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Episode 135: How to Use Blogging as a Launchpad for Your Next Big Thing with Karista Bennett

Blog Title: Karista Bennett

Social Media:

Karista Bennett on Instagram

Karista Bennett on Facebook

About: Karista is a chef, food writer and author of the upcoming book, The Oregon Farm Table Cookbook. She worked as a private chef, prep chef, sous chef and culinary instructor for 12 years and then transitioned into full time food writing, recipe development and food photography for the last 6 years.

Takeaways From Episode #135:

  • Fun fact: Karista is an identical twin and her twin happens to also be a chef. And she’s also writing a cookbook. Her site is called The Chef Sisters.
  • Karista didn’t know how to cook as an adult so she went to culinary school.
  • After school, Karista was a caterer, then a prep chef. She was a private chef and a sous chef after that, even a cheese specialist at one point.
  • All the jobs that Karista did helped her to find her passion and to learn what she was good at, what she didn’t like and to have a real grasp on what she was good at, from all the jobs she had done in her life leading up to that point.
  • “Your professional journey is a lot like your life journey, figuring out what you really want to do and determining what your path is. Sometimes we have to do the jobs to figure it out, even if we don’t love the jobs.”
  • “It’s layers and layers and layers and those layers are building you up and getting ready to launch you into the next big thing.”
  • Karista views all the work she did in the restaurant world and within working in kitchens as self-discovery. She decided she was going to find joy in the moment and embrace everything she was learning in that season of her life.
  • She still remembers those moments and finds they have continued to help her in her career as she’s gone to the next thing and the next thing.
  • Karista learned she had to have her own path and she needed to run her own race. Do what feels right for you she recommends.
  • When you remain open and use your intuition and realize you have a path and not compare your path to others, that’s when things start to open for you.
  • When you think you’re ready to start a new project but don’t know where to start, take a breath. Research the subject, take notes, network with others.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to others and ask for advice or information from those that have walked down that path already.
  • The Oregan Farm Table is a cookbook that Karista just published and it just recently was released. It wasn’t the original project she proposed but she feels good about her published work.
  • “The universe brings you things that it wants you to consider.”
  • “Absolutely don’t let anyone tell you no to something you really want to do. If that’s where your heart is, and you feel that’s what you’re meant to do, I say just do it.”
  • Karista’s favorite quote: “Food is the element that brings us to the table, where life is lived, and memories are made.”

Helpful References From The Episode:

The Oregon Farm Table Cookbook, Karista Bennett

Will Write for Food, Dianne Jacobs

Allison Lane

The Beautiful Writers Group, Linda Sivertsen

Wild Words, Nicole Gulotta

Transcript of Episode 135

Intro:

Welcome to Eat Blog Talk. Where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. And we’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host, Megan Porta.

Megan Porta:

Food Bloggers. Hey, if you have not yet joined the new, amazing Eat Blog Talk community, you have to go do it. You will find so much value inside, including connecting with other food bloggers in a much deeper way and having access to all kinds of exclusive value, such as bonus podcast episodes and mastermind groups, and a resources and service providers directory, and so much more. Go to EatBlogTalk.com for more information, and we cannot wait to see you inside. Okay, food bloggers, have you heard of Flodesk, the new big email marketing rage? This is an amazing new option for managing your email subscriber list. It is super easy to use and it comes with gorgeous, intuitive drag and drop templates. And Flodesk does not charge based on number of subscribers. So your monthly rate will stay the same from month to month. Everyone pays $38 a month or use my affiliate link to get 50% off and pay only $19 a month. You guys, this is a fraction of the price of other email service providers, and you’ll be blown away by the beautiful and intuitive templates waiting for you inside. Visit Eatblogtalk.com/resources to grab your link. Flodesk. The stunning new option for email marketing. What’s up food bloggers? Welcome to eat blog talk. This podcast is for you food bloggers, wanting value, information and clarity that will help you find greater success in your business. Today, I have Karista Bennett with me from karistabennett.com. And we are going to talk about using blogging as a launch pad for your next big thing. Your next big project, whatever that is. Karista is a chef, food writer and author of the upcoming book, The Oregon Farm Table cookbook. She worked as a private chef, prep chef, sous chef and culinary instructor for 12 years, and then transitioned into full time food writing, recipe development and food photography for the last six years. Karista, I love your bio. That was so fun to read through, and I’m excited to chat with you today about all of this, but first give us a quick fun fact about yourself.

