A chat with Joy Wilson from Joy the Baker
Thirty-year-old Los Angeles native Joy Wilson is the author of the cooking and baking blog Joy the Baker. She loved and appreciated food from a young age and was taught by her parents how to cook. Before settling down in Venice and becoming a full-time blogger, Wilson traveled and worked in several cities across the United States, including Burlington, Vt., Miami and Seattle, and earned a degree in English literature from Cal State Northridge.
At the start of our conversation, I asked the most obvious question: How did Joy the Baker get started?
"It was on a whim," she said. "I was looking for a way to continue baking and after following blogs like Smitten Kitchen, decided to do my own. My friend gave me a 15-minute photo lesson and then I started writing."
The food featured on the blog is driven by what inspires Wilson and what she wants to eat herself. She says that what makes her blog stand out is her ability to connect with readers. "There is a voice beyond the food. I express a lightness and vulnerability in my writing. My readers can relate to me, whether I break up with a boy, am going to a party, or a trip to the market."
Since starting the blog almost four years ago, Wilson has also co-founded (with Michael Friedman) Homefries, a website dedicated to creating podcasts on food, family, wine, design and community. The partnership started in 2010, and Joy the Baker is on its 20th episode. Wilson co-hosts the show with Shutterbean's Tracy Benjamin and says that "ideas for the podcast come from our Twitter followers, awkward conversations, real-life experiences, which overlaps with cooking and eating. We try to keep the show loose and relatable."
Wilson's cookbook, "The Joy the Baker Cookbook," comes out in February and features 100 recipes and photos focused on comfort food. "It is daunting, terrifying and exciting all at the same time," she says. "When I signed my name on the contract, I thought: You know I just write a blog, right?"
-- Leah Rodrigues
Photo credit: Michael Friedman