How I became a Food Writer

Lately everyone has been asking me the same question, How did I Become a Food Writer, Reviewer, Critic?  … is the scoop!

I think I was about 3 or 4 when my nanny (my mother worked long hours and didn’t have the time to cook) would take me on an adventure often to Kresgie’s (it was a store in the Oakridge mall that pretty much sold everything and had a lunch counter, a bakery and such), I remember the chocolate chip cookies and their apple pie and how I enjoyed that adventure. Years later I had an interest in food and took some cooking classes, nothing too serious it was just a fun activity, in high school I took foods classes and there my real passion for cooking and baking developed, I bought cookbooks that were of interest, from chocolate making to stir frys to the best in French cooking; I subscribed to Gourmet, Bon Appetit and Chocolatier Magazines and watched Julia Child on TV. I cooked dinners for my family and baked for family and friends, I even taught a couple of baking classes for kids at a community centre. After a few years of college, I ended up changing directions and going into business and at that point my patience and love for cooking subsided.

I suppose my interest in cooking is what lead me into developing an interest food and tasting great flavours. I began writing about all things culinary in 1993 when I co-wrote my first book “Vancouver’s Best Espresso Spots” after enjoying espresso, coffee and tea at hundreds of cafes. In 1994, I co-wrote “Oregon’s Hot Java” tasting coffee, tea and food at cafes around Portland and the Oregon Coast. In 2001, while travelling in Sydney, Australia and often visiting cafes and restaurants in the area, I had an idea, which lead me into co-writing my 3rd book “Cafes Vancouver” focusing more on the food, coffee, tea and ambience in the cafes. In addition I created a companion website as an online guide.  That same year I created a site devoted to global café culture, in addition to my interest in coffee, tea and food I developed an interest in tasting and learning about wines. This lead me back into food but this time, I wasn’t cooking, instead I was tasting and eating extraordinary food from restaurants and at all sorts of culinary events around the city and in my travels.

I have always loved to travel and have traveled to many areas around the world, learning about the different cultures and tasting fabulous food. In 2009, after a little bit of nudging from my friends I decided to take my love for food, and all things culinary and created a blog style magazine devoted to restaurants, bars and cafes around the Vancouver area. In the same year I also created an online magazine devoted to food, drink, culture and culinary travel experiences around North America.

By: Richard Wolak

My New Radio Show – SIP & TASTE

I have been on a guest on a variety of radio shows in the past, I am a regular contributor to CBC Radio The Early Edition. Most recently an opportunity came up to join my friend and Radio Broadcaster Joe Leary with a new show about Food and Beer on his ‘Just Here for the Beer Radio show’. My new monthly radio show SIP & TASTE talking food, beer & more is on AM650 radio and it begins tonight May 10th at 6pm. On this show I will be talking to chefs, cicerones, mixologists, restaurant folk, and other interesting people in the food realm that have a connection to beer.

SIP & TASTE with your host Vancouver Foodster’s Richard Wolak and special guests

On the first show May 10th at 6pm, my guests include Chef Todd Bright of Wild Rice Restaurant in Vancouver, Chef Kylo Hoy of Blue Canoe Restaurant in Steveston and Mixologist Lauren Mote of The Refinery in Vancouver.  So, if you want to join in, listen and learn at 3 weeks and Growing

I launched my new website 3 weeks ago and it has been growing by leaps and bounds. I founded this website for foodies in Vancouver and beyond featuring restaurant reviews, openings, parties and interviews with local chefs, pastry chefs, bartenders and mixologists.

Already set-up on Twitter at

and on Facebook at

Getting Ready to Launch New Project

For the past couple of months I have been working on the planning, design, and writing for my new website project. I feel like this project has been in the making for many years, I just feel this way because for years my friends have been encouraging me to become a food critic and to write restaurant reviews, you are probably wondering why my friends would wish all of this work on me? Well, it probably has something to do with me and my passion for eating awesome food in restaurants or taking out from restaurants almost daily. Ok, so it may have taken a little longer than they had thought, or maybe they thought I may have never gotten around to it.

Vancouver Foodster will launch in August 2009, I founded this website for foodies in Vancouver and beyond featuring restaurant reviews, openings, parties and interviews with local chefs, sommeliers and mixologists. Stay tuned!