july foodie profile: jonathan parker
this month, as part of my ongoing look at food-related careers, we are meeting jonathan parker.
jonathan is co-founder of foodari.com, a website which allows you to create an online cookery book through which you can keep track of all those amazing recipes which you come across on the internet. it also has a social networking side so you can befriend fellow foodies (if you sign up make sure you befriend me!) and see what they have in their cookery books, as well as forums for foodie questions and discussion plus regular live chat sessions with food and wine experts.
i often get emailed by people asking me to use and promote their food-related websites. foodari is one of the only ones which has kept my interest and is really proving useful, as i convert all those book-marked recipes i have into pages in my foodari cookery book. i suggest you have a look, create an account and see if it can help make your online recipe resources a little easier to access and manage.
1. what is your food job?
i run a website called foodari.com which is a food social network and recipe sharing site. visitors sign up for free, create a virtual kitchen and online cookery book and then store all of their recipes in one place. all of these recipes feed in to a central recipe database which other members and visitors can search and browse and find new tasty dishes to try out.
2. what are the best and worst bits of it?
the best bit is seeing hundreds of new recipes uploaded by people from around the world - the reach is quite mind boggling! the worst bit is not having enough hours in the day to get everything done.
3. how would you sum up your approach to food?
i am passionate about food, its provenance and making sure what we put into our bodies has a traceable line back to the food producer. i plan to develop features on foodari to reflect this.
4. has your job affected how you cook and eat?
yes, since launching the site in january the diversity of food that i cook has multiplied enormously. if i see a new recipe = that looks interesting i’ll try it out and as a result i end up cooking all sorts!
5. what is your most useful kitchen utensil?
my knives. regularly sharpened and many different types, i couldn’t cook without them.
6. what’s your usual stand-by recipe?
it depends on what is in the fridge or the store cupboard, but if i am caught short it will be pasta based.
7. which food says “home” to you?
it has to be a roast, probably lamb or pork.
8. do you have a guilty pleasure?
does wine count? i wouldn’t call it guilty but possibly cheese as well? quite possibly at the same time!
9. do you use a list when you’re food shopping?
10. how tidy is your kitchen?
average. it’s a lot tidier when my wife has been cooking rather than me.
11. what inspired your love of food?
i think there are 3 real areas of inspiration:
- my mother is a wonderful cook who brought us up on excellent cooking every day.
- growing up in the countryside and being very close to food production (my brother and co-founder of foodari is a sheep farmer in kent) makes me appreciate top quality food.
- a natural love of eating!
12. what is the first thing you remember cooking?
making chocolate rice crispy cakes with my mother when i was very small.
13. what is your top cooking tip?
relax and don’t get stressed. if things go wrong they can usually be salvaged and still taste good even if they turn out not to be what you had planned.
14. what is your signature dish?
15. what’s your worst cooking disaster?
i can’t remember, i must have blotted it out.
16. do you have any food heroes?
what heston does with food is pretty impressive.
17. what annoys you about food culture in britain?
there is so much rubbish about, both ingredients that you get sold and restaurants that expect you to pay through the roof for very average food
18. do you prefer eating in or eating out?
eating in, unless the food is excellent - these days there are so many restaurants serving poor, re-heated food that you would be embarrassed to serve yourself!
19. what is the perfect foodie gift?
wine. half a case of fine claret and half a case of french white.
20. what’s your unfulfilled foodie ambition?
to learn more about south east asian food, i love eating it but it never tastes the same when i try it myself.