It's not that I've been intentionally secretive--well okay, maybe a little--but then, scorpios tend to be a little private like that.
But it's funny how a new hairstyle and wardrobe can instil you with renewed bravado. Besides, I've always felt a twang of guilt everytime someone innocently mistook me for a bloke!
So bearing in mind fifteen months' worth of readers' comments and emails, here are your top 10 questions answered.
1. Why is your name Augustus Gloop?
Augustus Gloop was a taunt we used at the dinner table for anyone starting on the third helping at dinner. Augustus Gloop's love of food (well, chocolate, really) seemed like the perfect alias for a foodblogger.
And for those who aren't aware, Augustus Gloop is the rotund German kid from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. His perpetual greed for chocolate sees him fall into Willy Wonka's chocolate river and get sucked up (and temporarily stuck) in a giant tube. There are two movie versions available, but trust me, the original book is unbeatably good.
2. So you're not male, then?
No, I am decidedly female. I'm also not German. And, unlike Augustus, I do know how to swim.
3. You eat out at a lot of restaurants. Is it expensive? How do you choose which ones to review? Do you eat everything you photograph?
It's a scarey fact that the reviews I do are a result of my everyday dining life. Since I've started blogging, I've definitely paid a lot more interest in exploring new restaurants, suburbs and cuisines. I will try and head somewhere if I hear good vibes about a place, and I have some great foodie friends who are always willing to be my gastronomic partners in crime.
Thankfully (for my waistline) I don't eat everything I photograph. That's where dining companions come in handy. My friends have come to understand the golden rule "Don't touch your food until it's been photographed!" Most of the time I get to dig a fork in for a sample "for review purposes". Thank you to all my patient dining buddies who have endured imminent starvation whilst I take "one more shot, just in case".
I suppose it may look like I eat out a lot. Ok, yes, I do. But most of my feeds are under $20 and cheap and cheerful. I prefer to pack my lunch during the week, and save my money for a good meal. Some people buy a CD every week. Others go out to gigs every Friday night. I go out to eat =)
4. How many of you are on the Grab Your Fork team?
I've actually had this question a couple of times, which is quite flattering really! As most foodbloggers know, blogsites are usually a one-person labour of love. Although with my current backlog of photos, I could easily justify an assistant or two!
5. Have you always loved food?
Foodblogs are great because now I'm eating for my readers. And I hate to disappoint...
6. Do you write your reviews for a magazine or newspaper? Do you blog full-time?
No. I work full-time but it's not in the food industy, media or publishing. Grab Your Fork is a labour of love untertaken after clock-off usually and usually into the wee hours of the moring. I blog because I love food and I want to share its joys with others.
Writing is something I revel in, and I'm always interested in freelance opportunities.
7. Why don’t you give scores for your restaurant reviews?
The dining experience is weighted with personal preferences. A lot of people ask me for restaurant recommendations, whereupon I will respond with a barrage of questions to determine what they're looking for. Some people prize service above everything; others like funky decor; some just want cheap food and lots of it.
In other words, I'm often too torn to make a numerical judgement on a restaurant! I like to outline my experiences of the restaurant, and let the reader decide whether it's the kind of restaurant they'd like to frequent. And for non-Sydneysiders, I think it's a great means of armchair dining. Calorie-free and without the jetlag too!
8. So what do you look for in a restaurant?
I'm an unabashed fan of the cheap and cheerful. I love formica tables, communal cutlery stands and tacky decor. Given the choice, I'd choose the mismatched chipped-plate Vietnamese noodle house over funky Asian fusion with red silk cushions any time.
Of course there is a place for fine dining, and um, tablecloths too. I like the occasional decadence of a swish restaurant with polished heavy silverware and starched white table napkins. I appreciate attentive but discreet service, but I also revel in the loud and noisy din of a family restaurant overflowing with raucous diners.
9. Give us ten random facts about AG
1. I adore the smell of freshly ground coffee;
2. My favourite cuisines are Japanese and Vietnamese for their clean fresh tastes;
3. My background is Chinese but I'm pretty much a banana--yellow on the outside but white on the inside;
4. I've lived in Sydney, Australia for all my life except for a 2.5 year working holiday in the UK where I backpacked around much of Europe;
5. I've abseiled, gone whitewater rafting and tandem-skydived, but I don't think I will ever attempt a bungy jump;
6. I don't really like chocolate cake but I have a real weakness for creme brulee;
7. I've been known to almost hyperventilate with excitement whilst watching The Amazing Race;
8. I love to travel and some of my favourite places in the world include Seville, Barcelona, Cappadocia, Marrakech and Osaka.
9. I am left-handed although I knit right-handed (trying to reverse what Grandma was doing was far too confusing)
10. I studied piano and violin long enough to realise I wasn't committed enough for either (about three years for each instrument).
10. What do you look like?
This would be a customary pose at the appearance of dessert I suppose:
This photo was taken at Astral last year, and wouldn't you have a grin this big if you were about to dig into a white chocolate and raspberry brulee (hello!) with a white chocolate tower of vanilla and raspberry sorbet?
So that's me.
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10/09/2005 11:59:00 pm