There are times when I think I’ve done blogging all wrong. I’ve changed my URL three times, which can be SEO suicide if you do it incorrectly (which I did…twice). I’ve redesigned and rebranded my blog too many times to count, uncertain as to which direction I wanted to take it. Luckily though, there are other times where I realize that without my blog, I might not have many of the friends I have now, I wouldn’t have the job I have no and I probably wouldn’t even be living in Chicago. I’ve met a lot of interesting people through my blog, including other food bloggers.
Today, we’re playing a little inside baseball and chatting with Kit Graham, who writes The Kittchen, authored The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Cookbook (why don’t I own this?), and created The Windy City Blogger Collective, which is a community for local bloggers to bond and network over shared interests (i.e. the Internet, eating). Kit takes some seriously amazing food photographs and even more amazing travel photographs. Even though we run into each other at a lot of the same events around Chicago, I’m entirely certain that her life is way cooler than mine and as an added bonus, she’s a fellow East-coaster in the Midwest.
Read on to hear in Kit’s words, what it’s like to be a full-time food blogger and about her plans to dine with Michelle Obama.
What was your first job out of college?
My first job was as a legal assistant at a white collar criminal defense firm. I started off as a receptionist where I answered the phone and worked on my Master’s thesis at night, but was quickly promoted. I loved it. It wasn’t what I planned to do with my life, but I worked for the nicest people.
What led you to the job you have now?
The funny thing about blogging is that no job led me to it. I started blogging because I hated my job as a data privacy paralegal in Evanston, and I needed to find joy in something. If anything, it was the two years writing for the university newspaper when I was in college that led me to blogging. I had a travel column called The Nomad when I studied abroad and backpacked through Europe, plus a column about Art called The Corinthian that my friend Patrick and I wrote together.
How do you start each day? Describe your morning routine.
I am a night owl, so I like to sleep until 8:30 everyday. Then I get up, and head to my home office – still in my pajamas and start answering emails. Once I am caught up on emails I eat breakfast, change, and switch over to writing blog posts and editing photos – or cooking to create new content for the site.
What does your typical work day look like?
I have 4 different types of days. There are days when I am just writing and editing images. And days when I am in the kitchen doing recipe development and taking photos. At least one day a week is devoted to the Windy City Blogger Collective. The best days are the days when I am on the road working on travel content.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Arianna Huffington says “to live life like it is rigged in your favor.” And Conan O’Brien says ” if you work really hard, and you are kind, and amazing things will happen.” Those are the pieces of advice I tell myself over and over.
It’s 5:00 p.m. on a Friday. What’s in your glass?
Probably a little rose if it is summer, otherwise a beer. I give myself a happy hour drink, but I usually work until 7:00 p.m.
What is your favorite meal to eat for lunch?
Grilled Cheese! I love it so much that I wrote a book about it! I have always been someone who prefers to have a warm lunch, and grilled cheese is such a satisfying food. These days I love grilled cheese with a parmesan crust and crispy prosciutto.
If you could have any five people at your home for a dinner party together, who would you invite?
Michelle Obama (I love her so much. I think she is the ultimate female role model), Jennifer Lawrence (she seems so fun and hilarious), Adele (because she is Adele and I think she would be a blast), Channing Tatum (because we need some eye candy and he seems like a really genuine guy) and my friend Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes because she makes life more fun. Plus, Jocelyn and I have already made it a life goal to dine with “Mobama.”
What is your favorite thing to cook or bake for guests?
I love to make desserts when guests come over. When you live in a two person household, and you make dessert, you end up eating a lot of it, so I try to only make desserts when friends are coming over to help eat them! My friends especially like my pies. I also love to make cocktails. I think it’s the best way to welcome someone to your home.
What is the one thing on your bucket list you’re most excited about?
I went to climb glaciers in Iceland last month and I was very excited to check that off the bucket list. I love adventure travel.