you decide on your blog name?
The blog name came not along after I found out about the existence of Hokkaido black bread, a type of bread made with bamboo charcoal mixed in. That bread was a doorway to eating by colour for me.
What do you blog about?
The blog is about being artistically creative with food. As I mentioned previously my recipes are made with colours in mind; colours for added nutrition, contrast and visual harmony. Most of my recipes are also nut-free and plant-based.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you?
I’ll have to go with Dark Yaki Gyoza. There’s nothing more visually striking and grim than an all-black gyoza with a colourful filling. This post is really what Grim Grains is about; presenting a food that is very, at first glance, very odd-looking and then having the filling be equally as puzzling.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Seaweed bites do indeed deserve more love! They’re really simple to make and the taste will surprise you. I’ve had family members, who don’t typically eat seaweed, try it and they loved it. Seaweed is generally under appreciated—more recipes should be made with it.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Me and Devine love craft beer so for us the idea of making hop ice cream was the best thing ever. While I thought it was the single greatest idea I wasn’t sure other people would agree—when people think of hops they don’t think of desert. To my surprise people were excited by the idea of hoppy ice cream (and if they weren’t they were at least intrigued by it).
I don’t expect people to make some of the recipes I have on here because of how niche and specific they are. If anything this experience just taught me that there will aways be someone out there who will share your interests.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
My biggest challenge right now is just finding time to come up with new recipes. I used to be a freelancer so I had loads of time to experiment during the week but nowadays I work in a studio full-time. Because of this I need to leave fancy cooking for the weekend.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
One of the blogs I refer to the most is Vegan Richa. She taught me a lot about cooking plant based food, and (Thanks to her i can now make a pretty decent curry). Another blog I really like is Just One Cookbook. I learned about food photography through some of her posts—she also has a really great section with useful food blogging tips for beginners. While a lot of her recipes aren’t plant based I still use them as a reference and adapt accordingly. Vert et fruité, a french canadian vegan lifestyle blog, also has a lot of great content.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
Without hesitation or regret I say roasted beet pasta. Beets are just all around fantastic—perfect if you like make food pink.
What are you working on next for your blog?
I’m moving to BC early next year; me and my partner Devine are planning on living on a sailboat for a while. This is a very big change and it will undoubtedly impact the content of Grim Grains. Space will be an issue so i will have to adapt. Generally I do really well in situations like that—limitations is a path to creativity!
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I’ve had my 13th children’s book published recently. I did mention that I’m an illustrator by trade but I never really said that I make content for children most of the time. I also released a game for IOS last year with Devine called Oquonie; the game was nominated for visual excellence at the Indie Games Festival in 2014.
What makes your blog unique?
How the blog is built for me is what’s most unique about it; Grim Grains doesn’t use the WordPress model. All of it is made from scratch. Devine made a bunch of tools for me to use to make the blog more scalable as well as to keep it secure. The site also works like a wiki meaning that you can sort the ingredients by colour and find information about those foods by selecting them. Lastly I like to think my unrelenting desire to make all foods black makes the blog stand out.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
A learned a lot about food blogging using the ‘blogger resources’ module. I found a lot of useful posts about advertising and food photography.
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