Five Questions For... Katie Cannon of Camacho Watcho
Featuring extensive photography, a wide-ranging geographic mandate, and clear, engaging writing, Camacho Watcho is equally accessible and informative. Author Katie Cannon motorcycles across Wisconsin in search of cheese, hits up Maxwell's and Himalayan Restaurant and scarfs down burgers in Illinois. As for her own backstory, she writes:
I'm originally from Illinois and moved to Minneapolis eight years ago. I've lived in various parts of the Twin Cities, but currently live in the Mill District of downtown Minneapolis. As for my day job? I'm actually in the midst of a career change... stay tuned.
How did Camacho Watcho get started what's your mandate, and what's the story behind the name?
KATIE: First of all the name... it's actually a joke from college that plays on my maiden name (Camacho). I wanted a name that would represent me and I love that it uses my maiden name... my roots. Although it wasn't the original intent, it also allows me to be somewhat vague in my blog content, so I'm not tied to just one theme (except me, of course!)
I started Camacho Watcho in August 2008 after earning a fellow position at work to volunteer in Uruguay for three months. I knew it would be tough to keep up with friends and family so I wanted a place where I could write about my adventures.
During that period I found that I really enjoyed writing and I got a lot of positive feedback.
Once I returned to the US I stopped writing because I couldn't figure out what to write about. I felt like I needed to be doing something "exciting" in order to write. Then I got some great advice from a friend who told me to just "write what I wanted to write." So I did.
Right now my mission is to just keep writing and taking pictures. While I don't have one theme for my blog, I do tend to write about food, restaurants, and travel (when I can) the most.
When you set out to review a new restaurant, what are some of the main factors you're keeping an eye out for?
KATIE: When I go to a restaurant, I try to focus on the details that set that restaurant apart. Perhaps it's the menu or perhaps it's another aspect like service or environment. Usually there will be one or two concepts about a restaurant that sums up the experience. There are those magical occasions when the stars align and the restaurant scores on all aspects, but typically I'm just looking for the one thing that makes that restaurant special.
If you were to write a book about some aspect of food or restaurants, what would it be about what really fascinates you?
KATIE: What fascinates me is figuring out the appeal of a restaurant's environment. Sometimes you'll find this is a larger restaurant, but mostly you have to go to small, local restaurants to find this. I'd love to explore this concept on a broader basis (if you can't tell... I have the travel bug).
What is it voice, subject matter, use of photos that sets Camacho Watcho apart from other local food blogs? And where do you hope to take the blog from here?
KATIE: Right now I think it's the use of photos that sets Camacho Watcho apart from other local food blogs. I try to photograph the restaurant and the food so the reader can see and read about it. Where do I hope to go from here? As I said, I just want to keep writing and taking pictures. I think my blog will take direction as I further develop my voice and point of view.
What's your number one, favorite, fail-safe, "go to" restaurant in the Twin Cities, and why?
KATIE: Of all the questions, this is the toughest. I'm such an experience person that it all depends on what I need at that moment from a restaurant. Can I give my top five list instead?
Best Breakfast: Birchwood Cafe
Best Comfort Food: Brasa
Best Pizza: Pizza Nea
Best Seafood: SeaSalt (that covers Mexican too since I love their fish tacos)
Best 'Night Out': Cafe Lurcat
Visit Camacho Watcho at camachowatcho.com