Karista Bennett:

Thanks, Megan. Well, it’s great to be here. A quick fun fact about myself is that I am an identical twin and my twin happens to also be a chef. And she’s also writing a cookbook.

Megan Porta:

What?! That is so cool. I mean, you always hear about identical twins living completely different lives, but I love that for some reason. It’s just cool that you share such close DNA and you’re both doing the same things. How cool is that!

Karista Bennett:

On the opposite ends of the United States. She’s in Florida and I’m in Oregon, so opposite end, but doing the same thing.

Megan Porta:

That is really cool. That’s so cool. What’s your sister’s name?

Karista Bennett:

Her name is Kristen Bryan and she is actually the publisher of the website, The Chef Sisters.

Megan Porta:

Wow. So, so cool. Well, let’s dig into our chat because I love how in your journey, Krista, how one passion in your life has led to another and then another and on and on. I think that when we are properly aligned with ourselves and kind of trusting ourselves, we can follow a paths that lead us into that next thing that we’re meant to tackle. And your story is proof of that. So I would love for you to talk through your journey because it’s really intriguing. So just start with, you know, how your culinary journey started and just let’s have a conversation about it and talk us through it a little bit.

Karista Bennett:

I’d love to share that. I, uh, went to culinary school back in 1999 and for the simple reason that I couldn’t cook. I was a terrible home cook and I had two small daughters and I had taken a sabbatical from work and I wanted to just dive into, uh, being mom and cooking and take a break. And, um, I announced to my family one evening at dinner that I was so tired of my cooking. It could cause a slow and painful death. It was so terrible. I said, I’m going to go to culinary school. And at that time we didn’t really have a lot of cooking classes for home cooks. Um, a lot of people just ended up going to culinary school to learn how to cook. So I thought, okay, I’m just going to do that. It’ll be fun. And what a great opportunity. And, um, when I got into classes, I realized how much I loved it. I was so completely, uh, drawn to the culinary field and to cooking and being in the kitchen and creating all of these beautiful flavorful dishes. Um, I decided I had to make a career out of it. And so that, once I finished culinary school, I started catering and, uh, one thing led to another and I worked as a prep chef. Um, I worked as a private chef, a sous chef, at one point a cheese specialist. Um, yeah. Yeah. So I, I spent about 12, 13 years working in the kitchen, basically cooking, um, and then teaching culinary, uh, classes to home cooks later in, during that time. And, uh, in 2013, we moved to Oregon and I decided I didn’t want to start over and work as a private chef. I wanted to do something different. And I, I kept thinking, Oh, I love, I love blogging. I loved talking about food. I love writing about food. Maybe I can take blogging to the next step and do some food writing for publications. Um, and so that’s how I landed into food writing.

Megan Porta:

So one thing literally, just like you took one interest and then the next step was revealed to you. And then one thing led to that. So first of all, I wanted to point out how different things are now, because you mentioned like, back then, when you started taking online classes or cooking classes, just for the regular home cook was not accessible. But now there are so many options for people to do things like that. But back then, what you did was you went to culinary school and right. That, to me, seems like such a huge endeavor, a massive undertaking. It stresses me out to think of going to culinary school. Um, but how do you feel like your experience as a chef because you had many years. I mean, Oh my goodness, 12 years in all of those different types of settings, uh, how did your experience doing all of that carry over into the projects that you are tackling now?

Karista Bennett:

You know, I, I think because I feel like I’ve done every job in a, in a professional kitchen. I mean, other, other than washing the dishes. Um, although I did that when I was a private chef. I think we’re working in all those jobs. I got to see, I really got to see the inner workings of a restaurant kitchen or a commercial kitchen. And I got to practice every single day. And sometimes it was good. Sometimes it was bad, but I think the, I think practice truly makes perfect. What is it? You have to do something for 10,000 hours before you’re really proficient at it. And, uh, I, I practiced every single day for 12 years. I think, I think working in all those different jobs taught me many different things. Uh, patience, uh, it taught me what I really loved to do. What was my passion. It taught me what I didn’t love to do. Uh, it taught me what I was good at. Um, I had to do so many different jobs that I did well, but maybe I wasn’t great at it, but I could do them. And, and that showed me, okay, I know where my talents lie and I know what I love and what I’m passionate about. And I’m really gonna try and focus on those and take those with me and, uh, you know, step into positions that helped me utilize what I am good at and what I love and what I’m passionate about. So I think, I think working in the culinary field, did for me, what I think a lot of jobs do for people, whether they’re in the culinary field or not. I just think working and getting all of that experience in the kitchen and life. Um, really it teaches you a lot and it helps prepare you for the next step.

