Leading a personal charge for all things vegan and gluten free, Lidia Le Francois has emulsified herself into her lifestyle. Managing two food blogs and her own social media company Lidia pursues her passions in and around the city of Toronto. Now residing in St. Catherines, her habitual veganism removes a few of the new restaurant options, but she still manages to eat well and share her stories along with us…
When and why did you start writing about food?
August 2010. I started writing about food because I realized that I have a slight obsession with it. I enjoy cooking, and doting over my dishes. I figured there are others out there who also are like this and would perhaps enjoy what I’m doing as well.
What do you love most about food?
Mainly, I enjoy taste, textures and presentation. There’s something incredibly pleasing about a plate of chapchae, or the crunch of a lotus root. Sometimes I Google images of certain food just to look at lovely pictures.
What do you do when you aren’t writing about or eating food?
I am running my co-owned social media company called Concept Branding, either of my two blogs Air Eater or Vegan Bloggers Unite!, playing with my two cats (Yuki/Yoshi) and of course spending time with my very kind husband Mathieu.
Do you cook? If so, what’s your specialty? If not, why?
I do cook! My household is gluten free vegan, so I have altered classic recipes to suit our needs. One of my great loves is raw food and I make a mean raw vegan tomato bread. I have yet to perfect chapchae or pho, but those are on my list.
What’s your favourite type of food(s) and where do you go to get it?
I am a sucker for pad thai and corn. Believe it or not, I will totally eat corn in any form, any time, anywhere. It’s too bad there aren’t roasted corn vendors around these parts, but maybe one day. As for pad thai, currently my go-to place is Itt’s Thai, in St. Catharines.
What’s your hidden gem?
In terms of my own creations, I’d have to say one of the tastiest things I’ve ever made was Kraft Dinner powder with sweet potato noodles. Yes, it’s college level cooking, but the combination was amazing. I wish I could find a way to make a vegan version. I’d probably be consuming large quantities of it.
What’s your go-to restaurant?
Currently, we’ve moved to St. Catharines and right now our go-to is Itt’s Thai, they have a great menu and can make many dishes vegan/gluten free.
What’s the most memorable meal you’ve ever had?
My grandmother’s rice. There is something magical about the way Baka made rice. I don’t know how she does it, my mother can never replicate it, but as simple as it is I love it the most.
What’s the one restaurant you have to try before you die?
Candle 79 in New York. I’ve heard amazing things about it and the pictures are drool worthy.
What’s your biggest restaurant pet peeve? (play nice)
When the server forgets to offer and/or top up water. I drink a lot of water and it’s annoying to be rather thirsty during a meal.