Name: Lillian Leung
Blog name and URL: Beyond Umami (beyondumami.com)
Where were you born? Toronto, Ontario
Where are you living now? Edmonton, Alberta
Why did you start your blog? I moved from Toronto, Ontario to Edmonton, Alberta in 2006 to start my Masters program in Speech-Language Pathology. I wanted to find a way to share my Alberta food experiences and recipes with my friends.
How did you decide on your blog name? I wanted a unique name. After some thinking, the word “Umami” seemed to be a good fit because it is the lesser known fifth taste after sweet, salty, sour, bitter and is usually associated with the flavours of soya sauce, mushrooms and a “meaty” flavour. I wanted my blog, Beyond Umami, to encompass everything “beyond” tasting and trying out restaurants, to dishes that I made and eventually, my pursuit of the elusive macaron.
What do you blog about? Essentially I try to blog about food that I’m interested in. Be it food that I’ve tried, made, or places and events that I’ve attended. Lately, I’ve been very interested in making macarons, you could say I’ve caught the “macaron bug”. It’s definitely an exercise in trial and error but the results are well worth it! I try to write about my experiences going through the step-by-step process of making macarons at home in order to encourage others and show that it is possible with a regular oven.
Which post are you most proud of and why? My Lemon Curd Macaron Post because it was my first successful batch of macarons after almost half a year of trying to make them.
Which post do you wish received more love and why? My Tart Making Post as I think everyone should have a good tart recipe on hand. Now that it is summer, there are so many fresh fruits available!
Which post’s success surprised you and why? The post about participating in the University of Alberta Heritage Chicken Program. I wanted to write about why we chose to participate in the program and to document the differences in taste, texture and the look of heritage eggs versus the generic supermarket brand of eggs. What surprised me the most was that it immediately became a popular post as it seemed like many people were just as curious about the differences between heritage eggs and supermarket eggs.
What is one (non-kitchen) gadget you can’t live without? My iPhone. It’s been filled to the max with photos several times over! This is because I like to take step-by-step photos as I’m preparing food and post it to twitter, instagram, or facebook.
What is one kitchen gadget you can’t live without? My Artisan KitchenAid Stand Mixer (in Cobalt Blue!). Who would have thought both my husband and I would be using our KitchenAid at least 3-4 times a week, sometimes several times a night! We use it for everything including making pizza dough for dinner, muffins for breakfast, macarons, churning ice cream, frozen yogurt, pasta dough, and kneading bread.
Favourite food, care to share a recipe? I have so many favourite foods! From salmon sashimi, to almond croissants, waffles, and of course, macarons. As far as sharing recipes, I would love to share my waffle recipe as it is perfect for any meal from breakfast with maple syrup, dinner with fried chicken, or as a dessert with ice cream on top.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page? While it may seem that I can talk about food all day long, by day, I am a Speech-Language Pathologist. I help people with communication difficulties as I believe that communication is so vital!
What makes your blog unique? I enjoy showing the step-by-step process of the recipes complete with lots of pictures as I find visuals really helpful for myself. My blog posts tend to be longer because of the size and quantity of the pictures.