Sharon started her original blog, Gourmet Persuasian, back in 2013 when she moved from Shanghai to San Francisco with her husband. Three years and many features later, Sharon rebranded her site to DelishPlan, a food blog on a mission to help busy professionals cook healthy meals quickly and easily. With lots of yummy recipes, kitchen tips, food guides, and cooking videos, the site is filled with educational and practical information waiting to be discovered.
What made you start DelishPlan?
I originally started my food blog (it was called Gourmet Persuasian at the time) to keep in touch with my mom since I moved to the States and she is still in China. My mother is an excellent cook and she always wants me to learn cooking but for some reason, I didn’t cook in China at all. After getting married in San Francisco, I learned cooking through Skype calls with my mom 3-4 times every day. Sharing her recipes on the blog is something that keeps us close, even though we are physically at two opposite sides of the world.
Over the past three years, the little food blog turned from the personal connection with my mom to something greater. I realized that I could help and encourage more people to cook at home more, eat healthier, and spend more time with families over homemade food. So I rebranded the blog to DelishPlan with a mission of helping busy professionals and home cooks prepare delicious, healthy meals in less time than they ever thought possible.
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I enjoy the process of developing new easy recipes with accessible ingredients and photographing the food. I love the feeling of accomplishing a recipe that I know people will want to cook over and over again. I also enjoy writing.
There are so many recipes on your site – what are some of your favorites?
My favorite ones are those easy meals that requires one pot or one pan, but totally wholesome. That’s what I have been trying to focus on after the rebranding.
I also really like what I call the ‘game-changing vegetables’ recipes. These will totally change the way you look at vegetables. Try it once, you’ll never go back. Take the Caribbean-Style Corn on The Cob as an example, they are coated with homemade aioli, paprika, Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. This is a recipe recreation of the Fire Roasted Corn in a Caribbean Latino restaurant called Paseo in Key West, Florida. Once I reverse-engineered the recipe, it became the staple corn in my family.
Which food blogs do you like to follow?
I follow What’s Gaby Cooking because I love Gaby’s out-going personality and you can totally feel the love she puts in her recipes. Following her on SnapChat is really fun too. Minimalist Baker is one of my favorite sites too. Dana does most of her recipes vegan and gluten-free and the photographs are absolutely amazing. I am not vegan and I love gluten, but seeing Dana’s creation without meat, dairy, and gluten is fasinating.
The photos on the site are gorgeous! Are there any tips you could share with us?
Thank you! I only shoot with natural light coming from the side. The downside is that I don’t have control of the lighting. If I have to shoot on a dark raining day, it’s difficult and a tripod is required.
What camera equipment do you use?
I use Nikon D90 with an AF-S DX 18-105mm Lens. I bought it 7 years ago for my hiking trips. I didn’t think that I would use it to take photos of food at all. But it’s been serving me well. :)
Where do you find the inspiration for new recipes?
My mom is one of my inspiration sources. I cook recipes from food.com quite a bit. That’s basically how I picked up western cuisine because everything from food.com is pretty much from a real American home kitchen. The more I practice, the better I understand American tastes and what ingredients pair well together.
What are you up to these days?
I have been writing my second book lately. My first book is a smoothie cleanse book which was published in May, 2015. My second book is a slow cooker cookbook and I am including my entire culinary journey in it. The book will be published this fall. I am really excited about it.