The Full Birmingham Foodie Lowdown – Full To The Brum NJAFB Interview
Move over London, it’s Birmingham’s time to shine.
Whilst the city has long been known as one of the UK’s hotspots for some damn good curry, Birmingham now more than rivals London for gorgeous Burger joints, gourmet pizza takeaways and more foodie festivals. But to get the low-down on exactly what makes Birmingham tick (food-wise) we spoke to Laura from Full To The Brum, a deserving winner of one of our NJAFB awards.
hungryhouse: First off tell us a bit more about yourself Laura, who or what inspired you to take the plunge and start your own food blog?
Laura: I’ve always enjoyed the adventurous nature of food and I really like to write, so in some ways it was a perfect fit, but it took me a while because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to write about. The focus on Birmingham came about because I was constantly out on food and drink adventures and people would ask how I found out about it, so I wanted to share it with others. It really frustrates me that Birmingham is a great city with lots going on but we don’t always shout about it – so this is me shouting, in my own way.
hh: What do you love most about food blogging?
L: I’m not sure I could pick one thing! I love the adventurous nature of food and running a food blog encourages me to find more of these to go on. I love the community, amongst bloggers in general but more so amongst food bloggers in Birmingham-ish. Nerdy as it might sound, I love that there’s constantly things to learn about, whether it’s food and drink related or web stuff.
hh: The food blogging scene is thriving right now, but what do you think Full To The Brum brings to the table that others don’t?
L: I guess I’ve never really thought about it like that. I love that there are plenty of other blogs out there and I think in Birmingham it’s a pretty inclusive space – I personally want more blogs to read and I’ve made some great friends who are fellow food bloggers. But I guess what makes Full to the Brum different is that I try and write it from my perspective, so it’s a mix of enthusiastic, excitable but also a bit irreverent and sarcastic. I think food can be a great adventure, but it’s also an everyday thing so I try and keep it tailored to how I’d talk about it.
hh: We can’t get enough of your gorgeous shots of food, but what do you think makes the perfect food photo?
L: Hah, thank you! Honestly I think it’s mainly a good camera and luck when it comes to my shots. Most of them are taken in venues so there’s no room to set up, so I just try and think what makes this look tasty – overhead shots are good, but for me I like trying to capture that brief intimate moment when someone presents you with a dish and it’s all about you and the food. I can’t be the only one that totally zones out for a moment when someone presents me some food! Looking at how other people shoot food photos is also really helpful; we’ve got two great food photographers in Birmingham – Jack Spicer Adams and Lap-fai Lee.
hh: Why should Brummies be proud of the food scene in their city? Do you reckon Birmingham more than holds its own compared to London?
L: I heard someone say that “they’re from the second city but they’re second to none” and that’s how I see comparing Birmingham to London. London is about eight times the size of Birmingham and as a capital it’s always going to have more going on. But that said, I think Brummies should absolutely be proud of their city’s food scene – we’ve got four Michelin-starred restaurants (more than any English city outside London), award-winning street food events and vendors and thriving pop up and bar scenes.
hh: Birmingham is famous for its Balti, but what would be your inside-tip for a foodie coming to town?
L: Street food is a big thing in Birmingham and with Digbeth Dining Club every Friday night it’s a good excuse to try something new. You’ll often find award winners in their own right, like Original Patty Men, setting up shop. If you want something seated and a little less messy then Two Cats Kitchen and Alex Claridge’s Nomad are both bringing something new and exciting to the city. For a more everyday kind of thing then China Town is probably one of my favourite places to eat for something really casual but tasty. And of course you’re spoilt for choice with curry in the city.
hh: How do you hear about new places to try in Birmingham? Do restaurants often reach out to you for a review?
L: I suppose it’s a mix of keeping an eye out, checking the internet and people or venues telling me. When I started out it was mainly just me blogging about my dinner, but I’m getting more restaurants reaching out for reviews which is always lovely and I’m always mindful to be honest with my opinion.
hh: Time to spill the beans Laura, which British blogger stands out to you as being ‘Not Just Another Food Blogger’?
L: I love reading other local bloggers to get hints and tips of where to dine next. People like Roz over at the Foodie Couple Blog go on some great food adventures and her husband is a chef so the recipes are always great too. Emily over at Recipes and Reviews does exactly what the name suggests and I’m totally coveting all the macarons she posts about! Plus, Adam and Rich from Out in Brum are Birmingham food blogger stalwarts and always know what’s going on in the city.
Feature image fulltothebrum.co.uk