Interview: Ryan Mangan

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by Danielle Holian

For our readers, tell us about yourself?

Ryan here, I’m 21 years old, a science student in NUI Galway and, of course, a big foodie! My family could always cook when I was growing up, and a lot of times my interest was sparked both my seeing and tasting some delicious home-made recipes. I was never immersed in a massive food-based culture, however, and Endorphin Stew mostly came out of my own initiative after realising the potential that healthy eating has to make us feel good and happy when maybe there aren’t many other options to keep smiling sometimes!

Can you describe how you got into blogging, and what inspired you to start it?

I set up the blog after a fulfilling but tiring couple of years of poetry writing and representing Team Ireland in the international Brave New Voices festival in America. I felt I had my cake when it came to that stuff and decided to peruse my less-taxing and very enjoyable hobby of cooking and posting about it online. I’m still open to heading back to fictional writing in the future, but Endorphin Stew always gives me the option of testing my writing skills being a word, as well as photo-based blog!

Where do you find the inspiration for your blog posts?

Everywhere. Be it from adding my own twists to recipes that have stuck out for me in the past, an idea formed from the advice of my mum, or something triggered by a warm memory I’ve had of eating hearty meals in my granny’s house as a child; there is potential for me to accumulate ideas everywhere! Social media also plays a large role in triggering my ideas and original recipes come to me just by playing around with different ingredients in the kitchen.

What would you say is the biggest challenge about food blogging?

Trying to juggle time for it with the time. I need to spend working, in college or trying to catch up with my friends, definitely. It’s enjoyable but it’s definitely not easy!

What do you love most about blogging?

The engagement, hearing from somebody that I’m making their diet easier, hearing from somebody that I’ve inspired a meal they cooked for their family and we all know that food lies at the heart of any family gathering so that’s an honour, really.

What’s a good food photograph, to you?

Definitely a close up angled and the less filtered, the better. And which part of blogging excites you most: the recipe development, the post writing, or the photography? I wish ‘eating all the time’ was an option, because I’d answer with that one. I love food, I love eating and I love eating healthy food that satisfies me beyond anything else. I will go with the photography, though. I cannot wait to invest in a canon in the future and step my photography up a few notches. I also have a GoPro camera right now and I’m considering setting up a YouTube channel with it!

What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?

I feel more confident and wise about food since I began, and I wouldn’t know much about post-blogging yet as it’s still an ongoing process and I have absolutely no intention on giving it up anytime soon.

What do you think food blogging will look like in 5 years? Will it still be around?

To be honest, I’m quite happy with the layout of my blog as it is, so I don’t see many more changes happening to it anytime soon. I’d love to start turning Endorphin Stew into a form of brand, as I think it has a strong legacy attached to it when it comes to good food for a healthy mind. I see myself having a YouTube channel as well, not long into the future.

In the future, where do you hope your blog will take you?

I hope it will take me to food demos, other countries with exotic foods I could experience, and to a happy, fulfilling future. I am going to work really hard at my blog for as long as I can – because I care so much about it – and who knows what hard work might bring.

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