Our featured influencer this month is Joyce Lam, an OG food blogger who loves nothing more than dining out with family and friends, cooking with her mama and camping with her hubby. —Noa Nichol
Hi Joyce! Where does your great love of food come from?
I definitely owe it to my parents, who helped me develop a great love of food. Growing up in Hong Kong, my parents would take me out to try new restaurants and cuisines. I remember being fascinated as a kid by the wide variety of live, fresh seafood at local markets and restaurants, and equally impressed by the ability to try a little bit of everything at hotel buffets. I was already familiar with adventurous ingredients like quails, mantis shrimps, raw oysters and offal at a young age. To this day, my food motto remains, “I will try anything once!” I launched my website back in 2009 (boy, am I dating myself)! Food blogging was just starting to gain popularity locally, and I had always shared my dining-out experiences with friends anyway. So I thought, why not venture into the food blogging world and share my experiences and thoughts with other food lovers?
How do you use your platform to impact those who follow you?
These days I’m most active on Instagram and TikTok, as it’s easier to show my experiences in video format. It definitely takes a lot of effort to edit all the footage and add voiceover and music to my videos, but moving pictures are more engaging and immersive for my followers. I also try to demonstrate how fun and unique each experience is, for me. I’m blessed with food-loving family and friends so I’m always dining and exploring with someone, and my interactions with them are captured on camera as well.
What’s been your favourite thing to eat, and why?
I get asked a lot what my favourite restaurant is, or my favourite things to eat. Truthfully, there isn’t one thing or one place that I would (at) eat over and over. I’ve always been an adventurous diner, so I would much rather try a new restaurant, or a new dish, than go back to the same place, or order the same meal again. That being said, there’s a certain comfort in Chinese food for me, so I would not say no to a delicious bowl of noodle soup, or congee, or dumplings. And I would NEVER say no to my mom’s (a.k.a. Mama Lam’s) cooking!
O, Christmas! Are you a holly jolly junkie? What’s your favourite thing about this time of year—and some of your favourite festive things to eat in Vancouver?
Christmas is my favourite holiday! I love going out to the local attractions for their holiday light displays, and Christmas markets and pop-up craft fairs are a joy. Of course, it’s also the season of feasting. I have always enjoyed a bountiful Christmas Day brunch at a local hotel, as well as holiday cakes and pastries from local patisseries and bakeries. For years now, my husband and I (mostly my husband, since I usually do the eating) would prepare a brunch or dinner for our families. We would try to prepare a bird of some kind, so we’ve roasted a goose in years past, and last year we slow-roasted a succulent turkey crown and a hearty bouillabaisse. This year, I may attempt to make individual servings of stuffed quail. We’ll see!
We all know ’tis the season to give: what’s your fave type of gift to give … and do you give back in any way during the Christmas season?
I like to be practical, so my gifts are usually something the recipient needs or can make great use of. Last year, my husband and I put together gift baskets of snacks and drinks for our friends and family, with different assortments that we thought they would enjoy. While Christmas is the season of giving, I don’t think it should be the only time where we give back to the community. Charities need our support throughout the year. On an annual basis, I make donations to a couple of causes that I support, and I try to use my platforms to promote local charities if there’s a fit.
Christmas wish time: what is at the very top of your personal gift list?
I’ll be happy to receive any edible gifts or food-adjacent items! And to me, Christmas is more about spending time with family and friends, and enjoying a big feast (or two) with them.
Follow Joyce on Instagram.