Megan Porta:

There is something to be said for really knowing the inner workings of something, right? Like if it’s a job, even if it’s not something that, you know, is your passion that you’re going to be doing forever, that’s not fulfilling you. There’s something so important about just really digging in and understanding like you dug into the culinary world and every facet you knew. Everything from washing dishes to, you know, every aspect of the kitchen. And I think there’s such importance in that. And a lot of people think that they can skip over that, but you can’t, you’ve got to know those tough jobs and the tough days and tasks inside of any area in order to really grow and appreciate it. Right?

Karista Bennett:

Exactly. I think all of those jobs, they taught me lessons about myself. And sometimes I would, for instance, I was a cheese specialist for three months while I was cooking in the kitchen of a deli. Uh, it was, uh, a market deli. And so we’d cook for three days. And then I would be, uh, work as a cheese specialist for three days or two days. And I thought I was going to love the cheese specialist job because I love cheese. And I love talking to people about cheese or about food in general. And I jumped in, I jumped at the chance and you know, a month into it, I thought, Oh, I’m not loving this. I really want to get back into the kitchen. And, but it taught me a lot about myself. Um, I learned about cheese, about all of the regions of cheese. So I, I’m, I’m adding to my experience and adding to my knowledge and when that, when that job was done, when it was over and I moved on to the next thing, um, I really was thankful that I had the opportunity. Even though, while I was in it, it was sometimes grueling and sometimes a little bit, um, uh, you know, uh, not, I don’t want to say boring. It wasn’t that it was boring. It was fun. It was just not what I thought I wanted. And, uh, and, but it taught me so much. I think sometimes, uh, our, our professional journey is much like our life journey, um, figuring out, uh, what we really do want and what our path really is. And sometimes we have to do those jobs to figure that out. Even if we don’t love those jobs.

Megan Porta:

I hear you on all of that. And it changes the things that we want and the things that light us up, is always evolving, which is your story is a testament to that because you kept finding new things that were lighting you up and that you were finding fulfillment in. And I’m sure that you probably feel very passionately about the projects you’re working on now, but maybe the projects from your past, you’re like, Oh, I’m glad that’s done. And then there’s a project waiting for you in the future that you don’t know about yet, that will light you up someday. So it’s, it’s a really good way to look at things because food bloggers are, our lives are packed with a lot of things. And we don’t love all of those things. There’s things that don’t fulfill us creatively. There are things that are necessary that we have to do just to be just to keep things in motion. So I love that you, um, are framing this this way. Like to see everything that we do is important because it is supporting our passions.

Karista Bennett:

It is, it’s like layers and layers and layers and layers, and those layers are building you up and they’re getting you ready to launch into the next big thing.

Megan Porta:

Yeah. That’s a great way to see it. There’s layers. Um, so if we can just start thinking about our jobs more in that way, instead of getting caught up in the daily grind of doing it all.

Karista Bennett:

I also think, you know, during that time I was doing a lot of, uh, you know, self discovery and okay, where am I going to go from here? And I would sometimes obsess about it or worry about it, but when I stopped and just thought, okay, I’m here now. And I’m just going to find the joy in the moment and I’m going to embrace everything that I’m learning right now. Because someday I’m going to need this experience and this knowledge. And I know that when I, when I did that, when I just stopped and embraced it and said, okay, I’m just going to enjoy the moment. Um, I would always learn something new or I would have a takeaway that I didn’t think about previously. And, uh, and it, and I still remember those moments and they have continued to help me in my career as I’ve gone from the next thing and the next thing and the next thing.

Megan Porta:

Yeah. That living in the moment thing that you’re talking about, it’s so hard to do. Especially if it’s not something that you have done a lot of. But once you do it, it is magic and you realize it’s really, it’s really simple, but it’s not easy. But once you do it, you’re like, Oh my gosh, there’s so much power inside of that. Just really being grateful for the things around you, even if you just have to like, make yourself see those things, like, okay, what in front of you, are you grateful for? You have, do you have family that you love, who love you? Do you have financial stability? You know, just like finding them is a really good place to start with that.

