A shiny black shift dress and black heels will take pride of place when former local Emma Galloway packs her bags for an awards ceremony in Las Vegas this time next week.
“I don’t wear heels very often (basically never), so fingers crossed I can walk in them!” she emailed the Chronicle last Sunday.
The 33-year-old chef can’t quite believe her win in the best original recipe category of Saveur’s Best Food Blog Awards, and that she’s flying to Vegas courtesy of the influential American food magazine along with winners not only from the States but also from the likes of London and Canada.
“I still feel like my blog is relatively small,” she admits, but the fact the winners were picked from more than 30,000 blogs worldwide makes her very proud.
As a mother of two youngsters with food allergies, Emma had just started blogging her gluten and dairy-free recipes back in 2010 when the Chronicle first caught up with her at home in Cross Street. She’d earlier borrowed renowned blogger Heidi Swanson’s book from the Raglan Library.
“That’s what got me onto food blogs in the first place and is what inspired me to start my own,” Emma emailed this week from Perth where she and her Vietnamese- Australian husband Si Nguyen and their children now live.
Emma’s now looking forward to meeting many of the biggest names of international blogging. “These awards are like the Grammys of the food blogging world.”
And she’s extending her stay in the States to 10 days to catch up with bloggers and authors – including her “hero” Heidi Swanson – in person. “Thankfully our kids are now at a stage where they are okay with me being away from them for a little while,” she says of her small family, who until three years ago all lived in Raglan where Emma herself was raised.
Emma last month enjoyed a fleeting visit back home to launch at The Herbal Dispensary her first cookbook, whose title is borrowed from her popular mydarlinglemonthyme.com blog. But it was not enough time to enjoy a walk on Ngarunui Beach, she laments, or to paddleboard in the harbour out from the silos where her dad Rob lives.
However she did get to catch up with the “like-minded community” she misses. She was also captured on camera with 2013 NZ MasterChef winner Aaron Brunet and baby-whisperer Sharlene Poole – two other Raglanders with first books to their credit.
And she got to “overdose” on feijoas which’ve been in plentiful supply around town of late. “I would kill for a feijoa tree out back (in Perth),” she quips.