This article took me ages to prepare. Not because it was hard. Or that this gorgeous woman may have been a little too busy to chat. Or that she may have also been away on her usual jaunts to find the perfect meal.
Oh no. You see, this is an interview with Lorraine Elliott. She’s Not Quite Nigella. And she blogs about food. She also has 190,000 food loving fans.
I just couldn’t yank myself away from the pages of her blog. I’d get completely lost in pages and pages of yummy treats: the edible works of art she captures in her camera; the restaurants and cafes she dines in; and the lovely photographs of people she meets and places she stumbles upon in her food-inspired adventures.
Inspired by Nigella Lawson, Lorraine started blogging in 2007, a hobby which soon turned into a full-time paying job by 2009. She lives in the eastern suburbs of Sydney with her husband Mr NQN who takes most of the restaurant photos. Last year, she landed a deal with Penguin Books to publish the Not Quite Nigella book. It will be in stores just in time for Mother’s Day this year.
Tell us about Not Quite Nigella.
Not Quite Nigella is a food and travel blog that covers all aspects of food as well as luxury travel.
What was your inspiration? How did you get started?
About eight years ago, Nigella Lawson inspired me to cook. Before that, I had very little confidence in cooking and her cookbooks showed me how to enjoy cooking. The blog really started as a hobby, something to do after work which wasn’t very creatively fulfilling and it then blossomed into the best job I could ever dream of.
You’ve been blogging full time since 2009, how did you make the transition from corporate receiving a regular pay cheque to one that started out as a hobby?
It was a really hard time for the first year but I was buoyed by the sheer exhilaration of doing something that I truly loved and the support of my husband. I didn’t get paid a cent for the first year but then sponsors gradually started coming forward and it became a real, full paying job after that.
Did you have a plan when you decided to blog full time?
No, apart from work extraordinarily hard. It seems almost silly when I look back on it. I actually had a renowned technology guru advise me on the business prospects of my blog. He was discouraging at best!
What were the biggest lessons learnt on your journey?
Don’t let naysayers derail you. They’re a part of life but believe in yourself and as long as you and your closest do, then concentrate on that.
What far corners of the world have you traveled for a good meal and was it worth it?
I’ll travel anywhere for a good meal-truly. Last year saw travel to so many different and in most cases, new cities and countries for me. From Oman to China to Argentina and Hawaii.