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Susan York, Food Writer, Photographer, and Traveler

Tequila Queen

Susan Knight York

Traveling and bloging her way thry a wine festival

Susan with Chef Mari Carmen Lopez Aguilar Sierra Nevada

The Personality of the Month

By Jade Arroyo

“People who love food are always the best people”—Julia Child

Susan is the author of Cupcakes And Crablegs, a website dedicated to food and culture, in which she blogs about the gastronomic scene in San Miguel de Allende.

Her blog started as a personal project, just something to keep her occupied, while living in Chicago. The website became more and more prominent, and she has become a more passionate writer and photographer since September 2009.

If you also love food and soulful experiences, you must read Susan’s content and let yourself became gastronomically literate. We love her story on female chefs in San Miguel, who are great women. Together they form a group of over 30. York has also done a deep study on cooking schools and their different styles and personal magic. Yearly, she writes up a resumé of the best restaurants and about once a month, there’s a new story.

Although food people have build relationships since the beginning of humankind, it’s the alchemy of transforming love into food, nurturing those special ones. The name Cupcakes and Crablegs comes from her family: Cupcakes was the nickname her father called her and crab legs are her son’s favorites.

“My love of food was acquired from my dad, who also loved Mexico and photography. He was a foodie before the word ever became popular. He belonged to a gourmet food club in Minneapolis back in the 1960s. They never told them what they were eating until after they ate it. He ate some really strange things. It also came from my mom. I’m exactly like her, planning my next meal before I finish the one I am eating. In fact, I’ve already decided what my next meal will be and even the meal after that. I travel to eat.”

When eating local food, you get a big taste of the culture and an inkling of what it’s like to be a local. If a country doesn’t have a good food scene, York just doesn’t go there. Her idea of a vacation involves a lot of good food.

The chef community here in San Miguel is small but tight. They’ve created interesting menus and unique food offerings. They’ve all had to up their game in the past three years as new restaurants move in. It’s so wonderful that they’ve responded. It’s amazing how many people come to San Miguel now just to eat.

“I get a table for one all the time because it’s my job. I rarely bring people along when I’m working. I want to give full attention to the chef, the menu, and the restaurant I’m eating in. Most of the notes I make are mental except when I’m recording a lot of ingredients in a dish. I looked the other day when I was dining out, and most of the people were looking at their phones, escaping into social media and were not sharing the experience of enjoying their meal with the people they were out with. In a sense, everyone was eating alone. Made me think I need to leave my phone at home, except then I would be without one of my cameras.”

“San Miguel is filled with wonderful people, and I always make a point of talking to everyone.” Monday through Friday at 7:20 AM, she walks to Starbucks to write. “For once, my sense of timing was perfect. The food scene in San Miguel has done a 180 degree turn in the past three years. I can’t wait to see what it does in the next five.”

 

York is not only fascinated by food but also by how chefs develops dishes. What makes a good dish? Simple: a chef who cooks with simple but exceptional ingredients. The ingredients have to be good; it’s as simple as that.

But not everything is fancy restaurants at her blog; there are also stories on the best street food.

“Street food is some of the best and least expensive ways to immerse yourself in another culture. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met at a taco cart that have given me a spontaneous language or local food lesson for the price of a taco.”

The first time she came to Mexico was in the sixties when she arrived at 18 for a summer session at the University of Guadalajara. “I’ve been in love with Mexico all my life, so when I retired here, nobody in my inner circle was surprised.”

“Three times I’ve come close to going to culinary school, but something always got in the way. Love actually. I swear when I turn 80, I’m going to sign up at the CIA. For the next 10 years I plan to travel … and to eat, of course.”

She was trained in graphic design. Good design touches everything. It translates to food in how a chef lays out his artistic creation on a plate. Design moves mountains and certainly drives social media. Like photography or writing, you always have to be thinking, looking for inspiration. “I think inspiration is everywhere, especially in San Miguel.

Since her training in graphic design, the transition to digital era felt natural. York is a lover of the 21st century and loves social media and networking, surfing through them with ease. Social media and the Internet have made the world feel smaller. She loves the fact of having readers and friends all over the world.

Susan York is also a collaborator to foodiehub and a TV writer and photographer. You can check it out in any city you visit to know what’s good to eat. Bon Appetit!

Check out www.cupcakesandcrablegs.com
Current projects:
-30 Restaurants in 30 Days: How to Eat Healthier
-How to Eat Your Way through 48 Hours in San Miguel de Allende
-Some of Mexico’s Best Cities to Eat In

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