“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” says the tagline displayed on Stephanie Vander Weide’s blog, The Grub Report [http://www.grubreport.com / ]. This quote comes from Stephanie’s favorite film, Auntie Mame, and aptly summarizes her enthusiastic approach to life and its gustatory delights.
The first thing visitors to The Grub Report are likely to notice is the design format. Blog posts are formatted to appear as menu items, listed under several headings such as ‘Soup Du Jour’ and ‘Blue Plate Special’ with post dates appearing in the price column. Stephanie said the concept “took awhile. I knew I wanted a fairly basic blog, but not too plain. I wanted something different… the feel of a diner.”
As for the origin of the site’s name, “it’s a riff on Matt Drudge’s ‘The Drudge Report’. The site is about food so, ‘Grub’ – which has a nice internal rhyme with ‘Drudge’ – just exploded in my mind.”
And while Stephanie is not above the occasional salacious post [http://www.grubreport.com/soupdujour/campania.html], she leaves politics and scandal to Mr. Drudge and focuses on her wordcraft instead.
“I have a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Michigan. I worked in publishing for six years. Then, when I was laid off, I started going to culinary school. So, in addition to my writing background, I have a culinary degree. My blog gives me a chance to combine the two.”
Stephanie is not afraid to shows readers both sides of the saute pan in her blog. “I like to think of my blog as pretty honest and down to earth,” she said. “My kitchen catastrophes seem to go over very well with my readers!”
Her adventuresome streak is not just confined to the kitchen either; she relishes new experiences and the opportunity to write about them.
“I was brought up in Minnesota, went to college in Michigan, lived in England a year, then lived in Boston for a bit. My husband and I now live in California. I’m a cheesemonger [http://www.grubreport.com/soupdujour/customerlove.html], tv critic [http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/articles/content/a12191/], and I love to share information with others.”
Looking ahead, Stephanie hopes to include more visuals of her culinary creations. “Pictures grab attention and people love them. I want more and more pictures for my blog so I’m planning to take a photography class to improve my digital pictures,” she said.
With so much on her plate, what is it that draws Stephanie away from her kitchen night after night to whip up another post? She says the payoff is knowing that she is helping others conquer their cooking fears.
“I just love receiving mail from my readers telling me how they are eating better because of my blog.”