Karista Bennett:

Exactly. I totally agree. Yeah. I, there, there were always moments even working as a chef. And then when I started my blog, there were moments blogging that I thought, Oh, do I really have to do this? And this is not what I want to do. This is not meeting my creative, you know, heart. And, um, but it certainly did come in handy, um, later down the road when I needed that skill, um, that skill set. So yeah, embracing all those things and just finding the joy is, is, really key to, um, to moving into the things that you do love.

Megan Porta:

And a lot of this has to do with intuition too, I think. Because you have to know, you have to feel confident about that next step. And I think for me anyway, tapping into my intuition is really big for that. Because there are many options in front of us. We could, okay, am I going to launch into writing a cookbook? Am I going to, I mean, there’s goodness, so many different possibilities. Yeah. So how do we do that? Do you have thoughts on that? Like how do we tap into our, like our inner spirits, like, and really dive into that thing that’s right?

Karista Bennett:

Exactly. You know, I think the best thing to remember is, and I had to remind myself many, many times that I am, I’m Karista and I, I have my own path. And I had to remind myself that, um, to run my own race. And I, and I think when I, early on in my career, uh, cooking and blogging, I would see other people, other bloggers, other chefs doing all these wonderful, fabulous things. And I think, Oh, I’ve got to do that too. And I want to do this and I want to do that. And I remember one day thinking, okay, just, you know what, just run your own race, just run your own race. Do what feels right for you. And what felt right for me was at the time, uh, cooking as a private chef, I launched into that, uh, started my own company, um, and had a full list of clients. And then while I did that, I started my blog and maybe it wasn’t my end goal, but I knew that’s where I was supposed to be. It seemed, uh, that things all fell into place. Um, when I decided that’s what, that’s, where I needed to be. I was driving down the highway. Um, I had, I was working at a, I was driving down the highway. I was thinking to myself, Oh, I’m going to my job. It’s cooking in a kitchen. And I was a cheese specialist at the same time. And okay, I think I’m really done with this. What am I going to do next? What’s my next thing. And boom, someone calls me and says, are you a private chef? I have a client that needs a private chef. And I’m like, okay. Yeah. You know, sure. I’m a private chef. I was a chef, but I, at that time I hadn’t started my company. And so I got, I said, let me call you back when I get to my job. And so I called her back and I said, you know, I’m interested in the job. I’d love to talk to your client. And, uh, I went to meet him and that was the beginning of my private chef company. Um, and it just, it, it just, I was open to something new and boom, it just fell in my lap. And not that everything has happened that way, but I think when we remain open and use our intuition and, um, and realize that we have a path and, uh, and just be open to our path and not compare, um, to others, I think that’s when things really start open, the doors start opening. And that’s how my private chef business started.

Megan Porta:

That is so cool. I love the line that you just said. I was open to something new. You were intentional about that thought like, yes, I am ready for something else. And it seemed like it fell right in your lap. Like it was a coincidence, but that was not a coincidence. You invited that in. And I love stories like that when I hear them, I just get goosebumps over it because there is magic in putting those thoughts and energy out into the world. So that’s really cool that that landed in your lap and that you found fulfillment in that. And then it was a good fit for you, for that time. I was going to ask you, do you have advice for people who have a hard time getting started with projects like, that next thing is revealed. Maybe it’s a series of eBooks or something, but it’s really hard because it’s a change of pace. And when you change your direction, it’s kind of hard. You lose momentum. What advice do you have for people who just have a hard time getting started.

Karista Bennett:

