Kitchenesia met Windy Iwandy, food and travel blogger under the moniker of @foodirectory. She spoke of tips to staying in shape while eating heavy and her message of women empowerment.
An Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, "There is no sincere love than the love of food."
This maxim seems applicable utmostly to 25-year-old Windy Ivandy, a food and travel blogger under the moniker of @foodirectory on Instagram and blogspot. The Jakarta-based food reviewer and blogger started blogging food as a hobby, and also as coping mechanism to fight stress during final test in college.
"In 2015, foodirectory rose so fast. You know, it is because foods connect people," said Windy after Mondelez Press Conference at Kembang Goela restaurant, South Jakarta. "I am always grateful for my followers trusting my reviews."
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In less than 4 years, Windy acquires more than 63,000 followers on instagram, and loyal 12,000 subscribers on youtube. For a person who started a career from scratch, this is definitely a big achievement.
During 4 years gastronomical adventures, Windy definitely has many experiences to share. But she holds two principles that apply in all of her reviews: don't review dishonestly and don't discriminate.
From food made by three-Michelin chefs to street vendors, she reviews any food she thinks interesting. Incidentally, she also makes those foods viral.
Choose one: get paid to write a fake review or an honest review but not paid at all?
When it comes to reviewing food and restaurants, I always look for the positive things first. It can be the food packaging, the hospitality, and the food itself, definitely. Whenever I find weakness, I always describe it in detail to my followers and the restaurant's owner.
My review would be "I love the vibe of this restaurant but the foods need improvement" instead of saying the food is horrible without explanation. I respect every person involved in the food making.
Social media is already over-saturated with food and travel influencers. What things do you do to make yourself stand out?
That's true. And it requires endless creativity to stand out among them because every influencer I have encountered with is unique in their own. Their creativities are unmatched, and sometimes they make me feel intimidated (laugh).
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But male influencers are still dominant, not to mention on food field. There is always a spirit of women empowerment on every post and videos I post. I really want to empower my fellow women followers to embrace solo traveling. I really want to push them to get out from comfort zone, and begin to venture the unknown world, with or without men.
What foods do you predict to trend in 2020?
Healthy foods are getting popular and it will reach its momentum next year. I believe most people in big cities are already health-conscious. Thus healthy F&B businesses are flourishing, today and next year. Many restaurants have added vegan food in their menus. Also, new business model like healthy caterings are blooming fast.
Healthy food is not necessarily about salad or juice, only. Food vendors will also offer foods with less sugar or less salt.
I also agree with Mondelez research result that people tend to eat light-bite food more than the heavy ones. Thus, a healthy snack that contains daily nutrients will be popular.
What is the weirdest food you've ever eaten?
Back in 2018 when I traveled to Thailand, I tried a local street food named ant egg omelet. And yes, it used ant eggs as the omelet toppings. The sight of one-inch ant on top of an omelet made my stomach churn, though.
The texture was soft and fibrous like cotton. It tasted savory, just like normal omelet.
Your job requires you to eat often and a lot. But in contrary, you surely are slim considering your job.
You have no idea how I work so hard for that part (laugh). My body has been like this since born: skin and tall. But who wouldn't get fat if one eats high-calories foods five times a day?
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I work out morning and evening for five days in a week. The least workout I do is jogging for 15-20 minutes, equals to 2 to 3 kilometers. To increase sweat, wearing track suit is compulsory for workout.
I "cleanse" my body at least one day per week by consuming nothing but mineral water and organic juice. I also totally avoid eating rice and sweets to keep my weight ideal. I don't suggest anyone to follow this kind of diet. Different people need different nutrition.
What dish do you like?
I love anything soup-like, like bakso.