We had the opportunity to interview La Fuji Mama, A blogger who is looking to bring a wide variety of world flavors to the table. Rachael Hutchings, author of La Fuji Mama, has eaten her way around the world, having lived in a variety of fun food locations, including Paris, Tokyo, Yokohama, Memphis, and Los Angeles.
Location: Lehi, Utah
What She Does: Japanese cuisine advocate
What made you get into blogging?
I started my blog in February of 2007, about 7 weeks after my first child was born. We were living in Tokyo, Japan, and I was feeling the need to have a creative space where I could write about some of my experiences, both as a new mom, and as an expat.
- What did you do before blogging?
I was attending law school. Right after I graduated we moved to Japan. When I started blogging, I was working for the Japan Energy Law Institute, an organization of academics that do research to help influence law and policy in the field of nuclear law.
- I noticed that you have traveled quite a bit. Do you have a favorite country/city?
My heart belongs to Japan. After living there on two different occasions and many more visits, I have grown to love the culture, scenery, people, and food. After Japan, my next favorite country would probably be Thailand. What a vibrant country!
- In your websites about section, you say “food shouldn’t be dumbed down for children”; what do you mean by that?
So often in our culture we have foods that we categorize as foods that kids will eat, like chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. While I have no problem with these foods, I think that we aren’t giving our children the opportunity to prove us wrong. Throughout my travels, I have seen children eating all sorts of things that most adults here in the US wouldn’t even touch. I believe that the food cultures in our individual homes have a defining influence on what our children will, and will not eat. That being said, there are some who are just going to be pickier than others. My kids are just as picky as the next, but as they have been exposed to all kinds of foods and flavors throughout their young lives, they have chosen some surprising favorites.
- What are some of the most interesting trends that you see in food today?
I have loved the trend of returning to whole foods and ingredients, and it’s a trend that I’m interested in on a personal level. Other trends are just plain fun, like one of this year’s flavor trends being toast flavor (buttered toast chocolate bars anyone?), or the rise of my favorite sriracha.
- I also noticed that you like Japanese cuisine; what do you think makes it unique?
Although it is an Asian cuisine, Japanese food tends to be much more restrained than its other Asian counterparts. I’ve talked to many people who have described it as bland, because they have expected those bolder Asian flavors that they might be expecting or are used to. Many dishes focus on subtlety and balance, and some of the most spectacular options are often the most simple. Japanese cuisine is also very visual. The Japanese believe that you eat with your eyes first, so a really good meal is also going to be beautiful to look at.
- What are some tips you have for aspiring food bloggers out there?
Be yourself! Although you can learn from what other food bloggers have done, or are doing, embrace your own identity (there is only one you!), and put that on the page. Too often people get discouraged because they aren’t growing as fast as someone else, or haven’t received the same opportunities. Food blogging is hard work. You need to find joy in it, and if you spend all of your time comparing yourself to someone else or posting something just to try and achieve some milestone of “success” you will end up hating it.
- Do you have any upcoming events or exciting recipes to look forward to?
My husband and I are traveling to the island of Bali, in Indonesia at the end of May, which has been on our list of places to visit for years. I plan on collecting inspiration to bring back and turn into some Balinese influenced recipes and posts.
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