“Wherever there is food I will go and eat it – I just think food is great wherever you find it.”
On Monday Sherman will celebrate two years of food blogging in Vancouver. A Teacher by day who never thought he’d have time to blog, soon found himself blogging daily and capturing a hearty audience with Sherman’s Food Adventures. He now sits atop the UrbanSpoonVancouver Blog Leader Board. His then to now story is a humble one all the way, as I learned when we met recently.
Do you blog full time? No, it’s just my hobby still.
How did it start? We would go out and eat after [hockey] and I would Tweet or Facebook that I’m at this restaurant. Then people would say, ‘hey Sherman, why don’t you tell us more about the food you’re eating?” But I wasn’t really into it. I just liked eating and taking pictures. One teammate continued to bug me about it, saying you like it, so you should write about it. I said, I’m busy I have a full time job, a family, there is no way I can do this. People kept pestering me, then, I signed up for an account. I wrote one post… The writing was simple… I posted it up, and a few more posts. Then, finally I got my first comment!
Were you promoting your blog? No …I thought, someone is reading this other than my friends? Like Julie & Julia. Then I’d write some more, and I started carrying a better camera around. I don’t know when it happened, but it became that I wanted to do it, I wanted to do it better, and so I did.
Which of your posts generate the most activity? The posts that I get the most hits on are for La Charcuterie, it’s just this sandwich shop in Port Kells [Surrey] with this sandwich guy called the Sandwich Nazi who berates his customers. The sandwiches are ok, they are good value; I guess people want to experience ‘the Sandwich Nazi’. Other than that, a lot of trendy restaurants from tourists and people looking for the hot spots in town.
Do you follow other bloggers? You have to, because no one person can follow everything. I guess that’s why people read blogs in general, because I want new ideas to eat out too. I can’t drive around and try everything. I’ll read other blogs and if it looks good I’ll check it out…to confirm it, or dispel if it is bad. I’ve met a lot of other bloggers too…we are sort of like a little community.
Describe an average blogging day? I generally blog about every meal. Blogging used to be a lot busier, but now I’ve built up a bank of posts… Before work was busy, I would intentionally go out to eat after work and meet up with some other bloggers. Go home. Download photos. Post-process them. Maybe write the article, maybe not, if I’m tired, I won’t. Refer to my notes… Sometimes, I wouldn’t be done until 2am.
[On posting schedules] Some of them I post right away, strike the coal while it’s hot. Like some of these new food carts, people want to know about them. If I leave it to two months later it will be old. So I post it right away.
Have you tried many of the food carts? Yes I have been to a few of them. The best one I’ve been to is Re-Up BBQ: it’s a pulled pork sandwich. It’s right near the art gallery. For what it’s worth, it’s really good. Obviously someone from down south might think otherwise, but we are in Vancouver…. It’s good, it’s $6 and it’s filling.
Are most of your adventures in Vancouver? Mostly Vancouver, I traveled a lot prior to blogging – I wish I started [blogging] earlier. …But I do blog about restaurants when I’m out of town. Recently I came back from Portland in August, there are some really good restaurants down there, it is very eclectic.
What did you like in Portland? I went to a place that was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives: Pine State Biscuits. They just make biscuits. There is one called the Reggie, it is a biscuit, a piece of fried chicken, bacon, cheddar, and option of a fried egg with country gravy. It puts the double down to shame. But it’s delicious. You can’t get that here.
Do you cover a diverse range when eating out? I like anything. From the dives to the best restaurant in town. To Langley, to downtown, to the North Shore, to Abbotsford. Wherever there is food I will go and eat it – I just think food is great wherever you find it.
We wrapped up talking about an industry event we both had recently attended. We agreed how it is nice to meet the people (i.e. chefs) behind the scenes, he added, “You know what is surprising about Vancouver: you walk into Bishop’s and John Bishop greets you, you walk into Vij’s and Vikram Vij greets you, you walk into Cioppino’s and Pino is cooking in the kitchen. You don’t get a lot of that in some of the other cities… Every time I’ve been to these restaurants, they are there; and that provides a personal touch that they really do care about their business and are there for their customers.”
Sherman is a genuine foodie through and through! A delight to talk to, and is well known in the food blogging community. He’s even joining some fellow bloggers at a food blog convention in San Francisco soon. I kind of wish I was going too…