Dinnerreviews.com©’s 5-Star Food Blog Awards are presented to a select few food bloggers whose sites and writing evoke the love of food in a universally appealing manner. Once every two months Dinnerreviews.com© will present this award to a food blogger somewhere in the world. We will also post an in-depth story all about their site and why they won. Congratulations to Mijune Pak for her award winning work with Follow Me Foodie, only our fourth 5-Star Food Blog Award Winner! Please enjoy our in-depth review of FollowMeFoodie.com.
Driven by Passion
Reviewed by: Tom House
Come July 2011, food adventurer Mijune Pak’s (pronounced Mee-June) compelling food blog will turn two years old! It’s obvious as you read her blog, that this 24-year old wunderkind from Vancouver, BC, the beauty and brains behind the blog, has heard her calling and responded voraciously. She has come a long way in a very short time. From the moment I discovered Follow Me Foodie, I’ve been a fan. Since I’ve been following Mijune on Twitter (@followmefoodie) and enjoying her insatiable appetite for food and writing, she’s posted multiple videos and stories featuring many new food adventures. Mijune is one serious, full time blogger, with the ability to please the masses. Even though she is drenched in talent, Mijune doesn’t take herself too seriously. In her entertaining videos, she always has time for fun and a smile. To Mijune’s credit, on Twitter, YouTube and her blog site, she never fails to respond to her fans in detail and with deep, heartfelt gratitude.
It’s clear to me, her tenacity and dedication to her craft will lead to many more accolades more notable than our coveted Dinnerreviews.com© 5-Star Food Blog Award. For the record, I will state here and now that you’re probably looking at one of the next Food Network (Canadian and /or American) Television Stars of the future.
The first thing you see when you arrive on Mijune Pak’s FollowMeFoodie site is her smiling face offering you to take “one of her surprises!” Once you take the bait, and you will, you get an exclusive sneak-peek video teaser showing a slice of Mijune’s foodie life. You’ll hear catchy music and see the star of the show, Mijune, as she prepares for an evening of food vlogging and blogging. Click here to enjoy it!
There are many interesting sections on FMF, including Best Of, Location, Cuisine, Price and Features. Inside those categories, you’ll find some clever ideas, such as Top 10, Best Foodie Moments and even Product Reviews. Inside the Cuisine category, one of my favorites sections is called Hole in the Wall, where simple restaurants are reviewed with just as much gusto as the many other fine dining establishments appearing throughout the site. Cuisine from all over the world is featured too! I’m still amazed at how many different areas and cuisines of the world Mijune has covered!
One of the best attributes of FMF and Mijune’s work over all is her inability to lie! No matter what, you will get the truth from this blogger. Restaurants beware…if you can’t handle the truth or the heat…get out of your own kitchen! Integrity rules on Mijune’s blog. You have to respect that! If everything is great, she is happy to say so too! Her comprehensive rating system is applied to each restaurant review, or as Mijune likes to call them…restaurant experiences.
I asked Mijune a few questions, and here is what happened.
DR: How long has Follow Me Foodie been in existence?
Mijune: I started Follow Me Foodie in July 2009.
DR: You clearly have a passion for all things food & restaurant related… an enthusiasm that is authentic and contagious. Where does this love for your “work” come from?
Mijune: What’s better than work that you can eat?! I love to eat, explore, discover and share. Everyone has to eat, so it’s a very relatable subject. It’s something that brings people together. I learn a lot about cultures and people through food, and I like to share that knowledge. I love changing the way people look at food and I want them to experience and taste what I do, whether it’s through a new restaurant or ingredient. I look at food as more than just something you eat to get full. It’s an art, and I admire the culinary training and talent that goes behind being a chef, or even just a cook. I love to be inspired by them, discover new dishes or talent and then make sure credit is given where it’s deserved in the culinary scene. I love to see the many different interpretations for one ingredient. I’m also infatuated with the culture, authenticity, history, and science of food. I love it all… I could produce an essay on this question… oh wait… I think I just did
DR: The webisode idea is brilliant. You are a naturally entertaining on camera. I laughed when I watched your Olympic Burger piece from YEW Restaurant in downtown Vancouver. Is this something you aspire to do more of, on a higher level? Maybe even for network TV?
