Vancouver’s Mijune Pak is the foodie you want need to follow. Four year’s after her blog, Follow Me Foodie, launched, this savoury sprite has amassed acclaim both local and nationally thanks to her in-depth chronicling of restaurants and the fruits of their labours. Find out more about this critically-lauded pro-nosher in today’s Tastemaker profile…
Feed us an appetizer. Who are you and what do you do?
I am a food and travel writer based in Vancouver, BC, but I write about food internationally. I created Follow Me Foodie simply out of passion. The blog/website brings attention to the restaurant scene, food, culture, and tourism. My posts are known for being pretty detailed and researched, but I like to think they’re still entertaining while being educational. Everything I write is based on honesty and it has become a source for locals, tourists, food enthusiasts and industry professionals.
What do you love most about food?
Well obviously I love eating it, but it’s also a way I learn about and connect to cultures. It’s not really food itself, but the culture of it. I love how different chefs can have a different vision for the same ingredient and I love exploring that. I find it fascinating.
What do you love most about the food scene in Vancouver?
I love how it’s local, but also very global. The ideas are global, the ingredients increasingly more local. I love the diversity, although we still lack some great cuisines in many areas. However our strength is in Asian cuisine and I’m thankful to have so many talented chefs in the city. They inspire me.
What type of cuisine would you say is lacking in the city?
Latin and Mexican. I also think Middle Eastern and African cuisine can get better.
What’s your favourite type of food(s) and where do you go to get it?
I don’t have a favourite. It really depends on many things. I can appreciate simplicity and comfort foods, but I do like to be introduced to new things. I want to be exposed to stuff I don’t know or understand. I have an adventurous appetite and I crave creativity.
What’s your hidden gem/go-to restaurant?
It’s not the restaurant I follow, but the chef. In Vancouver, at the moment, it’s Hamid Salimian at Diva at the Met.
What’s the most memorable meal you’ve ever had?
Alinea (Chef Grant Achatz) Grand Finale/Encore.
What’s the one restaurant you have to try before you die?
If Ferran Adria ever reopened elBulli that would be it. I’d want to try something from his hands. I’d want to try one of his creations. I want to experience his cooking.
What’s your biggest restaurant pet peeve? (Play nice.)
Restaurants that think they’re better than their customers. Restaurants that give off the impression that the diner should feel lucky to be there. Snobby staff, over priced food, poor quality ingredients, and an egotistical chef who sees strictly dollar signs and lets this mentality guide his menu. Sad to say they exist, but they do.