My name is Mijune and I am the voice behind Follow Me Foodie. Follow Me Foodie is a food and travel blog/website. I started Follow Me Foodie in July 2009. I am based in Vancouver, but travel frequently for work.
What do you do as a food/travel blogger?
My business is hard to explain, but it involves an umbrella of different services. I do promotional/marketing campaigns with tourism companies, businesses, and other lifestyle industries. It really depends. I also write for hire and am involved in ambassador programs. My blog is where I share my stories of food and travel. It's used as an educational resource too so it's read by locals, tourists and industry professionals. I also do public speaking on various topics from social media to personal branding, to restaurant recommendations and education, I also host event and private food tours occasionally by request.
How do you spend your day to day?
Wow! It really depends where I am. Every day is different especially if I'm traveling. On a typical day in Vancouver I'll be writing, answering e-mails, engaging with people on social media, trying restaurants or attending events. If I'm traveling I'll most likely be dining out. I also like to read and research a lot (about food and place).
I just got home from a 2 week trip in Italy to celebrate Rustichella Pasta's 90th birthday in Abruzzo, and to attend their PrimoGrano pasta competition to support Vancouver chef Alex Tung. My next trip will be Omnivore Festival in Montreal where I'll be meeting young and upcoming chefs who are inspiring ideas and leading food movements.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
It has to be the learning aspect. Of course getting to eat and travel is AMAZING and I'm very grateful to never be hungry and to be able to see so many places, but meeting people and learning about things is invaluable. I've learned so much about food, culture, place, myself, and just life in general.
Are you an amazing cook? What do you like to cook? Are you known for something?
Ha! I'm not sure if I'm an "amazing cook", but I love to cook and cook for others. I don't have as much time anymore, but when I cook I like to entertain for about 4-6 people and go all out. I rarely repeat a recipe or follow one and kind of go with the flow. I like being creative in the kitchen, although it's important to be able to follow a recipe and learn from it.
I love the “shit foodie’s say” video because I do exactly all those things as someone who loves food styling and eating. What happened after the video caught so much attention?
The video was so much fun! It ended up going on the front page of the entertainment section in a major newspaper in Vancouver, The Vancouver Sun. It also spread international all the way to Australia which was unexpected. With internet nowadays it's so easy for things to go viral, but it still has to be good content. I'm not sure if my video was good content, but I think it made people laugh which is good enough for me!
I'm very lucky to live in Vancouver, BC. We have the water and the mountains so we get incredible produce from our backyard. It rains a lot which I actually don't like, but in return we get a bountiful harvest. We have a great farm to table scene and it's multi-cultural and diverse, so I get to try some of everything. We have some incredible chefs and restaurants and they inspire my work... without them, I have nothing.
Every day has been a dream. I have to pinch myself sometimes and be grateful for the moment I'm living in. Of course I have bigger dreams and future goals, but I try and live in the moment because it could all disappear tomorrow. In the last few years I've been able to dream new dreams, and that in itself is enough of a gift. Can't wait for the future, but living in the present.
Favorite travel spot.
Ohhh too hard! It really depends! Every city and country has something to offer and I leave no place unvisited if I have the opportunity to visit. It doesn't matter how big or small the food scene is... as long as there are people or any sort of life (be it in animals and plants etc etc), there are ideas and things to learn.
I try things until I like them, so I hate saying something is "gross" or "bad" (presuming it's edible and cooked correctly). I didn't enjoy tarantula or sheep's penis in China... that being said, I'll try it again. I'm open minded about food and they eat these things in other cultures, so I don't want to judge.
What kind of food feels like home?
Mom's cooking. Mom cooks with her heart. A lot of the time it's nothing really traditional. She's an artist so she gets creative in the kitchen!
What are some challenges you’ve encountered?
I'm still encountering challenges and my career is full of them. It's not easy being a full time food and travel blogger, let alone getting any respect as a "blogger" or "foodie". I still have challenges everyday and I've had to learn to be patient, persistent, and positive. The challenges are good because I learn from them... they can be super frustrating as well, but what job isn't? When you love something so much, it's going to break your heart. I'm happy to love what I do.
I meet a lot of people and research a lot. I ask a lot of questions too and one thing leads to another... before I know it, I have a bucket list of 50 new restaurants and recipes to visit and try.
For someone wants to blog or become a foodie, what advice would you offer?
Just start. I have no advice because it's an industry where everyone finds their own way. It's really your personal voice and a way of sharing it. My advice is just to start... start and let everything else figure itself out. It has to start from an honest passion.
How long did you blog for until you got a loyal fan base?
Hmm I'm not sure... at some point we all started with one follower. I prefer to call it a social network base or "friend base" rather than "fan base" though. It's not about numbers for me. I just want people to share this passion with me and if I can get people inspired, that's fantastic! I want to engage with everyone!
What would you say is the next upcoming food trend?
Hmm I'm not keen on using the word "food trend" because everything has been done before. Just like fashion, "food trends" recycle themselves. We remember old ideas and repackage them.
You might like to check out these posts:
However, if I have to name a few places getting more attention, I'd say all eyes on Peru. Peru's food scene has been bubbling in the last couple years and I can see it getting more popular in the North American market.
Follow Mijune's foodie adventures here!