It”s every foodie”s dream job – a gig that involves eating out at a different restaurant every day for a year and getting paid $50,000 to boot. Add on a one-year gym membership as well as living expenses, and you”re looking at one of the sweetest set-ups ever.
As the winner of Tourism Richmond”s global search for an official food blogger, that”s exactly the amazing opportunity that Lindsay Anderson has snagged. Beating out over 1,500 other applicants from around the world, the former Vancouver resident is now living la belle vie in the neighbouring Canadian city of Richmond, British Columbia. Renowned for its Asian cuisine (more than 65% of the city”s population is of Asian descent) and for its historic fishing village of Steveston (full of acclaimed seafood and fish n” chip joints), Richmond”s over 800 restaurants have given Lindsay plenty of material for her daily blog posts.
We recently took the time to chat with the epicurean about her amazing role, her strangest meal to date, and her ideal gastronomic road trip:
When did you first realize you had a genuine passion for food?
I’ve been glued to the kitchen from a very young age, but it wasn’t until I was in university that I realized my brain’s capacity for retaining food-related information. A friend asked what was on the menu of a restaurant I’d recently visited, and I recited the whole thing, in detail, without stopping for air. She laughed, pointed out what I’d just done, and I remember thinking “then why is it so hard for me to remember my art history notes??”
I am an ambassador in a way, but this experience has been about so much more than promotions and ribbon-cuttings. I’ve been given the opportunity to experience Richmond on my own, organically, and can share with readers on a personal level. Since I can speak honestly about my experiences (good or bad), there’s a certain level of trust that’s been built. Overall, this position has been a wonderful challenge, because when a city has so much diverse culture packed within its restaurants, you want to do justice both to the food, and to the people making and serving it. I had a lot to learn about Richmond’s food scene when I first started, and continue to learn new things each and every day.
Part of your gig comes with a year-long membership at the Richmond Olympic Oval. How have you found staying fit while eating all that incredible food?
Thank goodness for my Oval membership, which has certainly come in handy. Keeping healthy has always been important to me, so I work out fairly regularly and love doing so in a state-of-the-art facility. The best thing about exercising is that it gives me a bigger appetite!
There’s all kinds of unique Asian dishes available in Richmond. What would you say is the most adventurous thing you’ve eaten there so far?
Congealed pig’s blood has been the biggest hurdle so far. I’d eaten blood sausage in the UK before, but this was my first time trying blood, straight up. The taste didn’t bother me so much as the texture, which was kind of sticky on my molars.
Your job also comes with the perk of hotel “staycations” around Richmond. What can you tell us about the city’s accommodation offerings?
Richmond has an incredible number of hotels, many of which are easily accessible to the airport, central Richmond, AND downtown Vancouver. They host people flying in and out of YVR, as well as those in town for conferences, tournaments, and vacations. My weekends spent at Richmond hotels have been major perks of the job, and in each one I’ve been treated extremely well. I always feel reluctant to take off my white robe and go home!
I’d go for lunch somewhere on Alexandra Road (a.k.a. ‘Food Street’), visit the exquisite International Buddhist Temple, then head south to explore Steveston, stopping in at one of its bakeries for an afternoon snack. It would be a busy day, but totally worth it.
What other food bloggers inspire you?
Some of the food bloggers I love and read regularly are Smitten Kitchen, Orangette, Joy the Baker, David Lebovitz, The Gouda Life, and My Life Love Food, though I could go on and on. There are so many ridiculously talented people out there.
What food experience is on your bucket list?
My brother and I have always wanted to do a southern U.S. barbeque road trip together. I can imagine few things nicer than hanging out, listening to tunes, and seeking out America’s best ribs, brisket, cornbread, and baked beans. We’ve already agreed we’ll need to pack stretchy pants.
To follow the remainder of Lindsday”s year-long culinary adventure, visit www.365daysofdining.com.