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Lindsay Anderson wins Richmond Foodie Blogger job

Lindsay Anderson is the Richmond Foodie Blogger. -
Lindsay Anderson is the Richmond Foodie Blogger.
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Lindsay Anderson is preparing for a big meal—actually 365 of them.

Tourism Richmond has named the 27-year-old Vancouver resident its Richmond Foodie Blogger as part of the organization's 365 Days of Dining campaign.

Anderson landed her "dream job" after a competition between 1,506 candidates who put their best fork forward. Anderson launched an online campaign from her blog (linds-eats.blogspot.ca) to help secure the year-long position.

"I was pretty speechless. Everyone's joked that I'm a happy talker, so for me to be speechless, that says something," laughed Anderson in an interview Tuesday morning following the announcement.

Born and raised in Prince George, Anderson has lived "all over the place," but has called Vancouver home since last fall.

Her interest in food, she said, is "just a part of me."

"My whole family is not really sure where it came from. I didn't grow up in a big household that's always around the table. We ate really good, healthy, nutritious meals growing up, but it wasn't the centre of my family's life."

Anderson has worked as a film set caterer and served as head cook for 120 tree planters. She last worked at the Dirty Apron Cooking School in Vancouver, showcasing her talents as writer and photographer for the Dirty Apron Blog.

She holds a bachelor's degree in art history from University of Victoria, and last year completed a one-year master in food culture and communications program at University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy.

As Richmond Foodie Blogger, Anderson will chronicle her restaurant adventures online. She'll earn a $50,000 salary and receive a meal allowance and living expenses.

Her first day on the job is today Wednesday, with her first restaurant blog post expected Thursday.

Anderson said she'll turn to locals to guide her restaurant journey, which will include everything from casual breakfasts and fancy lunches to fish and chips and night market eats.

"Whenever I'm in a new place, I just ask people where your favourite place is to go, and I'll start with that," said Anderson, adding  she's looking forward to learning about Asian cuisine.

"It's definitely not my specialty. I'm much more familiar with Italian food or European food. This is going to be a huge learning opportunity for me. I love learning about food culture as much as the food itself."

Tourism Richmond is also giving Anderson a one-year membership to the Richmond Olympic Oval, where she's planning to join exercise classes and flex her muscles on the climbing wall.

"That's a huge part of my strategic plan," she said. "The more you exercise the bigger appetite you have, is how I look at it."

Michelle Dunn, director of communications for Tourism Richmond, said the contest winner had to be pretty special to handle the year-long post and keep blog readers engaged.

"(Anderson) does everything with a big smile on her face. She's very positive and enthusiastic, bright, articulate, and she's not afraid of anything."

Since Tourism Richmond is a destination marketing organization, the goal of the promotion is to convince travellers and visitors to want to spend time in Richmond—a city Dunn said unique due to its 800 restaurants, 400 of which are Asian eateries.

"It's a very unique job. As far as we can tell no one else has done this anywhere in the world," said Dunn. "Ultimately we'd like to think that people will fall in love with Richmond like Richmond residents already have."

Kelly Brisson of Ottawa, Ont. and Melanie Hillier of Toronto, Ont. were two other finalists in the competition.

Follow Anderson's food adventures in Richmond at 365daysofdining.com.

About Lindsay Anderson

•Travelled solo throughout southern Africa

•Jumped from the highest bungy bridge

•Eaten cheese made by hand in mountains of Crete

•Stood on Kjeragbolten Rock in Norway

•Lived in a tent for months while cooking in rural B.C. tree-planting camps

•Catered for an indie movie on farmland with no running water or power

•Helped plant crocus bulbs (for saffron) and harvest olives in Tuscany

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