If there is one food blog that gives me late night cravings and at the same time inspire me to do better food photography, it has to be the Flying Food Ninja. It has been one of the first blogs I started following in Doha and still holds to be one of my favourite ones! And if you don’t just yet follow her, I would highly recommend you do now! (Disclaimer: I am not in ANY way responsible for any late night cravings that you might get looking at her Instagram feed at odd hours!)
So there was NO question in my mind when I started this section that I wanted to interview Sally Clark – the Flying Food Ninja.
When I say it’s one of my favourites, let me tell you why…
- Her photographs are so well composed and shot #FoodPhotographyGoals. She inspires me! (I scroll through her posts at least twice or thrice to absorb it all in – True story!)
- Her food reviews/ restaurant reviews are so visual, very well laid out and totally on point!
- She gives out ALL the details you need to know from restaurant timings to the price (with and without beverages and even for children – ALL the details!)
- She then takes you through from starters to dessert followed by a feel of the scene with her brilliant photography skills!
- She then gives an Overall Rating out of 5! And then also give ratings based on Food, Atmosphere, Creativity, Service, and Value for Money!
- She shares her favourite dishes and if she would return back to the restaurant.
- And my favourite part – she also shares how many times she has been to the restaurant! I LOVE this – because it gives the reader an idea of how genuine the review is!
- Basically, the MOST comprehensive restaurant review you will find here in Doha! (I always check her reviews before trying a restaurant – no joke!)
- She has an Eat By Country section, so if you travel to another country, you know where to go and what to expect. She told me she does a lot of research and then selects the restaurants she tries on her travels #SeriousFoodie!
- She has a beautifully designed, sleek website and the cutest logo!
- And not to forget her Insta-stories on Instagram are #Instastorygoals!
And I rest my case on why you need to follow her!! (lol!)
Though I had met her briefly at an event, this was the first time we actually met at a coffee shop and had a long conversation. Although I am a decade older than her, we had an instant connection! I had so much fun talking to her. sharing experiences and photographing her (though I was nervous cause she is so good herself!).
So without me going on any further, let’s see what she had to say to my questions!
Q: Tell us something about yourself? Who is Sally in real life? (like education, family, expat life etc.)
Sally: Oh dear that is a tough one. I think I’m a little bit of a mixed bag much like my background. My Father is British, my Mother is Thai, I was raised in Australia and I am now married to an American with Cuban heritage. Our kids will be super confused don’t think you? haha! I have a slight obsession with food, I’m an online contemporary marketing student and I’m also very passionate about photography. I think that pretty much sums me up.
Q: What inspired you to write a food blog? Tell us about the Flying Food Ninja journey?
Sally: Hats off to my husband for this one. I am always taking pictures of my food and I just love eating sooo much that he suggested I combine my passion for food and photography and showcase it through a website. I loved the idea and started doing my research on who was already a blogger in Doha and how to make a website.
Fun Fact: The first blog I followed in Qatar was Polly from Follow Your Sunshine.
Q: Your blog is so sleek and good looking; did you design it yourself?
Sally: Firstly, thank you! I wanted something minimalistic and to the point – sleek is definitely what I was after. I have a slight case of OCD so I actually did everything myself, including the design and creation of my logo.
Q: Your photos are so gorgeous and beautifully composed. How did you learn photography? What’s your process when you take a photo? What gear you use (camera and lenses) and how do u edit your photos?
Sally: I’d definitely say the same about your photos and I also have the same questions for you. For me, I taught myself photography through trial and error. I bought a DSLR when I first started travelling because I wanted high resolution, high-quality images. I never realized it would become an extension of my arm and such a passion (hopefully a future career).I started with the Canon 550D and recently upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark III. My favourite lens, which I now use for everything, is my Canon 50mm 1.4f lens. When it comes to taking the photos, I never used to think about the shot before taking it. I would kind of just see something that I thought would make a good picture and I would keep clicking in the hope that something good will turn out. Now I try to look at something first and think to myself, “how could I take this so it doesn’t look like the same as everyone else’s.” Sometimes you get the photo you want and sometimes not. I use Adobe Photoshop to edit my photos. Actually, I think that has been my secret. I studied graphic design at school so I know how to do some simple edits with Photoshop. That way when my photos don’t turn out the way I want them to, I just correct the mistakes in Photoshop. I think you are forever learning when you are passionate about something.
