Alice Choi’s Hip Foodie Mom has a substantial following on Instagram, serving a curated feed of tasteful recipes and photographs of perfectly plated meals. Food blogging isn’t new, but it’s changing how people dine.
“We’re getting the word out about a new restaurant or menu item simply by posting,” says Choi. “There are different expectations now from restaurants to make food look Instagram-worthy. If it’s a beautifully plated dish with fresh ingredients, vibrant colors, has texture and has nice garnishes, I am more likely to snap a photo. People want to eat pretty food now.”
Continue reading interview below:
The Wisconsin 100 (WIS100): As an avid cooker and foodie, do you/your family ever go out to eat?
Alice Choi (AC): Of course! Even though I cook a lot, I still go out to eat a lot too. I like to see what new creative things chefs are doing and how they are using seasonal produce. I go to all sorts of places from casual dining to upscale. We’re a family who eats out a lot with our children, and because of that, my kids will order pan seared scallops for example and are willing to be a bit more adventurous.
(WIS100): What do you look for in a restaurant or meal when going out to eat?
(AC): Good service, atmosphere, creativity on the menu items, presentation and plating of the food, taste, flavor, etc.
(WIS100): Do you ever find yourself critiquing (in a lighthearted way) meals?
(AC): Of course, all the time. When people go out to eat, you’re not only paying to have a delicious meal, you’re also expecting something that is beautifully plated and presented (in my opinion).
(WIS100): How has the food blogging industry impacted the dining and restaurant business? Are there different expectations from restaurants?
(AC): It’s not just food blogging but social media in general that has greatly impacted the dining and restaurant business. Food bloggers are social media influencers . . people follow us for recommendations on where to eat and what to cook. Because of that, I think food bloggers have greatly impacted the dining and restaurant scene. We’re getting the word out about a new restaurant or new menu item simply by posting it to Instagram. I believe there are different expectations now from restaurants to make food look more Instagram worthy. I hate that phrase but it’s kinda true.
(WIS100): What does the future look like for food bloggers and their industry?
Alice Choi (AC): That’s a tough question. Our market is very saturated but new bloggers soon discover how much work goes into what we do, so the ones who are really passionate and serious about it will continue and strive. The future for the bloggers who have a substantial following, you’ll see them diversify and expand into other fields, like health, beauty, home decor, DIY, etc. I see the food blogging industry continuing to grow and be a source for people for recipe ideas and inspiration.
*Editor’s note: This interview has been condensed for readability and length.