Lately everyone has been asking me the same question, How did I Become a Food Writer, Reviewer, Critic? …..here 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 CafesVancouver.com as an online guide. That same year I created TheCafeGuide.com 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 VancouverFoodster.com a blog style magazine devoted to restaurants, bars and cafes around the Vancouver area. In the same year I also created TasteandSipMagazine.com an online magazine devoted to food, drink, culture and culinary travel experiences around North America.
By: Richard Wolak