Blogger Spotlight: ‘Mission: Food’
Each week, we choose a food blogger from our vast Culinary Content Network of contributors to highlight. This week, allow us to introduce Victoria Kabakian of the Mission: Food blog.
Kabakian has been blogging for nearly eight years and covers everything from recipes and cookbooks to Disney attractions and restaurants. A Rhode Island native, she has a particular weakness when it comes to cookbooks; not only does she collect them (she notes that she has more than 200!) but also loves to review new releases; testing their recipes and commenting on their usability.
To find out more about Kabakian and Misson: Food, read on for her Q and A:
The Daily Meal: What is the mission of your blog?
Victoria Kabakian: My blog’s tagline is that “nothing is impossible,” and I really love to showcase that concept through cooking. I enjoy challenging myself in the kitchen and simply enjoy creating delicious dishes that nearly anyone could cook.
How’d you get started?
Almost eight years ago, I was in the midst of contemplating culinary school and I was talking to a friend who suggested I start writing a food blog as a means to express myself through my culinary journey and see where it takes me. I’ve been writing ever since.
What are some foods you can’t live without?
Dumplings of all kinds, but mainly Asian dumplings. I also love anything with Buffalo chicken. These are of my favorite food groups.
Are there any foods you can’t stand?
I consider myself to be a pretty adventurous eater, but my least favorite food I’ve tried to eat was soft knee bone at a Japanese Yakitori restaurant in New York City. I actually had to spit it out, which I know is rude and something I usually avoid doing in public, but it was all cartilage and the texture was just awful!
What is your proudest post?
This is tough, but I’d have to save my proudest post was the first time I made an aged cheese. It seriously felt like having a baby, because I made this lovely Stilton cheese. I aged it, took care of it, and flipped it every couple of days (for months!); it was such a process. When I cut that cheese open and I saw the beautiful blue veining, I felt so spectacular — like I could rule the world one cheese at a time.
What is your biggest blog blunder?
I sometimes look back at my earlier posts and am just appalled by my photography at the time. I have photos using flash with messy plating, and I’m just in disbelief that at the time that is what I was sharing with my readers. Fortunately, although I’m no professional, my photos have gotten a lot better over time. I’ve even replaced some of the older photos with new ones.
Do you have a memorable comment from a reader?
I have had readers comment on some of my posts about traditional Armenian dishes telling me about how my post made them cry because it reminded them of their grandmother or their mother, or how they tried my family’s version of the recipe and it was the closest they have found to the way their grandmother made. There is nothing that makes me more proud and it’s a catalyst for the best kind of nostalgia there is: food memories from one’s childhood.
What’s on your cooking playlist?
It really depends on my mood, but I do enjoy some Red Hot Chili Peppers (I mean the band name is a food, so that helps, too).
What are some other blogs you love?
One of my favorites is We Are Not Martha.
What are some food apps you love?
Yelp is my favorite. I can’t seem to go out to a restaurant without checking it out on Yelp first.
What is the best thing about blogging?
Having a creative outlet doing something I really love and then sharing that passion with other like-minded people.
The worst thing?
It can be a really big commitment. I have a full-time job that is completely unrelated to my blog so balancing my blog with my job and my life can be a struggle sometimes, but at the end of the day, it brings me a lot of happiness so it’s still going strong.
Is there a recipe you’re currently obsessed with?
I normally pick savory over sweet, but lately, I’ve been obsessed with these Lemon-Ricotta Waffles With Blueberry-Citrus Syrup. I want more in my belly right about now.
What would even your most loyal followers be surprised to learn about you?
Most people wouldn’t know that I had a career in television (behind the scenes) before I ever became a food blogger. I’ve also met and worked with countless celebrities.
What are five of your all-time favorite posts?
This feels like I’m cheating because it’s a post that links to many other posts, but I really love my Chinese New Year Roundup because it links to tons of great Chinese and Chinese-inspired recipes on my blog. I also really love my post sharing the recipe for my grandmother’s manti. It’s my favorite food of all time, so it’s very special to me. On that same subject, I also had the privilege of cooking manti at Union Square Café for family meal once, and was able to document that on my blog. It was very memorable and truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’d also like to share a post where I took a cooking blunder (failed macarons) and used the filling I had prepared for another purpose, which turned out quite fantastic in its own right. My “Not Carrot Cake” is seriously a winner. Finally, I feel like I have quite a knack for reviewing cookbooks. I’ve reviewed dozens on my blog, but one of the most thorough reviews I have done was for the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. It’s still one of my favorites, and my go-to for it’s easy but fantastic muffin recipes.