We were able to nab a few minutes with HFBC Founder/President and Petite Professional superstar, Claire Siegel to answer some of our most burning questions about what it's like to live in her shoes! Read below for the full interview.
Hi Claire! Let's get started, shall we? What do you do for a living?
I'm the Registered Dietitian for Snap Kitchen's Houston market.
What was your reasoning for and overall goal in starting HFBC?
I was a member of a similar food blogger network in Austin while I was living there for undergrad, and when I moved to Houston for work, I found that there wasn't a community quite like it. Instead of waiting for something to pop up, I decided to do it myself with the help of foodie friend & blogger extraordinaire, Kylie. Though Kylie is no longer in a leadership position with HFBC (that girl is BUSY!), I wouldn't have had the guts to get this started on my own.
My goal for the group is to connect food-obsessed sharers with each other in a space that promotes trying new things, growth in our craft, and friendship between like-minded people who perhaps wouldn't cross paths otherwise. The best part of our group dinners is feeling no shame when we all whip our our cameras/phones upon the arrival of each course.
What is your own blog, and how would you describe it?
I write The Petite Professional, a healthy food & fitness blog for the busy young professional. My recipes are all made from wholesome, nutritious ingredients, and most only contain a handful of them. I focus on single-serving dishes or those that can be meal prepped to last through the week.
What has been the most exciting HFBC event to date?
While being wined & dined by our amazing restaurant hosts has been incredible, my favorite HFBC event was actually one that we created-- Meet the Makers. We asked a handful of our favorite local food/drink vendors to share their goods at Sharespace, and invited the public to come in and give 'em a taste! It was such a fun way to highlight the incredible things happening in the Houston food scene, and also witness the power of social media driven communities.
What’s something surprising that has come out of HFBC that you hadn’t anticipated?
Its growth! We're at over 130 members right now, which absolutely blows my mind. When Kylie and I started this, I thought we'd have to beg or convince people to join, and now we regularly receive emails asking when applications will open back up so new members can hop on board! I also feel incredibly fortunate to have this collection of people helping me lead the group now in the form of the Executive Board/Advisory Council. I was shocked to see that so many people wanted to play an active role in shaping our future. It's been such a joy (and a relief) to share this responsibility!
If I’m visiting Houston for 24 hours only, which restaurants can’t I miss?
So hard! I would say... Breakfast at Weights + Measures, lunch at Local Foods, and dinner at Pondicheri. Squeeze a Common Bond chocolate chip cookie somewhere in there.
What is your biggest piece of advice for new food bloggers?
Just get started. I meet so many people who say they've wanted to start a food blog but haven't, usually because they "can't think of a name." Sit down for an hour, brainstorm a name, and then just get into it! There are so many free resources online that walk you through how to purchase a domain and get started creating content, so there's really nothing stopping you!
What are some of your favorite [food and non-food] blogs to read?
I read Cupcakes and Cashmere nearly every morning. I kinda want to be Emily Schuman when I grow up. I also love Hummusapien, Design Love Fest, Nutrition Stripped, and of course, Houston's (and HFBC's!) very own Sugar & Cloth.
If you could be on one reality TV cooking show, what would it be, and why?
Probably my own... I don't deal well cooking under pressure but I'd love to be the modern day, healthy, cool, young Martha Stewart.
The world is ending tomorrow. What’s your final meal?
Bacon cheeseburger (on an incredibly delicious, fluffy, slightly sweet bun) and french fries-- some truffled, some plain.