Friday, May 24, 2024

The Digital (Foodie) Life – Introduction (Part 1 of 5) – The Digital Life

The truth is, I’ve always had a secret passion for food.  I’m often cruising through cookbooks, trying new restaurants, and discovering new cooking shows!  This CityLine blog has often been very technology-oriented, but living “The Digital Life” doesn’t always have to be “geeky.”

We live in a world of blogs, apps, smartphones, and there’s literally something for everyone!  In my online travels, I stumbled upon Andrew Dobson, a self-proclaimed “Professional Foodie,” based out of Toronto.  In this installment of the five-part series I call “The Digital (Foodie) Life,”  I get the opportunity to chat with the founder of the dobbernationLOVES blog, and talk about what inspired him to create it!

“I graduated from the University of Guelph’s Hotel and Food Administration program at the top of my class, was awarded 18 Provincial and National scholarships, and I felt at this point in my life I had a spotlight burning on my forehead. Everyone with bated breath was wondering, ‘What will he do next?’”

Dobson had a desire to wander off the beaten path.  University not only taught him the essential academics, but it also taught him that he had a new-found passion for travel.  He tells me that he caught the wanderlust bug in his 3rd year of studies when he found himself backpacking through 17 countries in Europe for his 4th year dissertation on “Global Culinary Tourism.”

“It was during this solo backpacking trip that I started to become obsessed with documenting everything I ate, every art gallery I visited, and the exact minute my train left the station. It was in the summer of 2007 that I realized I was a naturally-born blogger.”

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He realized that his travels over the past three years documenting culture and food would easily translate into a lifestyle blog showcasing the best that Toronto has to offer.

“I eat out at restaurants up to seven times a week and visit as many showy events in the city that catch my eye. I view the city as an ever-evolving foreign space, and my goal is to showcase all of its odds and ends in its entirety!”

From there, the blog dobbernationLOVES was conceptualized – “Dobber” being his nickname; and “nation” being the inspiration to create an online community.  In his words, it is now “an encyclopedia of everything that I love. It features all of my travel writing and photography, over 300 local restaurant reviews, events, food and beverage reviews, as well as odd ramblings.”

Dobson is an everyday Canadian who empowers the web and social media space to showcase his passion for lifestyle, food, and travel.  Twitter plays an integral part as he reaches out to his audience to gage what interests them, and what or where he’ll be reviewing next.

When Dobson first went backpacking in Europe, he wrote in two paper journals.  Today as a professional food blogger, he takes his MacBook Pro and smartphone to document his journeys.  Using the Wi-Fi connections readily available, he posts blogs, Tweets, and shares his reviews on Facebook.

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He tells me that Twitter enables him to ensure that “the conversation goes both ways and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how handy it can be, for example, to have a travel and food expert at your fingertips.”

In the next installment of “The Digital (Foodie) Life,” we’ll dive right in and I’ll talk to Andrew Dobson about his iPhone app suggestion to find great restaurant reviews all over the world!  

Have a question for the blog?  Send me an email,, or send me a Tweet, @WinstonSih is the place to go!

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Winston Sih
Winston Sih
Winston is currently a freelance technology and travel broadcast journalist, consultant, and is the creator and founder of Master Travellr—Canada’s destination for travel news, guides, and budget recommendations.


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