Each week we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. Every now and then we get a chance to chat with a Canadian blogger who is living somewhere else around the globe and this week, we chat with the one and only Dianne Jacob, the Vancouver, BC native who now lives in California. You may know her for her food writing workshops, her international speaking engagements, her willingness to "stir the pot" both literally and figuratively and, as the author of the book that is the authority on food writing, Will Write For Food!
Name: Dianne Jacob
Blog name: Dianne Jacob…Will Write for Food
Where were you born? Vancouver
Where are you living now? Oakland, CA, USA
Why did you start your blog?
I wanted a way to keep momentum going after my book, Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Memoir, Recipes and More came out.
How did you decide on your blog name?
Easy. It’s my name and my book’s name.
What do you blog about?
It’s all about food writing from many perspectives: blogging, doing social media, writing a cookbook, working with agents and editors, promoting a cookbook, writing recipes, writing feature articles for publication, writing memoir and personal essay.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
It’s my business. I never knew I could have so much fun with a business.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
Let’s Take “Perfect” Out of Cooking. Women put so much pressure on themselves. The idea that we have to be perfect has reached epidemic proportions. As a feminist and writer, I reject the notion, even as I struggle with it myself.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Activist Sandra Gutierrez: On Speaking Out Through Writing. I must not have done a good job interviewing Sandra Gutierrez, because she deserved more notice. As a powerful writer and activist about Latin foodways, Sandra is breaking stereotypes on many levels. The discrimination she experienced earlier in her career is terrible, and wanted to showcase her knowledge and courage.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Is Food Blogging Too Much Work? I wrote this post in 20 minutes, and I couldn’t believe how many comments it generated. I was ticked off because I had spent two hours talking to people who wanted to start a food blog, not put in much effort, but get tons of readers.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Getting noticed. There’s so much noise on social media (which is where people discover blog posts through links) that it’s hard to break through.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
It’s been a delightful way to meet people, keep writing and stay relevant.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
David Lebovitz - I know everyone already reads his blog, but there’s a reason why! We can laugh at his quirky humor, live vicariously through his Paris adventures, and drool over his photographs and recipes. The recipes work, and his storytelling showcases his strong voice.
Orangette - I have always dipped into Molly Wizenberg’s blog to learn about what’s going on in her life. She’s a beautiful writer and excels at getting to the heart of a story. It doesn’t look like she’s posting much these days, but there’s a rich reservoir of past posts to enjoy.
The Food Poet - Annalies Zijderveld is a friend and member of my writing group. I like to drop by to see what she’s up to. Her photographs are beautiful and she’s an inventive recipe writer. Her MFA in poetry leads to the most beautiful turns of phrases in her prose.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
For the last two years, I’ve taught a food writing workshop in Verona, Italy. A restaurant in the nearby Valpolicella wine region thrills me, Enoteca Alla Valpolicella. It reminds me of Chez Panisse: woman owned, with seasonal local dishes, many made by hand. I dream of their pasta. Their pasta is so delicate that it almost melts in your mouth.
What are you working on next for your blog?
I don’t work too far in advance. I have an interview with a cookbook editor, and an interview with a diverse blogger of color. Not sure that’s a category, but it should be.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I have been working on a memoir since 2002. It terrifies me! But last year I wrote a full manuscript. It’s a start.
What makes your blog unique?
I’m pretty sure I have the only blog specifically dedicated to food writers and bloggers.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
Follow Dianne Jacob on Social Media