Oh, that’s a great question. I had many of those moments, so, yeah. Um, regarding getting started on a new project, I think to just take a breath and, uh, research the subject, make some notes. I would take time. When it came to writing my own book that had been a thought in the back of my head for years. And I thought, Oh, I just don’t have time to do it. I am not ready. I knew I wanted to do it. Had I been, had I even been given the opportunity at the time, I would have done it, but I knew in the back of my mind, it wasn’t the right time. But I would be prepared when the time came. So I think any new project, it’s exciting, but daunting. And I think sitting with it and just making notes and researching the subject, finding other people who have done the same thing and reaching out to them and getting advice on how to begin. Um, I think, I think that is, I think that’s the best thing we can do for each other. I have a lot of new bloggers reach out to me. I want to write a cookbook and, uh, what is it, how do I start? And so I, you know, I, I have, I’ll say, okay, this is, this is what I did. And you know, maybe your path will be different, but let me share with you with I did and what else, you know, and how else can I help you? And I think if it wasn’t for people that I reached out to, I don’t know if I’d be here today. I had some amazing, um, chefs, bloggers, and writers that I reached out to. It was difficult to reach out to them. I was scared that they would turn me down, but I reached out to them and they were just this wealth of knowledge and information and comfort and direction. And so between the research and reaching out to others and asking questions, um, I assembled all of this information. And then when the information, when I felt ready, I launched. I would just sit down and, and start. Um, you know, when it came to my private chef company, I had my instantly had a first client. So I reached out to other private chefs. What’s the best way to set this business up. How, you know, how do you recommend, uh, you know, this, this and this. U,h, when it came to writing a book proposal, I did the same. I reached out to friends who had already done that and been through the process, um, and got their experience and their knowledge. So I think reaching out to others, uh, you know, and taking your time to make this little roadmap and, uh, take it step by step. I think jumping in, you know, face first is hard because sometimes you land on your head and that’s not a good thing. So yeah, I think really just, I would just take time and reach out to people. I think people like me, I love helping other bloggers. I love sharing my knowledge and experience with others. So I think that’s a really important thing to do is to reach out to other people who’ve already walked down that path.

Megan Porta:

And hearing from people who have walked before you, I think is a really good way to get inspired. Maybe there’s something that they say that you’re like, Oh my gosh, yes. That just inspired me. So talking to people is such great advice and just hearing what they have to offer. Like what worked for them, what didn’t work for them, what inspired them. And hopefully that will inspire you as well.

Karista Bennett:

I read a lot of books. Uh, I read a lot of research online and I have to say the advice I got from other people, whether they were chefs or bloggers or writers, that was so valuable for me. And, and you just take little bits of information from each of them and then decide what’s best for you.

Megan Porta:

Yes. That’s such great advice. Okay. I want to hear about your book and kind of how that journey unfolded, because you have a cookbook that is being released today, correct? Like as we speak? Oh, that is so exciting. So tell us the name of your cookbook. Um, and then maybe just briefly walk us through the process that you went through. What were your favorite parts? What were your least favorite parts? And maybe you can inspire someone who has that on their bucket list of things to do.

Karista Bennett:

Oh, thank you. Yeah. This is The Oregon farm table cookbook, and it’s 101 homegrown recipes from the Pacific Wonderland. This was not the book I had thought I was going to write first. Um, interesting, this is, this is all about being flexible. I, I wrote a book proposal, um, and it was a couple of years ago. I hired a professional editor because I wanted someone objective and she helped me go through and tighten things up and grammatically get everything grammatically correct and organized. She helped me organize my thoughts and my information. And once that was done, I shopped it to an agent. And I found a wonderful agent, uh, from, uh, bookends literary agency in New York. And she was, she loved my proposal. And so we started shopping my proposal and within a couple of months, uh, of many rejections, which was really hard. Um, we had Countryman Press come and say, I love this book. I love the idea, but would you be willing to write this book? And at the time, my original proposal had a lot of farm and food and it was a very farm to table book, but it was called Life Around My Table. And it was really my journey, in food, which surrounded around our farming community in Seattle. And, um, because of all the farm photos in the farm style food, they said, Oh, we’ve got this book we want to publish. And it’s called the Oregon Tarm Table cookbook. And at the time I was living in, I’m living in Oregon by that time. And, uh, my agent came back, what do you think? And I thought, Oh, well, I don’t know. And you know, my gut feeling was, yeah, just go for it. It’s almost what you had written. It’s not exactly, but it contains all of those wonderful things that you love. Farms and food and, um, the land and just, I think it’s, uh, so I, my gut reaction was okay. I think my agent was a little less, um, excited about it, but I was like, yeah. Okay. This really sounds good to me. Had it been something different, maybe I wouldn’t have. But, um, yeah, so that is how I started. That’s how I got the book deal. Uh, The Oregon Farm Table cookbook. And, um, I was thrilled to be able to write it. And it has been an amazing journey, an absolutely amazing journey. Um, I, I, I had a lot of my friends who had written books tell me that it was a nightmare and it was the worst thing they’d ever done. So I was prepared. Uh, but for me, it’s been my greatest joy in my career besides teaching culinary classes. I think this is my absolute favorite thing that I’ve done. The whole project was, it was challenging, but it was so much fun for me. Um, uh, I, I loved it. I had a great experience. Um.