Q: Can you walk us through a typical day for you?
Sally: I wish I had a typical day. Every day is different for me, depending on what restaurant I want to dine at or whether I’m even in the country. I know my month will involve eating out, cooking (a lot), grocery shopping, being stuck in traffic, studying to finish my Marketing degree, reading recipe books, editing photos, meeting friends, going to events, taking photos, a monthly trip somewhere new for food, gym classes, meditation, movies or outdoor activities with my husband…Oh and laundry – why is there always an endless pile of laundry? hahaQ: What are your cooking inspirations? A famous chef, your mom, a cookbook, a blog?
Sally: My mother and father-in-law are my biggest inspirations. It doesn’t matter what is in the fridge they will create something amazing out of nothing. My mother also has a very green thumb and cooks a lot of dishes using ingredients from her garden #seriouscookinggoals.I’m also slightly obsessed with Gordon Ramsay. He has definitely taught me a thing or two about making my way around a kitchen. I think I’ve watched some of his YouTube videos over a hundred times.
Q: What’s the best and worst thing about being a food blogger?
Sally: The best part about being a food blogger is meeting other bloggers. Like-minded people who either love food, photography or blogging as much as I do. The worst part about it would probably be the effect all this eating out has on my health and my wallet. Lol
Q: What if you are invited to a food/restaurant review and you do not like the food AT all! What do you do in a situation like that?
Sally: This has actually happened a couple of times. I will send an email explaining in detail why I didn’t like the food and why I will not be sharing it with my followers. Editing photos and writing a blog post takes a lot of time. Why spend that time writing something negative that I would not recommend? I believe that kind of blogging will not benefit my audience or the restaurant (who could have been having an off night).
Q: What’s the most adventurous dish you’ve ever eaten?
Sally: I eat almost everything so I am not sure what most would term as adventurous. The first thing that comes to mind is a chicken heart. My husband convinced me to do it and I can’t say it was that tasty.
Q: Have you ever tried Pakistani food?
Sally: Yes, I have and I love it! One of my favourite restaurants in Doha is Zaoq. They have some of the best lamb chops I’ve ever had and a Murg Naulakkha that I crave for, far too often.
Q: How does a food blogger like you, stay that slim! You look amazing!
Sally: Thank you! I think for now it is my age and my genetics. My Mum is Thai and I’m only 27. I will say it is slowly catching up with me. I may not be fat on the outside but I am definitely fat on the inside.
Q: What’s the biggest tip you have for anyone wanting to start a food blog? What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Sally: Tip number one is – just do it! I think people spend too much time in their lives thinking of doing things but never actually doing them. I know I am also guilty of this. I realized when you overthink something you never end up doing it. So, I say just do it and figure it out as you go – that is my favourite way to learn. As for the best piece of advice? Do what you love because if you love what you do, it will never feel like a chore.
Q: What’s next for you and the blog?
Sally: Oh, so many exciting collaborations and possibly a name/brand change. Let’s see… 2018 is going to be my year of consistency – so I’ve told myself. hehe
TV Show/Movie: Breaking Bad/I Am Legend
Book/Novel: A Child Called It
Blog: Please don’t make me choose
Activity with Family: Eating Out
Travel Destination: Japan or Cape Town, SA
Celebrity Chef: Gordon Ramsay
Fine Dining Restaurant: Quay in Sydney – just for either Snow Egg (it’s the best dessert of life)
Favorite Recipe (you have tried): Mum’s Thai Fried Chicken Wings
Savory or Sweet?: A combination of both… like Fried Chicken and Waffles
Asian food or British delicacies?: Asian food
One thing you LOVE to eat and can have any time: Cadbury Chocolate
One thing that you CANNOT eat at all!: Runny Egg Yolk
Eat In or Eat Out?: Eat Out
Thank you, Sally for taking the time out for doing this for my blog.
You can (should!) follow Sally on