Dr Leslie Tay
Family Doctor & Food Blogger (http://ieatishootipost.sg/)
1) Why did you start the food blog ieatishootipost.sg and how do you take such good photographs?
I wanted to share about the best hawker food in Singapore, with well-taken photographs and honest reviews. My aim is also to help good hawkers get more business. It is not to put anyone down or to drive anyone out of business with reviews of food that isn’t good. If the food is good, I’ll write about it. If it’s not, I’ll not write about it or I’ll write about the good stuff and include “but…”. Readers can then choose to eat what I have recommended is good, but they can also choose to try what I’ve said is not so good. If I find a particular stall good, chances are 80% of my readers will agree with me, as a certain standard has been established already.
You know what professional photographers are like. They’ll take hundreds or thousands of photographs and show you only the best 1 or 2, so you’ll think they’re really good. I usually take between 30 and 50 pictures and a few make it onto my blog. Yes, I have to take pictures fast so the food doesn’t turn cold. I still want to eat the food after phototaking! 🙂
2) Did you ever expect your blog would become such a mega success?
No. I just wanted to provide good photos and reviews so people know where to find good food in Singapore. You can never tell with such things. I’m glad that it’s doing well, and we even have a forum where the community is very civilised – no foul language and such.
3) Why do you not do paid reviews? Then how do you persuade hawkers to be interviewed by you?
Like I said, my aim is to provide an objective viewpoint. And readers know this is what to expect. I want to help hawkers who are really good to get more business. For example, there’s this old couple who make soya sauce the good old, traditional way and pretty much refuse to have it done the commercial way. After my blog post about them, they got more business and gave me a phone call to thank me.
Just be polite and smile. For example, if you’re interviewing the char kway teow hawker at Hill Street, and you can speak some Teochew, you’ll make the old uncle very happy. You’ll have to queue up like everyone else, eat the food and then compliment them and ask them nicely for the reasons why their food tastes so good. Most of the time they are willing to share.
4) From Charlene (missuschewy.com) – What is it about food blogging that motivates you to keep on doing what you do?
I love discovering new things about food. Each hawker stall, each dish is a chance to discover something new. Like when I spoke to the Chwee Kueh uncle and found out the reason Chwee Kueh is called Chwee Kueh. It was a moment of revelation for me which I knew would have the same effect with my readers. That makes me feel good!
5) From Jacob (cooksnapeatlove.com) – How do you balance blogging/tasting sessions with work and family life?
I bring them along when I can. My kids are slowly becoming food critics themselves and it’s quite fun to watch. But at the end of the day, we need to always keep in mind that life is not about food. It is about love and relationships, family and friends, so blogging and tasting must never take precedence over them.
Grace says: Dr Tay was one of the most intriguing interviewees so far. I was dying to find out how a busy doctor found time to eat, shoot and post. (Blogging is not an easy task, I can assure you!) Turns out he takes afternoons off to go scour the island for the best food places! Mystery solved.
He also gave me an impromptu photography lesson. The picture you see above was taken by me. (And cropped with *ahem* Paint *ahem*) 😀
For more amazing food pictures & hawker recommendations, check out http://ieatishootipost.sg/ 🙂
Come back this Friday – for the interview with the boss of Pine Garden’s Cake 🙂