60 seconds with Susan Barrie from Mess in the Ness at #FBC15!


Susan (@susan_barrie), Scotland-based food blogger at Mess in the Ness, is attending FBC for the first time in September and is looking forward to plenty…

SusanBarrieWhat are you looking forward to learning and enjoying at FBC this year?

It’s my first time at FBC, so I’m looking forward to meeting lots of new bloggers, scribbling down lots of notes from the workshops, and taking lots of pictures of all the food and drink that we’ll be sampling! As an ex-West-Londoner, I’m also really looking forward to spending all weekend at the beautiful Chiswick House – such a great venue choice!

Is blogging your full tie job? If not, what is your day job? Tell us a bit about what you get up to when you’re not working on your blog – your work, family life, projects, hobbies…

Blogging is an ‘extra curricular’ activity for me! I work part time as an administrator for a university, so I’m fortune that I have time to enjoy where I live (the beautiful Scottish Highlands). Other interests include swimming and walking – which is fortunate considering how often I like to bake (including for a cake club, which I co-run – Let’s Bake Inverness).

What first motivated you to blog and how has blogging changed your life?

I started blogging when I moved from London to a village in Fife for my husband’s job. It was a great way for me to keep in touch with friends that wanted to see where we were living. While that’s still the case, I’ve found that foodie posts and photography are the main focus of my blog.

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What’s your signature dish?

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and I make my own granola to fuel my day after a pre-work swim! (here).

Which other bloggers do you follow most closely?

There’s so many, but worth a special mention are other foodies based in the north of Scotland: Ever So Sweet (here) – written by Kirsty, the co-organiser of Let’s Bake Inverness; Foodie Quine (here); Melanie’s Kitchen Adventures (here); Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary (here); Something Sweet, Something Savoury (here); and Lost in Food (here).

Finish this sentence: “For me, the ultimate food heaven is…”

For me, the ultimate food heaven is a meal from Honey and Co. I stumbled upon a random restaurant review of the restaurant and made it my mission to go there. I was not disappointed with my feast from the Middle East and will be heading there again in September prior to arriving at #FBC15!

What would be your last meal on Earth?

My last meal on earth would be at Little Goat diner in Chicago. It’s owned by Stephanie Izard – the first female winner of Top Chef (US equivalent of MasterChef) and we had the best meal of our lives there last year – classic American fare with a Little Goat twist. Nachos piled high with pulled pork were the highlight, and they have a smoked pork and toffee crunch milkshake which sounds so intriguing!

How many cookbooks do you own? Are there any food writers/chefs that are your favourite?

This year I made a resolution that I wouldn’t buy any cookbooks until I had tried at least one recipe from the books I currently have. I failed miserably (buying 3 cookbooks in the January sales, and many since!) but I have enjoyed getting more new recipes into our meal planning. We’re both big Jamie Oliver fans, and I’ve recently been enjoying trying recipes from Allegra McEvedy’s “Big Table, Busy Kitchen”.

What is on your wish-list right now?

A wish-list item which will be achieved this year will be eating at a Michelin starred restaurant as during our summer holidays we will be dining at The Three Chimneys on the Isle of Skye.

How is your lifestyle shaped by food? 

I’m a foodie who likes to experiment in my highland kitchen, so local highland food and drink plays an important part in my life, which then shapes my blog!

To achieve a successful blog what comes first – the dishes, the styling, the photography or the words?

I think a combination of dishes, styling, photography and clear, succinct writing is a recipe for blogging success. I’m looking forward to learning more about all of these at #FBC15!

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