Interviews

On The Table: Joey de Larrazabal-Blanco

By sanju on 19 November, 2010



I absolutely enjoy reading Joey Blanco’s Blog, 80 Breakfasts. Her bubbly enthusiasm and her love for cooking is so evident, it oozes out of her well-written pages. My admiration extends to the the fact that her blog also exudes her genuine love for her family and life itself. Reading her blog is like a magic pill one takes to drive the blues away. Let’s catch a glimpse into what makes Joey tick:
Of all the things that you could write about why food?

I love food – both consuming it and preparing it, and every other step of the process that brings it from its origins to our table.
Who are the food writers who inspire you and why?

Ruth Reichl always makes me want to eat anything she writes about, plus, she makes me laugh which is very important in my book. Also, say what you will about her, I love the gutsy voluptousness of Nigella’s writing. Even if she pushes her adjectives and superlatives to the very edge of decency, you can’t delny her unbridled enthusiasm for food, which is something I relate to very much. Tessa Kiros’ lyrical, dreamy writing in her cookbooks never fail to inspire me. I also love Anthony Bourdain. But I have a mad crush on him so perhaps mine is a very, very biased opinion. In the blog world i love to read Molly of Orangette… excellent writing, food or otherwise!
Many regional cuisines like Thai, Singapore and Vietnamese have found their place on the world culinary stage, why do you think Pinoy food hasn’t achieved the same global acclaim?

Ah, a much debated question! there are many reasons why this could be so, and I’m no expert, but I think one of the reasons is because Filipino food is so “familial”. Recipes are passed down from one generation to the next, involving more feel and estimations than exact measurement, and one family’s recipe can be vastly different from another’s. What happens is you have a million different versions of Adobo… so which is the standard that you will serve in a restaurant? Also, Filipinos are more likely to serve foreigners foreign food rather than Filipino food I think, a habit which may have kept our cuisine in our kitchens instead of on the world stage. That being said, I think the times are changing now and our cuisine is starting to get more of the attention it deserves in the global scene!
You have been writing you blog for over five years now, what changes have you observed in the local food scene over the years?

My goodness! I feel like a dinosaur, heehee! I think people are becoming more and more conscious of where their food comes from and what they are putting in their mouths and bodies. There is a renewed interest in preparing one’s own food and enjoying a home-cooked meal. Which is all great! I love seeing younger people at the markets choosing items with care, talking to the purveyors, being curious about ingredients and ways to prepare them.
What is your favorite food blog, cookbook, food related television show and food magazine?

My favorite food blog? I can’t name just one! I would have to say in no particular order: Chocolate and Zucchini, 101 Cookbooks, Smitten Kitchen, Market Manila, La Tartine Gourmande, Rasa Malaysia, Eating Asia… and thats just the tip of the iceberg. I love food bloggers. Yes, I’m biased that way:) Cookbook? Anything by Donna Hay or Tessa Kiros. How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. Yes, I love pictures and flowery language… and I’m not shy to admit it! Food-related TV show? All Jamie Oliver’s shows… love his enthusiasm! We should all be that excited about what we are eating! Food magazine? Donna Hay Magazine and locally, Yummy.
I know that you are a big fan of Anthony Bourdain. If for example, one day, he calls you and asks to spend the day with you. Where would you take him for breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner and cocktails?

I would not take him anywhere! I would keep him all to myself heehee:) Seriously, I would rather stay home with a case of wine and have him teach me how to cook properly!
Your love for cooking is very evident to anyone who reads your blog. Please tell our readers what is your signature dish?

Hmmm. That’s a tough one. I am constantly learning and discovering and exploring. So I don’t think I’ve really settled on a signature. If there is one thing I’d like to impart on my readers is that you don’t have to have a signature dish… you can have several and they can keep changing and evolving over the years, just as we all change and evolve as people. I do like to think I make a not-too-shabby fabada though:)
What junk food do you love?

I don’t really enjoy junk food. I am more a food-food sort of person who enjoys polishing off a crispy pata as opposed to a bag of chips ( and believe me I can finish the former before the latter). That being said, McDonald’s Twister Fries have this almost unholy hold over me. Thank goodnes they don’t always serve them.
Is there a food that you just can’t seem to enjoy?
Chicken liver. Sorry folks, it just won’t take.
Can you give three tips to aspiring food bloggers?

Write about something you love and you will never be led astray. Be honest and sincere. Have fun! Really, at the end of the day, that’s all there is to it.
What are the future plans for Joey de Larrazabal-Blanco and 80 Breakfasts?

This question makes me feel like a CEO of a blue-chip company! Sorry to disappoint but I have no grand 5-year plan in the works–just more of what I enjoy which is cooking and eating and sharing this all with you through my blog. As my family grows (we are now three!) I see my cooking growing to include my little one’s needs. I’ve already posted about baby food! I also have some writing beyond my blog planned for 2011… you’ll have to stay tuned for that!



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  • NOVEMBER 20, 2010 4:05 AM

    anonymous paul said...

    seriously...chicken liver? in all forms?

  • NOVEMBER 21, 2010 3:52 AM

    ChichaJo said...

    I'll eat a chicken liver pate...but so far, that's about it! Someone has yet to convert me :)

  • NOVEMBER 21, 2010 4:13 PM

    Miguel said...

    same here....

  • NOVEMBER 22, 2010 5:01 AM

    sanju said...

    Paul,

    I think we have been challenged to a conversion!

  • NOVEMBER 22, 2010 5:42 AM

    Chinkee said...

    good questions, sanj! nice to know more about manila's domesticated goddess:-)

  • NOVEMBER 22, 2010 8:12 AM

    sanju said...

    Chinkee,

    Prepare yourself. You're next!!

  • MAY 11, 2013 7:21 PM

    traveling morion said...

    luv reading ur blogposts. dunno how I get here but your blog is interesting- yummy features :)

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