Featured Food Blogger of the Week: Kendra of Ameri Culinariska

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Kendra Williams-Valentine is the brain behind Americulinariska.com.  She is a creative food blogger and entrepreneur.  Aside from doing freelance copywriting, she is also developing media products for children and running her food blog.

Her blog videos are incredibly fun and straightforward.  They aim to explore American cuisine, giving it an international twist and flair.  Her cooking focuses on creating good food through creativity, resourcefulness, and innovation.  She currently resides in Berlin.


1. One thing that stands out on Americulinariska are your videos. What is your process for getting them so polished and professional? How long does it typically take to produce one?

Well, I suppose it’s best to self-disclose a bit: I have a professional background in film… so that’s a bit of a head start. Other than that, I’d say that I start with thinking of something more than a simple recipe to share in the videos… I try to relate general techniques, tips or terminology for an international audience.

When I have those nuggets of information, it makes it easier to plan the content in the episodes around it. I’d say it takes about 1 day to get the script/recipe ready, another day or half day to shoot, then another day to edit the footage and get the blog post ready, as well as content for social media and YouTube. Mind you, my days average about 6 hours of actual work.


2. How is it like living in Sweden? How is it different from living in the United States?

Some people joke that Sweden is the 51st U.S state… American pop culture, brands, and food are very popular, however there is an air of keeping things simple and DIY which the Swedes own, and I’m very drawn to.

In Swedish there is a term called “lågam” which basically means “not too much, not too little” and although there is some conflict as to whether this is an asset to Swedish culture from a macro perspective, I really feel that it is a wonderful philosophical base when it comes to everyday life and food.

People don’t buy as much prepared food, don’t have a different cleaning detergent for every item in their homes, and don’t waste a single one of the rare warm & sunny days each year. However, I’m also living in Berlin, Germany now! More on this adventure to come!  

3. Do you like Swedish cuisine? How is it different from other cuisines?

I like Swedish food… it’s too straightforward not to! Swedish cuisine is based on a preservation culture due to their long winters, however since the seventies this has been changing and you can really consider Thai food, kebab, and Swedish style pizza just as Swedish as köttbullar (meatballs) and herring. One thing is for sure, Swedes like salt and sugar as well: it’s a Saturday tradition to buy candy for the house (“lördagsgodis”).

4. Your book, Taco! Taco! Tex-Mex: How to Make a Taco, looks awesome! How did you come up with the idea of creating a primer that children can read along to?

First and foremost, I love tacos! We had them pretty much every week growing up, and it was really the gateway to me learning how to cook: I started by being the cheese grater, graduated to dicing veggies and eventually ended up frying the tortillas!

So I figured it would be a great topic for my first illustrated children’s book. It’s also one of the easiest dishes you can cook, well balanced with grain, proteins, vegetables and fast to prepare as a family. And since I like doing things from scratch, I’ve also done the illustrations by hand.

Since I live internationally, I think different cooking terms can be interesting to learn in another language, whether you are a kid or not, so I’ve translated to book into Japanese, German, and of course Spanish.

More languages to come if the readers request them! Since there are very few words in the book, it’s actually really fun to buy the versions and learn how to say “Chop lettuce!” in a different language. The book is digital right now, so I sell it for just a couple bucks on the Amazon Kindle store.

5. As a fabulous blogger and cook, what are you looking forward to this year?

This year I’m looking forward to revamping Americulinariska, working on building new collaborations and partnerships for content, taking more jobs working as talent, and hoping for another nomination (and win!) for the 2016 Saveur Blog Awards. I’m also developing some exciting new ebooks on Kindle.

Many people don’t have time to follow several blogs or read up on a topic like “easy frozen treats at home” for a couple hours to get some culinary insight or ideas each time the fancy strikes them: so I’ve decided to start consolidating content into digestible and fun ebooks on very specific topics… this is where my love for food, sassy sense of humor, and academic inclinations will combine!

 

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