In my quest to find out more about cool fellow food bloggers in my ‘Get to know your local food blogger’ series, here is a fab Q&A with Olivia Slack. Olivia’s unique home is just one of the interesting things about her. This fashionista loves writing about beauty and has a real passion for food (and of course fashion). To find out more about Olivia, hop on over to her website here. You’re welcome!

Hi Olivia, tell us a little about yourself please.

I live on a narrowboat in Derbyshire with my lovely husband-to-be Rob, and Golden Retriever dog, Sid. By day, I’m a writer for a beauty magazine, and by night, I can often be found eating and drinking my way around gorgeous restaurants. Always on the hunt for that perfectly cooked steak!

How did you get into food blogging? 

My blog first started as a fashion and beauty blog, but became more of a lifestyle blog when we moved onto the boat. I just found myself wanting to write more about what I’d been up to, and that usually involved dining out. I often get asked by friends and family what my restaurant recommendations are, so decided having it all in one place on the blog would be ideal!

What is your favourite dish? 

It depends what mood I’m in. I love Mexican food and anything spicy. I get overexcited whenever I see a beef tartare or carpaccio on a menu. But then again, sometimes I’m just in the mood for good old British pub grub like pie and mash.

Do you cook? Do you enjoy it? 

I love to cook! I really love experimenting with new flavours and spices, seeing what works with what dish, and finding a new taste for things I didn’t know could work together.

What’s the last thing you ate / drank? 

The last thing I drank was a cup of tea, with a biscuit for dunking of course! The last thing I ate out was a gorgeous wood-fired pizza and some sweet potato fries.

How much time do you spend blogging per week and per post? (That’s from scratch, including researching, writing, sourcing / editing pictures.) 

I try to spend a good few hours at the weekend planning and scheduling my next trip out. If I dine out mid-week, then I’ll take pictures and make notes ready for writing my post at the weekend.

Being a food blogger, can you ever “switch off” from being a food blogger? As in, can you ever stop analysing food? (That’s my biggest problem!) 

I find myself always wanting to take pictures of the food I eat – more so I remember when I’ve cooked a nice dish! I do find myself rating my dishes whenever we go out – that’s just the foodie in me I guess!

What do you think is the best part of being a food blogger? 

Being introduced to places I’d never know about and dishes that I probably wouldn’t order, and being pleasantly surprised. I also love the community of food bloggers – there’s nothing better than bonding with like-minded foodies over some grub!

And the worst part? 

Wanting to try one of everything and leaving feeling like I’m literally going to burst!

There’s been a seismic shift in the balance of power in the food industry.  Now, many restaurants seek out food bloggers. What do you think of this elevated status of the once humble food blogger? 

I think it’s great that people are realising how much of an impact on sales, bloggers can have. We’re just “ordinary people” with honest opinions, which makes us more relatable.

Are there any restaurants that you’d like to see in Derby? 

I just love to see independent restaurants doing well – having more of those, with more people willing to venture out of their “comfort zone” and stop visiting chains – would be great. There’s a gorgeous little restaurant called Pom’s in Lichfield which I definitely think has the potential to expand.

What are favourite top three restaurants in Derby? What’s so great about them? 

I love The Exeter Arms for its pub grub, Le Bistrot Pierre for being a fab chain, and The Boot in Repton, just outside of Derby, for its homely feel and impeccable beef tartare!

Do you get many friends / family asking you for recommendations? Don’t you ever get tired of it? 

I do, and I love recommending them to places they’ve never heard of. I get a smug sense of pride when they report back good things!

What would be your ideal job? Would you want to be a full-time food blogger? 

I would LOVE to be. Writing is already my day-to-day “proper” job, but would love to travel the world discovering the best eateries and writing about them!

There is a fire (touchwood) and you have to leave the house in 15 seconds. What would you leave the house with? 

My dog (!!!) and my gadgets – camera, iPhone, iPad. Then I can blog about it all after.

Thank you for your time Olivia, it was great to find out more about you!