Name: Carly Spears
Blog name: The Chew Review
Where were you born? Toronto, Ontario
Where are you living now? Downtown Toronto, Ontario
Why did you start your blog?
I have always been absolutely passionate about food – both cooking and eating – but mostly eating! I currently work full time at a unique food and beverage marketing agency and, while I love working in the food marketing world, researching and reviewing restaurants is my absolute favourite pass time. When I’m not working at the agency or studying at George Brown, I am constantly searching for the newest places to try. Curious to experience all food and beverage establishments – from fine dining and fast casual to the newest snack and cocktail bars – I am always excited to keep my followers in the know, sharing personal and honest opinions of local institutions and food-focused events.
How did you decide on your blog name?
I wanted something that represented the fact that I was sharing my opinions about restaurants and food-related experiences. Hoping to create a catchy name, I chose the rhyme as the best name for my blog!
What do you blog about?
Food, food and more food! I mainly focus on reviewing restaurants in and around the city. However, from time to time, I also showcase homemade dishes, original recipes and my experiences at George Brown Chef School. I also love having special features from restaurants on my various travel experiences.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you?
The post that encapsulates me most would be my piece on the restaurant Dai Lo in Toronto.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
I wish that my piece on Encore Catering got more love because the work they are doing is truly innovative. It’s not often that you see a catering company putting out the quality product that you are used to seeing in high end restaurants, and the experience at their Blogger Bites event truly showcased their talent.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
The post that received the most surprising success was the one on Black Tap milkshakes in New York City. Frustrated by the poor quality of the photo I had taken that night, it was to my surprise that post absolutely blew up, gaining the most engagement of any other post!
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
My biggest challenge would definitely be cost. Keeping up with Toronto’s endless list of restaurants and food trends can tend to be quite expensive. In a not-so-lucrative blogging industry, it is definitely a challenge to find creative ways to experience food in the city!
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
When it comes to reading restaurant reviews, I love to reference The Food Sisterhood and Food Junkie Chronicles. Their honest opinions are truly descriptive and insightful. As well, I love that they feature high quality photos in addition to the written reviews.
As for recipes, Choperella is generally a great point of reference. As a budding food stylist and recipe developer, Tara showcases her talent by experimenting with new recipes and presentations of the food she is preparing.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
Choosing a favourite food or restaurant is almost impossible in my mind. It truly just depends on the type of cuisine you are looking for! With that said, I do tend to crave Mexican and Thai cuisine the most often. For these, I frequent the Playa Cabanas (mostly Playa Cabana, Cocina Economica and Cafeteria) and Pai.
What are you working on next for your blog?
My never ending list of restaurants opening in Toronto!
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I HATE blue cheese…and this bothers me.
What makes your blog unique?
Honest, sometimes daring opinions. I never shy away from telling the truth. My aim is never to criticise a chef’s work; however, I feel strongly that the industry can only gain from honest opinions of their guests. They should always be looking for areas of improvement and should use blogs as a resource for that. I also feel that diners deserve to know exactly what to expect when going to a restaurant. If they choose to research prior to their visit, they have the right to read about honest experiences.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
Blogger Resources – Marketing & PR
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