A great food blog requires tried and tested recipes, beautiful photos that will make you drool and good writing skills that will keep your readers engaged. Ria’s Collections is one such popular blog that has all these goodness. The author, Ria Mary Mathew, is a busy mom, a cook instructor, an award winning blogger and a student once again. She is from Kannur, Kerala and based in Minnesota. Five years back I accidentally found her blog as I was searching for a good cake recipe and then there was no turning back for me. Her blog has simple and exotic recipes of cake, savory and other global dishes and she speaks for her passion for cooking through her stories and memories. I have been chasing her to reveal her inspiration with us and she was so gracious to take some time out from her busy schedule for us to share her blogging success story with us.
Ria, Tell us something about yourself.
Thanks Ria for sharing your story with me and my readers and wishing you all the best with your current course. And I do hope to meet you in person in the near future!
Ria, Tell us something about yourself.
To make it short, I am a person who believes in quality over quantity. I am a severe case of OCD and I repeat doing the same thing over and over again until I get it right. Even though I love to cook and bake, there are so many kinds of food that you will never see me eating!
When did your passion for baking and food begin? And what was your inspiration to start your food blog?
I started cooking from when I was 3 years old. Cooking and baking is in my blood. It’s the first thing that I turn to when I am happy or sad. For me, food plays an important role in creating memories. So, kitchen is my happiest place in our house.
I used to have a recipe diary from when I was a little girl. Every recipe that would capture my attention with its photographs or description would find a place in it. Therefore it was natural for that diary to grow bulkier as the years went by. My cousins and I would exchange recipe notes via emails and when my little brother saw me frantically typing recipe after recipe, he asked me why I didn’t start a food blog which would make things easier. The rest is history.
Have you taken any formal training in baking/cooking? And do you experiment in baking and cooking?
I was trained under the watchful eyes of my mother growing up. I experiment a LOT in my kitchen and almost all of them have been delicious. Now, after all these years of cooking and baking, I can easily figure out if a recipe is good or not by just reading through the ingredient list and quantity. So disasters are very few.
Currently,I am a student at Le Cordon Bleu specializing in Baking and Patisserie.
Your food photography definitely stands out. Have you had any training in photography? Any tips in photography for fellow bloggers?
Thanks! No, I am a self taught food photographer (if I can call myself that way!). I always shoot in natural light and try to keep the props to a minimum so that the food is the main focus.
Browse as many websites as possible which focuses on food photography. See what they do to bring their food to focus and then try to develop a style of your own. In a photograph, food looks good in smaller quantities and on smaller plates/bowls.
What is the most gratifying aspect for blogging?
It is the network that I’ve built over the past 7 years. I have readers all over the globe and I am in constant touch with them. When they try out my recipes and write to me to tell me about their experience, it’s immensely satisfying. It helps me realize how wonderful it is to share something good with others.
Do you have any other passions apart from blogging and photography?
Family, of course! It is my first priority any day!
Once I graduate, I want to gain experience from working under experienced chefs and then maybe a few years down the lane,when I am confident enough,I will start something on my own. I don’t know if it’s going to be a bakery or a café .It will be something that will give me enough freedom to take a vacation whenever I want to!
Cookbooks…hmmm. I would love to write one but that needs a lot of dedication,focus and hardwork. I don’t know if there will be one in my near future as I am literally drowning in homework and test papers from school!
Images via Ria