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WOMEN’S FEATURE – CANDIDSBYJO’S JO YEE, LONDON

Jo is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle photographer. She takes us on journeys to exotic places and tells compelling stories through her photographs at ‘CandidsbyJo’.

We met a year ago at the Food Bloggers Connect conference in London.  I watched her stealthily capture moments throughout the weekend One particular thing stood out; her ability to warm up to anyone and engage them. Jo has a bubbly, warm, and up-beat personality.

We chose to feature Jo not only because her photos are damn-nice, but we can identify with her strength.  It’s exciting, crazy, and breath-taking to move across the pond, re-acculturate, and find your feet while chasing your dreams.  As part of her feature, she’s given us a taste of her travels at a cheese producer in Portugal.

-enjoy!

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Where are you from originally and what is your educational background?

I grew up in Boston also I got my undergrad and post grad degrees in Communications & Business there.

Why London, if you weren’t in London where would you be?

I was in a three year long distance relationship with a Brit and realized one of us has to cross the pond. I made the leap and am really glad I did! if I weren’t in London I’d love to work in New Zealand for a year.

How did you transition into food & travel photography?

I started a personal project in 2012 where I took a photo each day for a whole year. My end goal was improve my photography but the project also led me down an unexpected path towards specifically food & travel. I haven’t looked back since!

What have been a few things that you can attribute your growth in the industry to; is it practice, networks, training, assisting?

Practice is definitely key, especially for people like me who learn through trial and error. Once I started shooting often enough I began to pay attention to light and how to work with it for a style specific to me. Networking in person and on social media has been helpful in raising awareness of my work too.

How has your creativity evolved?

Once I started becoming comfortable with my style (which took a long time) it was really easy to expand from there. I gradually evolved from beautiful bright food photos to ones that incorporates a darker tone and shadows.

What can you suggest to empower other women out there?

As women, we are often the ones who hold ourselves back.  I think it’s necessary to recognise that pattern when it happens and push through it. It’s helpful to have a good support system both personally and professionally.

You say you know the secret of making a mean Old Fashioned?

Muddle really well! 🙂

Last one, what’s your favourite place to eat in London? (you can give us five, it’s hard to pick)

My list is continually changing since there are so many wonderful options in London! I’m a big fan of Restaurant Story, Duck & Waffle, Kanada-ya, Sushi Tetsu and Dishoom. They have all been consistently wonderful.

 

Thanks for reading, If you enjoyed this please comment below or share it! Sharing is caring.

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Worthwhile Weekend – Food Bloggers Connect #FBC14

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Highlights: Getting to be the ultimate Ottolenghi & Tamimi  fan, getting my Jerusalem book signed.

I learned some great hints & tricks of the trade from our very own, Sharon Hearne-Smith & Donal Skehan.  Some Dublintown-Heros making a big impact on the food-scene.


Take Home: in Styling & photography look for  [Form|Texture| Colour]

This week was an exceptional weekend, one that doesn’t happen often. The trek out to London was made oh-so-long via the nauseating Dublin air coach and the delayed midnight return flight; but I’m sure everyone is thoroughly spent and tuckered out. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the sixth annual Food Bloggers Connect conference held at the charmingly beautiful Battersea Arts Centre (some history in the link there). You can feel its neo-classical styled building with mini tiled mosaics on the floor and a coloured glass ceiling.

 

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The one thing I really noted off the bat was that it was very well-organised and well-stocked; with water at each session and fantastic street food in between. I can’t believe I haven’t considered going to one of these events before! In short here are my pros and cons of the weekend. Overall glad to have met so many new friends in the online community and to see such positive people taking amazing risks to pursue their passions and share their stories. Blogging is truly about building your own story.

