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Foodie Chat - Whats cooking?, asks Ben!

One of the Food blogers who caught my attention was Ben from WhatsCooking. I stumbled his site through Leftover queen's forum. He has a very good collection of Mexican recipes and most of the time he cracks me up with his writing. Here he is sharing his views with us.

When and Why did you start a blog?

I've had a personal blog for several years now and I've met some amazing people through that. Every once in a while I would post recipes on that blog until one friend suggested I started a food blog. I started What's Cooking in the summer of 2007 and has been one of the best experiences I've had.

Have you cooked Indian recipes?What do you think about Indian Cuisine?

Unfortunately, I haven't cooked any Indian recipes yet. I have eaten Indian food here in the U.S. from places that are "authentic" and others not so much, and I've loved both. I like the use of spices in any kind of cuisine so Indian food is one of my favorites. Of course I would have to try the real deal to have a more accurate opinion.

Why did you choose food as a topic to blog?

I love to cook. I grew up in a small restaurant that belonged to my grandfather and then my parents so I have been around pots and food all my life. Maybe that's why food and I understand each other very well.

Which Cuisine you specialize in?

Mexican cuisine, although I love Italian and American food probably as much.

In a day, how many hours you spend blogging?

I probably spend about 4 hours cooking, taking pictures, editing pictures, writing the post and promoting it in a day. Plus the time I spend visiting and commenting on other blogs. Food blogging is all that! It is hard work, but I love it :)

Do you have any other hobbies other than blogging?

What I like about being a food blogger is it includes other of my favorite hobbies, photography, cooking, reading and meeting interesting people around the world. I also love to read, I try to read 2 or 3 books a week, watching movies and exercise.

What do you feel about blogging becoming a career?

I think it is one of the best ideas since the invention of the Internet!

Do you see any change in your blogging habits?

Yes, I know spend more time in front of the computer! Hahaha, I've also noticed that taking pictures of food and writing recipes has become easier.

Where do you see your blog 1 year from now?

I want to make a living out of it and would love to see myself working on it full time in a year.

Give us some tips to balance blogging and our life.

Just don't overdo it. I work from home and it is easy to spend a lot of time blogging, but I have found that creating a daily schedule of your activities is the best way to manage your time. I dedicate certain hours to do it and if I don't do everything I had planned in that period of time I just stop. My blog is not going anywhere, I can finish what I was doing tomorrow :)

What advice do you give to the new comers?

Be patient. With so many new blogs being creating each day it is hard to be noticed at first. But if you are patient, create a network of friends and, most importantly, have great content, your blog will succeed.

Do you have any other blogs other than the food blog?

Yes, a cooking blog in Spanish, and my personal blog in English and Spanish. I have neglected them lately, but I am planning on spending more time on them.

What do you feel about recent copyright issues?

It frustrates me that free loaders want to make a buck out of our hard work, but fortunately we have tools to fight back and that's what I love about this new virtual world.

Do you have any experience like this before? Any advice?(reg copyright issues)

Fortunately it hasn't happened to me, that I know of. But there are great suggestions on this discussion at the Leftover Queen forum.

Your photography secrets and tips.

Lighting, lighting lighting. Photography captures the light on film, or in the case of digital photography through sensors. Make sure you have enough natural light, you don't want to use your camera's built-in flash. Light must hit the food from all directions, you can use a white piece of carton to reflect the light from different angles. I don't know much about arranging the food for the picture, but lighting for me is the single most important part.

Ok. Tell us how to say 'We love our Food and foodies' in spanish :)

Hmmm, there is no Spanish word for foodie, so I would say Amamos nuestra comida y amigos. :)

More about your hobbies,interests

Hmm did I mention that I love to read? I also have a cat and she takes away many hours of my life.

You are a regular reader of ....

books and newspapers? haha, if you want to know what food blogs I regularly read, the list is close to 100 and I try to read all of them in a regular basis.

Your favourite food blogs, other blogs

This is not a fair question! I read them because there is something I like from them, but if I had to choose only 3 I would say Sass & Veracity, Souvlaki for the Soul and Spanish Recipes.

How do you keep in touch with your fellow bloggers, do you use social sites?

I love twitter. I wish the day had more hours to do more blogging related activities, but at least with twitter I can see what they are doing and doesn't take much time away from me.

How are the social sites playing their part in blogging

They play a big part, I believe. People are going there to find other people with similar interests and if they like what you see on your blog the growth can be exponential.

How blogging has changed your life?

I think it has made me more aware of the world that is around me. Now we can easily see how other people eat and live and that is an amazing thing. Learning new things and meeting new people with different points of view is what keeps life interesting.

Your favourite cooking show, cookbook, cuisine, restaurant, food

Cooking show: Molto Mario.
Cookbook: I don't have a favorite one.
Restaurant: The Cheesecake factory.
Food: Mexican, Italian, American.

Who/what is your inspiration?

My mom, first of all, and the whole food blogosphere.

Do you host your blog in your own domain? what blog hosts you suggest for a new blogger/experienced blogger.

I do. I am with IX Webhost and I haven't had many problems with them. They are fast in addressing problems and concerns and they just moved all their servers to my city. So that is a plus!

How do you cope up with the technical requirements for being a blogger.

With a cup of coffee and a full stomach! Hahaha. Another thing that I love about blogging is that any technical problem that I encounter somebody else has already had it, fix it and post the solution somewhere on the net. Google is my favorite, and a very powerful, tool as a blogger.

If people want to contact you through social media, are you available?

Sure, follow me on twitter "whatscooking" I have a facebook account (which I don't use very often) (is that how you find people there?) or you can visit my forum and post a comment there at

Your achievements as far as blogging is concerned so far.

I think the most important achievement is the marvelous people I've met all over the world. I feel like I am part of a huge and kind worldwide family. Without my readers, the blog would be nothing, right?

Have you been to my site before?Do you have any comments for me?

Yes I have. I would say keep up the good work because there is always something new to learn from your site.

I take this opportunity to Thank Ben for his lovely interview, despite his busy schedule.

I appreciate your comments and suggestions for future interviews. If you want anyone to be interviewed for this series, please let me know.

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Checkout the previous foodie chats.


Nice interview. Thabks for doing this. It's a nice opportunity to know about people who have same interests as you.

Nice work girl! Great interview with Ben. I have visited his blog before, and he does have some amazing collection of recipes put together. It was great knowing a little bit more about him!

Thanks a lot for the interview. I am very shy and answering this kind of interviews make me open to the world a little more!