This random idea to start a food Instagram over a year ago has transformed my world.
While I was making a New Orleans favorite, chicken and sausage gumbo, my roommates encouraged me to start my own food Instagram, saying, "What other college student is making a huge pot of gumbo on a random Tuesday afternoon?"
This was the start of @dankdishesbyd.
Having a food Instagram has taught me a lot about myself and many valuable lessons that I'm sure will help me through the rest of my life. It has taught me that what I really want to do in life is something with food. Before college, I wasn't sure exactly which career path I wanted to take. Cooking has taught me that I want my career path to be something I love doing everyday.
First, cooking has taught me how to market my brand and myself. A small account that started off with about 200 followers has grown into a herd of over 2700 followers and growing, mainly due to networking. In my free time, I would follow people that follow other food Instagrams to grow my follower base. I've done giveaways where people can tag friends and be entered in a chance to win my cookbook.
Second, cooking has taught me time management skills are invaluable. I cook about 15 meals a week, give or take a few depending on leftovers, which takes a lot of planning in advance. I plan out what I want to eat for the week and make a big grocery trip on Sundays. This requires extensive lists and organization skills to ensure I don't over-buy or forget anything.
Next comes time management: I have to strategically choose which meal I'm going to prepare based on the work load that I have that week. In this way, I can balance school while creating time to cook.
Lastly, cooking taught me creativity when coming up with my weekly menu. I love to try new ingredients, and coming up with a recipe that revolves around them is one of my favorite pastimes. I use many different resources: my own ideas, cookbooks, and online resources. I try to not follow a recipe directly and incorporate as many different ones as I can in order to make it my own.
Cooking has taught me so much about myself, and has prepared me for the real world.
If you're looking for a fun new hobby, cooking lessons or classes can be beneficial
and very fun.
Delaney Burst (New Orleans, LA) is a junior majoring in marketing. She has been featured in the Auburn Plainsman for her undeniably excellent cooking ability. Delaney also serves as the Editorial Director for Spoon University.