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There’s a great sense of community, people are all very warm. It’s nice to share the enjoyment of food with others. The event causes you to think outside of your individual blog and challenge yourself to see what others are doing. There was definitely something for everyone from how to get a TV production company interested in you, to using crowdfunding for pop-ups, and of course can’t forget to mention Dah Suh (@koreanfoods) who spoke about the up and coming Korean food trend as the next asian food alternative to Japanese & Chinese.

In keeping with the recent romanticism that surrounds street food, there was an eclectic selection on different food vendors providing a big street eat party – at one point even had a car pass through the street unexpectedly, you know, just for the realness of it.

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I didn’t eat one morsel of healthy food, and that is my very own choice – not that there weren’t any vegan or vegetarian options, and that doesn’t define it as healthy either. I think I just ate incredibly imbalance. A weekend consisting of mostly Patron drinks, dark Guatemalan & Ethiopian Yirgacheffe cold brews, and various types of slow cooked meats pulled, sauced, and on buns or tacos. Well, I can’t forget to mention the Paella!

The downside to a conference and events is you need sponsors. The sponsored foods were mostly snack, convenience foods & fringe health food products. There was Oatly, for example, a dairy-free milk alternative produced and packed in Sweeden. Definitely a favourite.  I was impressed with its palatable flavour and mouthfeel.
I learned to appreciate that each writer or blogger has individual topics that validate how they relate to food.  (for more funny stories, give me a shout… we should definitely chat)

Food bloggers are sometimes self-acclaimed experts, [we] occupy a very interesting space between enthusiast, hobbyist, industry, and specialist. I’m thankful the weekend stirred in me a consciousness of interdependence between them all.

Did i mention, the loot bag for the conference is A-MAZING?!

Big shoutout to the organisers and volunteers that spend countless hours in and behind the scenes making this run smoothly.

 

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[Always easy to get the shot when someone styles it for you – and sets it up with all their props]

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Burger & Lobster – just that simple

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Just going to do a quick post today…

Last weekend we were in London enjoying the company of friends and family, visiting cafés, and eating our way through my favourite city.  As one of our local London Foodies was on the lookout for us, she recommended we try the Burger & Lobster Restaurant.

The restaurant now has four locations!  It is bustling with energy, relaxed pub-like atmosphere.  The server explains there are only two main options, as you expected; 1-Burger, 2- Lobster.  Burger can be prepared to your liking, topped with optional cheese and/or bacon.  Lobster was slightly more versatile; steamed whole lobster in-shell, steamed and then grilled in-shell, or lobster roll – taken out of the shell mixed with light japanese mayo, rolled in a soft brioche, and topped with chives.  All options come with fries(chips) and salad.  It seemed like a pretty straight forward menu.

S & I chose the lobster roll, for the obvious- less effort to get to the lobster and of course brioche was a pretty dead giveaway.  Burger is usually prepared to medium-rare. I was weary as I know the risks of eating raw burger… the origin of the meat is corn-fed American and grass-fed Irish beef.  A discussion for another time, but risk is still high for e.coli – anyhow, we requested medium.  (Don’t squirm, all my inspection friends).

The burger was juicy and had that roasty grill to it.  I’m not a huge fan as I find the bitterness of the char takes away from the actual burger.  The LOBSTER, now that was fantastic! I wanted it to go on and on!  I hate cracking shells and digging for meat so this was amazing – every bite was creamy, sweet and buttery with the soft and tasty brioche.  Not much else to mention.  Beer and cocktails are offered.  Lobsters can be made LARGE by paying more. 🙂

Burgers £20

Lobster £20

Don’t regret any of this meal, just when I hit the gym and the running’s really difficult – then I am reminded.

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Service:  casual and relaxed

Likelihood to return: 4/5 lots to try in London, but I would be happy to try some more lobster.

Food/Coffee:  Food 3.5/5

Chillness: 3.5 chill chairs

Highlights: tender buttery brioche & sweet lobster!

 

UP NEXT: shout outs to Flo, who requested some Hawaii specials!

Burger & Lobster on Urbanspoon

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