Why am I the Next Food Blogger Star?

15 Sep

Hi.  I’m Shaina Loew, and I’m the next food blogger star!  An avid foodie since birth, I bring a view of the food scene that is often unexplored.  I am currently college student; I cook and eat both creative and worldly food–I don’t know a food I don’t like; and I have an unrelenting hunger for learning about food.  At Cornell University, I study Hotel Administration and spend every free moment I have cooking for friends or going to the farmers market.  Ever since childhood, I’ve been fascinated by flavors and cuisines and enamored of the cooking process.  And now that I’ve been blogging at Getinmebelly for three years, I can share my interesting ideas on food with the rest of the world!  Although many traditional food blogs incorporate cute recipes and quaint reviews of restaurants, I explore uncharted waters on mine.

cooking up beef heart...

When I started my freshman year at Cornell, I was not even sure if I’d have a kitchen in my dorm.  However, when I got to school, I realized two mind-boggling things:

  1. I had a kitchen, alright–it was relatively new-looking despite the fact that my building was about forty years old
  2. And Ithaca was heaven on earth for foodies!  With its many farmers vending their produce and meat at the local farmers market every weekend, Ithaca offered even more for me as a cook than did my home town, Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ.

    You can get it at the Ithaca Farmers Market..

Now, these two great realizations did not just mean that I would be making some cute cupcakes and some average chicken once in a while–with my unique food background, I had a lot more to say on a plate than that.  Which brings me to how I became who I am as a foodie…

My first food memory is falling off a kitchen counter when my mom was draining spaghetti–I was four, and I thought the cloud of steam was scary, so I scooted away…all the way to the edge of the counter, and then onto the tile floor.  For many, this traumatic experience would be a deterrent from returning to the kitchen.  But for me, well, I just couldn’t stay out.  By the time I was eleven, I was an obsessive baker–my favorite recipe was for a caramel cake with penuche frosting, and I made it often.  After eighth grade, I knew I wanted to get to into the food industry, and I started selling baked goods at a farmer’s market that summer.  Driven by my success, I fueled my passion by getting jobs in restaurants.  Among my high school jobs were cooking at a cafe and catering company, working for a pastry chef in Rhode Island, and staging with Alex Stupak of wd~50 over one of my winter breaks.  My work experience provided me with technical experience, and then, when I began to travel more, I learned a lot about flavor.

I was always obsessed with cuisines of the world–I loved cooking Indian food, drooling over recipes for French pastries, and dreaming about where in the world I might find the best food.  During the summer after my sophomore year of high school, I traveled to Hungary, where I learned that super-fatty bacon rendered onto bread over an open fire has no parallel.  A couple summers later, I interned in some restaurants in Galicia, Spain, to learn about the local fare.  Not only did I find myself learning how great life can be living off the land, but I also found a love for seafood that I never really had before.  Fish were always just OK to me, but after staying in Galicia, I had a passion for hake, octopus, giant crab, monkfish, mussels, and more.  I could not have had a more mind-blowing experience there.

Me holding a whole hake in O Grove, Pontevedra, Galicia

My cooking education has been strange–always trying to find a cooking class that suited my needs, I was constantly let down with those offered to my age group.  They were boring, elementary, and dissatisfying.  Ultimately, my “fooducation” experiences were those that had to do with tasting and learning about flavor.  My travels to Spain and Hungary were instrumental in my “fooducation.  Also, I once spent a weekend at Murray’s Cheese taking the “Cheese U Boot Camp” class, and after learning about the science of cheese-making, regional cheeses, and pairing, I passed with flying colors, receiving an A+ on the exam.  Now, at Cornell, I wish some of my business classes were as interesting as those experiences.

But how does this all add up to make me the next food blogger star?  My passion for food will take me anywhere, even though I am a busy college student.  I found a love for pork in Hungary, so what did I do?  I bought a pig’s head from the Ithaca farmer’s market and made some amazing head cheese right in my dorm kitchen freshman year!  You can’t imagine the looks on my classmates’ faces when they realized what I was up to.  But I’m a shameless foodie–what else was I supposed to do?  I am so passionate about sharing my culinary experiences, that I constantly cook for friends here at school.  Every week, I hold a dinner in my dorm, featuring 3 courses for just $10.  My goal is to provide college students with a new perspective on food: it has to be fresh, and there’s more out there than pizza and chicken!  For example, tonight I am serving goat and winter squash chili!

Delicious head cheese with a nice layer of fatty goodness...

My Weekly Dinners Kicked off Last Week! Cheers!

The world needs a food blog that is fearless; one that is devoid of pretension; one that represents the average foodie’s desire for great food no matter where she is or what the circumstance!  I am the next food blogger star because I create imaginative food that draws from many culinary influences, and I am not afraid to go all out foodie style in a college dorm kitchen.


5 Responses to “Why am I the Next Food Blogger Star?”

  1. Laura September 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    You go girl! You are the next food blogger star!

  2. marilyn bogdanffy September 16, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    You have proved that food is a passion and not just an interest.

  3. Denise Romeo September 22, 2010 at 2:41 am #

    I totally get it! Cook, Eat, Write, Repeat! You got my vote. Check out my post at http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/1/view/638. Good Luck!

  4. notyet100 September 22, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    glad to knw ur following ur dream,.:-)

  5. whatsfordinneracrossstatelines September 22, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    Great Post, my daughter just left for college and is so homesick for some good food! I can’t wait to tell her what you are cooking up in a dorm room. I’m voting for you, can’t wait to read more! Nice to meet you! Good Luck!

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