Each week we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. This week we meet Matt, the Nova Scotia blogger who just wants people to gather and share good food together - and that's an idea we support 100%!
Name: Matt Connor
Blog name: Total Feasts
Where were you born? Halifax, Nova Scotia
Where are you living now? United Kingdom, but soon to be back in Nova Scotia!
Why did you start your blog?
Well, the cooking is my comfort zone for sure. My blog has gone through some incarnations. The first incarnation was started when I had finished my grad work, but we hadn’t had our kids yet so I had a lot of time of my hands (it ended once I had my boys).
My current version I restarted once my kids got a little bit older. I wanted to get back into it as I love cooking and I wanted the challenge to learn more about photography and blogging etc.
How did you decide on your blog name?
My original name was The Bluenosers (as a proud Nova Scotian!), but I changed it to Total Feasts as I realized what I really liked to do was create recipes for sharing and parings. Plus, I think it sounds nice!
What do you blog about?
Food! Specifically, I like to write about food meant for sharing and give people some ideas for other food, drink and entertainment that might go well together.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
At this point, it is a purposeful hobby. I make a bit of money, but it mainly offsets my costs. Might change in the future, who knows!
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
One-pot apple cider sausage and lentil casserole. I love this dish, as it really celebrates the local produce and is sophistically easy! However, it is the sharing aspect that I think really encapsulates Total Feasts. I love making this dish for friends and family, you just plunk the dish down on the table and let people dig in. Then split open a loaf of bread and soak up the juice.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Peruvian-style Chicken Sandwich. I’m a real sucker for twists on grilled chicken, and I this one is especially good. It has a great marinade, with a good spice and works really well on the bbq. Plus, the sauce just lifts the whole thing!
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Montreal Smoked Meat. I created this recipe because I had a longing for smoked meat, and I wanted to make it in my own kitchen. It is consistently one of my top posts, which surprised me. I never guessed so many people want to make their own smoked meat from scratch!
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Social media, I’m absolutely rubbish at it. If I could somehow add an extra hour or two to my week I’d work on Pinterest and Instagram more!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
Don’t try to be a jack of all trades. Focus on one thing at a time, and work on improving bit by bit before adding more. For me, it is about getting better at writing and photography. It’s still a work in progress.
What has been your biggest success as a blogger so far?
Honestly, I get a real kick when I have someone send me a private note or photo when they’ve tried on of my recipes.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
Craft Beering – Such a great site, with great recipes. Plus, a lot of their recipes are Germanic inspired which fits with my palate. Plus, you know, the beer.
Spiced blog – David was one of the first bloggers I read, and I like following along with his stories and ideas. Not really the type of food I make for Total Feasts, but they do inspire me when I’m making food for my kids!
Kelly Neil – A fellow Nova Scotian, who takes some gorgeous photos. I always get inspired by her styling and photography. Plus, some little references to Nova Scotia that only a local would get! Editor's Note - you can read our profile of Kelly here.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
In our family, any dish you can have the whole table dig into is a winner. For me, it has to be this mac and cheese recipe. It’s gooey, and savory with crispy bacon. Especially when we classy it up, by serving it with some prosecco or champagne.
What are you working on next for your blog?
Getting some seasonal recipes ready for Spring/Summer!
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
If you ever need to bribe me, wine gums or sour jujubes will pretty much get you what you want!
What makes your blog unique?
So much of my food gets inspired by my love of history, culture and my travels. I love putting together meals and menu’s that embrace that. I also want people to cook and entertain at home, so while I don’t use shortcuts I do try to make recipes more accessible.
How do you cultivate a sense of community around your blog?
Reading and responding to peoples comments, going into forums on Facebook and visiting other blogs and contributing to comments.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
Follow Matt and Total Feasts on Social Media: