We interviewed Richard!
Visit the blog: REMCooks.
Hello Richard, so tell us...
When did you begin your blog, and what inspired you to start it?
I started REMCooks.com in late January 2012. For several years I had been posting photos of our meals on Facebook. At one point my wife suggested I start a blog but I wasn't interested and it went no further. Then, my sister-in-law, Adela, started asking my why I didn't start a blog. She persisted in her comments and I began to consider a blog. I had been working on a computer cookbook for the children as several of them had favorite recipes I had cooked over the years. The blog seemed a better solution. Ultimately, she persuaded me to start REMCooks.com.
How many hours per week do you spend on your blog?
I try to post new posts every other day. With selecting and formatting the photos and writing the post, then replying to the comments, my guess is 10 hours per week on posts and comments. I then try to keep up with the blogs I follow, and stay in touch with the food blogging community which is another 3 hours per week. So, roughly 13 hours per week.
Are you involved in the blogging community - how do you attract new readers?
I try to keep in touch with REMCooks.com's followers and the blogs I personally follow. It's always fun to see other people's style and technique, not to mention share ideas and thoughts. I have met people from all over the world, sent a couple of them some dried chiles and even received a hen egg holder from one of them. It was pretty comical. One of them is even coming to the US from the Netherlands and we will host them for a weekend February 2014. We're looking forward to it.
Insofar as attracting new readers is concerned, REMCooks.com has taken on a life of its own. We have a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a Tumblr account, a Pinterest account and a Food 52 account. We have some of our photos published on Chowstalker, Foodgawker, and YumGoggle. We have also been featured in Foodista and Paleo Living Magazine, Volume 11. Most of our new readers come from Pinterest links and Chowstalker, for which we are very grateful.
What is your earliest food memory?
At the mature age of 58, I have forgotten so many things there is no way I can remember my earliest food memory. As Andy Rooney once explained, my mind can only hold so much information but I continue learning new things. As such, because my mind is now full, in order to learn new things, something must be deleted and that's why I forget. Consequently, I cannot remember my earliest food memory. What I do remember is my fondest food memory and that is eating Thanksgiving dinner at my grandmother's house in her formal dining room. Grandmother was a wonderful cook and we weren't allowed in her formal dining room except for Thanksgiving dinner. So, it was always a real treat. I have eaten Thanksgiving dinner on that table since I was 5 years old. When she passed away in 1986, I inherited her dining room suite and continue to eat Thanksgiving dinner on that table to this very day.
Which of your recipes would you suggest to readers for a perfect meal?
It depends upon how you define a meal. If a meal is an appetizer, main course with sides and dessert, I would suggest readers view the posts on Thanksgiving, starting 11/23/2012 with Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie and finishing 12/1/2012 with Stuffed Yellow Squash. Typically, a meal for us consists of only a main course, a starch and a vegetable side. You can find a lot of those meals on the blog. To name a few of our recipes, I would highly recommend the following:
Pan Fried Walleye topped with Hollandaise Sauce and Charmoula Zucchini on the side;
Prosciutto Wrapped, Berbere Seasoned, Roasted Pork Loin with Root Vegetables;
Grilled Halibut atop Asian Style Homegrown Swiss Chard with Pickled Red Peppers Finished with Blood Orange Olive Oil;
Ancho Crusted Chicken Breast atop Green Chile Goat Cheese Grits Topped with a Cilantro Cream Sauce and Roasted Pipitas;
Easter Bunny Rabbit in Sauce Piquant; and
Cavatappi in Eggplant Crust (Timballo)
If you could be a contestant or guest on any cooking show what show would you choose?
I would never want to be a contestant on any cooking show as I don't view food as a contest and trying to do things within a set time limit takes the enjoyment out of the process. If I could be a guest on anybody's show to cook with them and share their preparations, it would be either Lidia's Italian Kitchen or Rick Bayless' Mexico One Plate at a Time. If I could simply go back in time and be a guest on his show, I would love to have been on Justin Wilson's Cajun Cooking show. He made simple cajun food and told the very best stories throughout the show. I still watch the reruns when I can.
Is there any dish, ingredient or type of food you refuse to cook?
I do not like most liver and definitely not beef or pork liver. Not only do I not like the taste of beef or pork liver, it makes the kitchen reek. As such, I never cook liver and truly won't allow it to be cooked in my house.
Who are your culinary idols?
I don't know if I have any food "idols." Nevertheless, the following are persons for whom I hold the greatest respect.
Augusta Escoffier - almost everybody else pales in comparison;
Masaharu Morimoto - I love his food and technique;
Paul Prudhomme - the master of cajun cuisine;
Thomas Keller - highly skilled and innovative;
Dianne Kennedy - brought Mexican cooking to the culinary forefront;
What are your goals for your blog? Where would you like to see it in the next year? Five years?
The goal of the blog is simply to document as best as possible the food we eat and think is worthwhile sharing. We are always surprised people like the blog, read the blog and try the recipes. It is not a commercial enterprise and is not meant to be such. Instead, like our food, it's a labor of love. It has a life of its own and I just follow it so it will be wherever it will be in 5 years.
Anything else you would like to share?
Nothing that comes to mind. :)
Thank you Richard for answering our questions and see you soon!
Published by Lydia - 07/20/2013
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