Megan Porta:

I’m so glad to hear that because yeah, you do hear people all the time, like, Oh, that was a nightmare. Or I don’t know, there’s some part of it that they just hated. Um, but I love that you were so flexible, you know, like it wasn’t exactly what you had started out thinking that it was going to be, but you were like, okay. I mean, yeah, I can do this. Whereas I think a lot of people would be like, no, this is what I wanted. But you just like really sat with yourself and you were like, okay, is this okay? And at the end of the day, yes, it was. And I just think that’s great that you were so flexible about it.

Karista Bennett:

Yeah. You know, I always feel like when opportunities present themselves, I don’t know. I just, I feel like it’s for a reason. I just, you know, I think the universe just brings things to you that they, they want you to consider. And, um, I, you know, it’s, I felt like I had such a good feeling about it. I really thought, you know, it’s okay that it’s not what I originally proposed. Um, this book needs to happen and I’m willing to do it. And I also grew up in a, um, uh, uh, in an, in I had an interesting childhood. And so I was always having to adjust and be flexible. So, um, as an adult, I’ve continued to be the same. Um, and sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes that’s not a good thing.

Megan Porta:

Okay. So you really enjoyed this process of writing the book. Now, I did see in your notes that marketing was not your favorite part. And I, I love creating, and I love tackling new projects, but I am 100% with you. That marketing is my least favorite part of anything. So talk to us a little bit about that.

Karista Bennett:

Oh, my goodness. Marketing, you know, that has been the only part of this book that I didn’t, I have not enjoyed. I went downstairs just not a week ago to my husband. And I just said to him, I don’t know how you guys do this day in and day out because marketing is not my thing. And my husband’s actually, he’s had several jobs, but he’s now a CEO of a company. And he, he, he does wear some marketing hats. It’s a small company. So he has to wear a lot of hats, but the business, he loves business. And, uh, I just said, okay, now, now I just would rather do the photography and the writing and the cooking and the recipe development. And next time I’m having someone else do all the marketing, which is not actually realistic. So, um, marketing has been, yeah, it’s been hard for me. Self promotion is hard for me as well. Um, I, I just, that is, I don’t know why that’s a hard thing for me. It’s so easy for so many people. And I just, you know, I am so happy that it’s easy for other people, but it’s just not easy for me. And, uh, so that’s, that’s been challenging. My sister, who is a chef now, her previous career was in marketing. So I actually tap her for a lot of help. And I’ve learned a lot from her and my husband. Um, my publisher has given me a lot of support in the marketing area. Um, they’ve done a lot of the things that I just couldn’t do. And, um, so I did get a lot of support from my publisher, but yeah, it’s, you know, when you spend a day at your desk and you’re doing nothing but marketing, sometimes that for me, it feels a little soulless. For others, they may love it, but for me, it it’s, it’s hard, but I do it anyway because it’s part of the job,

Megan Porta:

Right? And it’s like the kitchen that you were talking about. Being in the kitchen and doing the dishes and really immersing yourself in every aspect of the kitchen and being a culinary expert and a chef. It’s the same thing. When you go through any process, you’ve got to immerse yourself at least a little bit, at least in the beginning, just to know, I mean, eventually if you want to pass that off and hire out for it. Great. But I feel like there’s such value in just knowing every piece of it. I, I do not like marketing. I don’t like promoting myself either. It’s so hard. My, is that so hard? I just feel like it comes naturally for so many people. And I’m so envious. Like I want to want to do that.

Karista Bennett:

I know. I, I, I, it may have been, I don’t know if it was one of your podcasts or if I read it somewhere, but, um, I was reading something about a blogger talking about all of the hats we wear in, in this food world of ours. And, you know, the cooking, the recipe development, the food photography, the marketing, uh, the, you know, the we’re the dishwasher, we’re the clea,n kitchen cleaner, you know, all of these, uh, we’re the shoppers, it, there’s so many facets to this job. And, um, yet you’re right. You’ve, you’ve got to do it all and at least experience it. So you, you know, it’s important, but yeah, marketing is my least favorite.

Megan Porta:

And you never know if you’ll actually like something that you’re avoiding. Maybe you’re avoiding marketing because you think you won’t like it, or just fill in the blank there with any task. And you might actually end up loving it and being really good at it. So it’s worth at least trying everything.

Karista Bennett:

Absolutely. My sister loves it and she’s good at it, but she actually loves it. Uh, Oh. And my daughter is actually in PR. She just finished her degree in PR, so she loves it. And so I’ll often call her now. Um, okay, I’m not loving this. Can you do it for me?

