When you're a small team of seven like we are at Foodspotting, it's hard not to consider your coworkers as family. To that end, we're celebrating everyone's special day with cake and birthday blog posts! Last month we saluted our co-founder and chief tech man Teddy for turning thirty, and today we're turning to camera shy Benjamin Bloch, our developer/engineer extraordinaire. Here are a few things you never knew you wanted to know about Ben, the only vegetarian in the Foodspotting family...
1. What kind of shenanigans were you up to before Foodspotting?
Before Foodspotting I worked at a startup called Scrapblog, a digital scrapbooking product founded in Miami, which later relocated to San Francisco and luckily brought me along with it.
2. You're from Miami. Do you miss it? What's one memorable dish from your hometown?
I was born in Fort Lauderdale, to be specific, but most recently lived in Miami. I don't miss the humidity, but I do miss my friends and family. The most memorable "dish" would be the Kitchen Sink at Jaxon's Ice Cream, which is literally a huge tub of assorted ice creams and toppings. Somebody needs to spot this!
3. What inspired you to become a vegetarian? How do you deal with being the only one in the Foodspotting family?
I get this question a lot... Becoming vegetarian began as a personal challenge three years ago, with the theory that it would lead to eating new, healthier foods. Positive health benefits aside, I view it as an act of compassion towards our animal friends. The Foodspotting family is very accepting of my dietary constraints, it's not difficult to deal with, and I honestly don't think about it.
4. Favorite vegetarian dish?
Vegetarian Burritos! Papalote has a really tasty soyrizo burrito.
5. You've been known to venture into scary neighborhoods in San Francisco to take photos. How did you get into photography? Are you trained, self-taught, a combination of both?
I was inspired to explore analogue photography and plastic/toy cameras like the Holga and the Lomo LC-A by playing with photo sharing apps, namely Instagram. It's a great way to explore the city and get away from my laptop. I have no formal photography training.
6. What do you think about the amateur food photography trend?
It's incredible to see people increasingly connecting and communicating around food through photos. Food carries so much cultural and emotional context. I think the trend is in it's infancy.
7. Tell us about your dog, Roxy. How long have you had her? Is she vegetarian too?
Roxy is a little Boston terrier, and the love of my life. I've had her for almost three years. She's not vegetarian.
8. If you were not at Foodspotting, what would you be doing?
Professionally, I'd be working to build a startup in some capacity. Personally, I'd love to just travel and take photos.
9. What are you working on right now that's going to rock every foodspotter's world?
I can't tell you, it's TOP SECRET... but it'll be awesome.
10. How are you celebrating your birthday?
Chuck E. Cheese's! You're all invited.