Mijune: Oh wow, thank you so much! The webisodes are the next step for me. I don’t have any expectations from it, but I love doing them and I’m having so much fun! It would be great to share them with a larger audience, but I’m happy regardless. Part of what drives me is my audience, and as long as they’re happy and I’m happy, I know I’m doing the right thing. I have the most devoted readers and I owe it to them to deliver bigger and better things. They’ve led to my growth and pretty much dictate my next steps. If bigger things happen from it then it was a team effort that got me there.
DR: Can you tell us what the latest breaking FMF news is?
Mijune: Recently I did an audition for Recipe to Riches and I’m still waiting to hear back. There are always side projects I have, but I don’t want to give out too much info until they’re confirmed. I would hate to get everyone hyped up, including myself, until all new projects are confirmed. Also I just released yet another new video series called
“Quickies”. Check out the first one! Click Here!
DR: Your videos are high quality, your branding clear and the lead in music and display of your logo is excellent. The “putting on the apron” bit is very clever. I was really impressed by your new teaser video. You are successfully creating name brand recognition.
Mijune: Besides eating some of the most delicious foods and meeting some of the most remarkable culinary talents, I’ve also met great people and artists along the way. I’d really like to acknowledge Justin from www.threesixtyphoto.com and Steve Tan from www.stevetan.net who are masters at their crafts. They are the most dedicated camera crew and I’m so happy to have them as friends as well. Follow Me Foodie webisodes is a collective project and whenever it stops becoming fun or feels like work for any of us, I don’t want to do it. Their friendship means more to me than that. Their goals have now become my goals and vice versa. It’s a Follow Me Foodie family affair.
DR: I have always had an eye for talent, and want to be on record with my prediction that you may have your own dynamic food network show sooner than you think. Not just cooking…not just traveling to exotic places, not just tasting the best wines, but you’ll have the opportunity to share what you love with millions of people. You are very “food-wise”…how did you get this way?
Mijune: My face is red as a beet! Oh wow… your prediction is so touching and overwhelming. To have people believe in Follow Me Foodie so much is exactly what I’m talking about. Whatever happens is because of the people reading, “following”, commenting and giving me words of support. Without them, I’d still be blogging because I love it, but now I feel like I owe it to them to bring them bigger and better things.
Oh wow… “food-wise”, thank you for thinking so. I’m quite honoured. I always state that I’m not a professional chef, critic, or journalist, as my blog is driven purely by passion. I’ve been lucky to travel a lot and to explore a lot of cuisines. I study, read, blog, cook, eat, tweet, and submerse myself with food knowledge and culture. With every bite I am training and strengthening my palate. I live and breathe it. I choose eating and blogging over sleep. I love to learn about food, and I still have lots more of learning and exploring to do. This is just the beginning, however, since I have been lucky to eat a lot and try different things it’s given me a bigger database to work with, enabling me to provide more information or draw comparisons from a wider range.
DR: Lastly, please tell my thousands of daily readers why they should visit www.followmefoodie.com. What should they expect when they get there?
Mijune: I’m an average girl with a lot of passion for food… and a big appetite. What you’ll get are honest dining experiences that are part of my everyday life. I write about the good and the bad. The format has stayed the same since the beginning. It’s my food diary and it documents my culinary experiences locally and abroad. It also includes fun food events, contests, recipes, videos and most importantly restaurant experiences (reviews). I update daily, even when I’m on vacation and on weekends. Quite often my posts will be focused on one restaurant, photos of what I ate and a very detailed description about each item. I write so that you can almost taste it through your screen. I like to think it’s pretty entertaining and energetic too, with random comments, quirky remarks and zingers (when deserved) here and there. The most important thing to me is staying honest and true to my readers and who I am. I should also mention my posts are often 10 pages long (2500 words) and they’re incredibly detailed and thorough… I truly love what I do. I live and breathe this culinary world. I choose blogging over sleep, spending countless hours and endless nights writing about food because I love it. I certainly don’t know everything, but I live to learn the most I can about it. In the end, if nothing greater comes out of FollowMeFoodie, although I already feel like I’ve won the lottery every day, I am doing what I love and having fun! Come join me on my culinary experiences!
DR: Thanks Mijune! I’m not sure the average person can keep up with your stomach stretching, mind boggling pace, but because of this story, many more will jump on for the ride if they’re smart! One thing is for sure, they’ll never be disappointed! It’s been an honor to meet and get to know you. Even I am inspired by your dedication and boundless energy to the “work” we both love! Keep on EATing, twEATing and making us all drool! We’ll continue to live vicariously through your amazing 5-Star Award Winning Food Blog!