Megan Porta:

That’s great. And it’s great to be able to lean on people who are really good and who are willing to help you out. I love that. That’s actually another reason to network and find that community that can support you because together, I believe this so strongly, we will be stronger.

Karista Bennett:

I agree. I absolutely agree.

Megan Porta:

Yeah. That’s great. And I’m really excited for you and your cookbook, and I’m going to definitely check it out. It sounds so amazing. And you have 101 recipes in it. That is a lot of recipes.

Karista Bennett:

Yeah. 101 recipes with 39, uh farm and food producer profiles. So I ended up, it’s not just a cookbook. Um, I ended up visiting, uh, 39 farms and food producers in the state of Oregon, over about a three to four month period. And so their stories are in the book as well. And they’re kind of dispersed between all of the recipes and the recipes are seasonal. I try to give a good variety of all four seasons and they’re all used. They all use ingredients that we grow here in Oregon, but that can be found in other parts of the U S as well. So I think it’s a fun little book.

Megan Porta:

Yeah. There’s so much thought and work and love went into it. It sounds like. So I’m sure it’s like, one of those labor of love pieces.

Karista Bennett:

It is, you know, I hear a lot of people say, Oh, it’s, you know, you’re birthing a book baby. And when I first heard that, I thought, huh, that’s interesting. But no, it is like birthing a baby. It is your baby. You are totally in love with it.

Megan Porta:

Yup. Your heart and soul is immersed in it. Just like interwoven inside of it. So what else do you have for us before we start saying goodbye? Is there anything that you want to touch on, um, in relation to, you know, using blogging as a launch pad for your next thing or anything along the lines of creating cookbooks or any of your other areas of expertise, what else do you have for us?

Karista Bennett:

I, I truly believe, uh, you know, if, I have a friend who is a blogger. She is an, a fabulous blogger. She’s got a huge following. And I said to her, one day, I love your food. You should write a cookbook. And she said, no, that’s not what I really want to do. And I said, well, what do you want to do? And she said, you know, she then proceeded to tell me what she wanted to do. And I said, that’s great. I think you should, you should do that. So I, I have other blogger friends who want to write a cookbook, and then I have other friends who want to start podcasts, or they want to develop a line of products. I think the important thing is that you’ve got this beautiful blog that you’re writing, that you’re putting your heart and soul into and let it take you where you want it to go. If, if you want to write a book, then you should do it. You should absolutely don’t let anyone tell you no. If you want to develop food products, but someone says it’s a daunting task. Do it anyway. If that’s where your heart is and you feel that’s what you’re meant to do, I just say do it. And, um, uh, I just, I, I, I think so many people, you know, will, they let the outside noise deter them? And, uh, I think we just need to block that noise and do what’s important to us and what feels right. So definitely if, if blogging is what you want, if that’s your goal and you want to be the biggest blog out there, then do that too. I think, I think what, what you need to do is what you feel is most important to you. And, uh, what you’re meant to do.

Megan Porta:

You are so inspiring Karista. I really just loved everything you just said. And I just feel really filled up right now. So it was a pleasure talking to you today. And I know that other bloggers are gonna find this really great. And we just talked about a bunch of different stuff that I think will be inspiring and encouraging. So thanks so much for being here.

Karista Bennett:

Thank you for having me, Megan, it’s been a joy to speak with you.

Megan Porta:

It was so fun. And I can’t wait to hear how successful your book is. I’m sure that it’s going to be a great success. And I always like to ask my guests before we go, to share either a favorite quote or words of inspiration. Do you have anything additional?

Karista Bennett:

I, well, I have a food related quote that is actually in the book that I love because it’s, what’s most important to me. “Food is the element that brings us to the table, where life is lived, and memories are made.” Oh, love it. That resonates with all of us, right?

Megan Porta:

Oh, that’s a great way to end Karista. We will put together a show notes page for you. And if anyone wants to go check those out, you can find them eatblogtalk.com/Karistabennet. Karista, why don’t you tell my listeners where they can find you online?

Karista Bennett:

You can find me at www.karistabennett.com and you can find the book on amazon.com. Barnes and noble.com, indiebound.com and bookshop.com.

Megan Porta:

Great, everybody go check it out and check out Karista’s channels and her blog. And just thanks again so much for being here Karista. And thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you next time.

Intro:

We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to Eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk.

Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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