Boredom is my bane, one of the few things I cannot bear.
I started my professional career fresh out of the university with a diploma that accredited me as an industrial designer. Less than two years after my graduation I quit my job.
A stroke of serendipity landed me a job in a very different professional area, one for which I was distinctly unqualified. My only redeeming quality was the fact that I was bilingual, and yet somehow I landed in the world of International Logistics. After a trip back to the university, I spent the next ten years talking about TEUs and B/Ls.
This was all fun and good while it lasted, but there has been one constant love in my life, born at the time that my mom bought me my first toy caldero and anafe: cooking. It frankly never occurred to me that one day I would make a living of it.
The Birth of DominicanCooking.com
Almost ten years ago I started DominicanCooking.com, a website in where I’ve tried to keep a record of traditional Dominican recipes and spread the word about the richness of our culinary culture. It’s also been a way to combine my love of web design (I had designed and maintained several other sites before that) with cooking and photography. Shortly after I became pregnant with my daughter, I decided that running our sites would become my new full-time job. I haven’t had a boring day since.
One of the best perks of this job is the company I keep. While I have been the driving force behind the site since the beginning, other contributions have left their imprint in our virtual kitchen over these years. J. Wyatt, funny and talented, was one of the first writers we had, she was also the editor of the English language site under the nom de plume “Aunt Jane”.
Shortly after Aunt Jane’s departure, my friend Ilana Benady joined in. A fountain of world wisdom and a very talented writer (with several books under her authorship), Ilana writes entertaining and informative articles for our site. She’s also had the unenviable task of reminding me that just because it makes sense in my head, doesn’t mean it actually makes sense and has put a stop to my murdering of the English language.
In the background, there’s also been Robert Woolford, partner and webmaster of DR1.com, one of the most successful Dominican websites! He has lent his geek magic to help keep the site running smoothly since the beginning.
Rise of the Dominican Bloggers
For years being a Dominican culinary blogger was quite a lonely endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be any more. There are now many talented Dominican culinary bloggers out there. This diverse group of bloggers includes culinary professionals, people for whom cooking is a part-time business and those who do it entirely for fun. I make a living out of blogging and related-activities (freelance food photography and writing, as well as advertising and sponsorship). While so far this has meant taking a pay cut from my previous profession, the fact that I’ve been able to be a work-from-home mom has worked out wonderfully for our family. Another bonus is that I got to interact with wonderful people from around the world who share an interest in our culinary heritage. It’s the only job I have had where I feel like I’m doing something that matters.
But, one of the most difficult parts of this is explaining to people what I do. Pro-bloggers are rare in the Dominican Republic. The younger generation immediately understands what I do, but older generations have more difficulty understanding the concept, to the point that sometimes I simply answer “housewife” to the question “what do you do for a living?”
Perhaps I should make up a fancy job name for myself. What do you think? Any suggestions?