It's the festive season, and what could be more Christmassy than a Blog Spotlight all about good food? We managed to pry Yorkshire Pudd editor Christopher Blackburn away from the TV cameras and mixing bowl just long enough to find out all about his blog, and his preferred method for eating yorkshire pudds…
Tell us about your blog, how did you get started? Why did you choose your subject?
The Yorkshire Pudd blog was born after I became UK Amateur Yorkshire Pudding Champion in 2011 – the success and media attention that followed inspired me to write about my passion, food! I wanted to specialise in regional food, not necessarily always British. What is important is that we write recipes that anybody can achieve, we review restaurants that anybody can afford – we didn’t want to be an elitist blog! Our aim is to be the go-to blog for all things local food and produce-related and we're working hard to make that happen.
How do you source content for your blog?
Twitter has been an amazing tool to date, not only have TV companies found us that way but it allows us to network with producers, suppliers, restaurants, etc. that we may never of come across had it not been for the power of social media. We are also lucky to have a number of handwritten recipes from my wife’s grandmother who worked as a head cook in a prestigious manor house over on the worst side of the Pennines (obviously Yorkshire is the best side of the Pennines!!)
Do you have a favourite post or one that best sums up your blog?
Tough question and my answer may not be what you're expecting, we were recently invited to spend three days in the Douro Valley in Portugal where port is produced, I’m guessing that a blogger was required who had a passion for the provenance of ingredients and somebody who appreciated the traditions associated with the production of port. Thankfully the person they chose was me and it was a fantastic experience, one I’ll never forget!
Do you write reviews? How many people read your reviews?
We write lots of reviews and indeed talk openly on our social media channels about products. We get sent some pretty random things but we also turn down products that don’t match the values of our site!
How did you build a following for your blog?
Networking, speaking to people, never saying no to anything unless we’ve got cause to do so and I suppose three appearances on TV in the last 12 months with one big one coming up has helped too!
Are you a PR friendly blog? Do you accept contributions and content for your blog?
Yesyesyes, get in touch, share your ideas and as long as your suggestion matches the theme and values of our blog then we’ll welcome you right in! With a big Yorkshire Cuddle!!!
How best do you like to be approached by PRs?
Email us! I work away a lot and am hard to get hold of, our new addition to the team Claire is also a very busy person (with two men in her life – one of them is only a year old), but if you email us we’ll always get back to you!!
Have you been good or bad this year?
If you ask Carol Vorderman, Claire Richards, Chris Evans, Mary Berry and Tom Parker Bowles I’m sure they’d say our yorkshire puddings have been good this year, very good (hate to name drop). I’m also confident my wife would say I’ve been a good boy this year, but next year is the year when I have to be very very good, there’s a new addition to the family expected and I’m sure our baby daughter will test me to the nth degree!
What’s on your Christmas list?
The only thing I want for Christmas is family time, I’m not cooking this year, instead the family is gathering at a lovely little pub in the Village of Ripponden in Yorkshire and I cannot wait!!
You’ve recently taught Mary Berry how to make the perfect yorkshire pudd, any advice for budding bakers out there?
Beef dripping, that’s where all the flavour comes from! I sent Mary away with a tub of beef dripping, she commented on how intense the flavour is. Speak to your butcher, he’ll have some you can have, oh and don’t forget to check out our award-winning recipe on our website!!
Yorkshire pudds: eat them first or save them to mop up the gravy?
I have a solution, fill them with the gravy, eat half to release the gravy and save the other half until the end to do the mopping up! Lush!!
You can find Chris tweeting @ChrisPBlackburn.