Every weekday, we're highlighting a local or regional blogger we think you ought to know about. We can’t be everywhere at once, so we look to these passionate eaters, cooks and writers to keep us tapped into every facet of the food world. Consider this a way to get to know a blog’s taste buds, because, well, you should.
Dave and I both grew up in Michigan. Not too long after our first date at a (bad) Chinese restaurant, we were eating the real thing in Sichuan, China, where we taught English for a year. That was in the mid-eighties. In 1994 we moved to Hong Kong. Aside from a 3-year break in the Bay Area, we’ve been eating our way around Asia ever since.
We started EatingAsia in 2005 right after we moved to Kuala Lumpur from Saigon. Dave was working in business but had been photographing for eons, and I’d been writing for a long time, mostly as an academic. We wondered - “Could we make careers of this?”
Publishing a blog together was a way to force ourselves to work on our respective skills. Kuala Lumpur was an ideal "test venue": Malaysian cuisine is varied, beautiful, and delicious. We just hit the streets, tried everything, talked to people, and blogged all about it.
Fairly quickly the blog changed the way we travel. No more beach resorts! You can only blog grilled fish so many times. We’re curious – about regional cuisines and ingredients, culinary traditions, and the people who grow, sell, and make food – and that pushes us to travel beyond our comfort zone. Over the last five years, food has been an entrance to tiny villages, markets, and home kitchens, and a vehicle by which to meet amazing people and learn from them.
We have a thing for markets. Our first stop anywhere is the market, and if we find a great one, we’ll hang out photographing and taking notes all day, even days in a row. And we’re keen on street food. Eating on the street is such a great way to meet all kinds of people. In much of Asia,there are street vendors who’ve been cooking up one or two dishes day after day, for decades. We respect and admire the skill and hard work that goes into that and we try to honor it with our words and photos.
For us, EatingAsia is a creative outlet. It's a place where we can do what we want and share what really excites us. It has been a means of meeting like-minded obsessives. Dave and I joke that we have a "cult" blog - it's definitely not for every foodie. But we're quietly proud that after 4-years-plus of blogging in relative obscurity, notice came unbidden.
The blog has led us in interesting directions. We both freelance full-time now - not always to do with food - sometimes working together, often not. We recently started leading street food "walks," and it's a real kick to introduce other food lovers to our favorite markets, dishes and vendors in person.
We have some other irons in the fire, and EatingAsia will evolve as we do, but we'll be blogging for the forseeable future. We'll keep doing what we do for the pure enjoyment of it.
Do you read a local blog that you'd like to see featured? Send 'em our way for a chance in the spotlight.