While I was at a recent SheBlogs publishers conference (LINK2013) in Toronto, we were treated to a talk and cooking demonstration by Bob Blumer. Bob spoke of his early years working as a T-shirt vendor for rock bands (wonder if I ever bought one from him!) and later on as manager for Jane Siberry. His career in music had advanced and he was well on his way to a lifetime career in the music industry.
Bob says his accidental career in food began when there was a lull in the music scene while Jane was recording a new album. Bob decided to publish a cookbook. The idea was planted when he created a cookbook for his sister when she moved into her first apartment. The homemade cookbook had a dozen or so of his favorite recipes and included Polaroid pictures and Bobs own quirky illustrations. Bob locked himself away and created “The Surreal Gourmet: Real Food for Pretend Chefs”.
A little known fact is that Bob took his first cooking class 2 years after publishing his first cookbook. His passion for cooking was moving faster than his learning of the craft. That did not stop him from following his dream.
Books written by Blumer include:
- The Surreal Gourmet: Real Food for Pretend Chefs
- The Surreal Gourmet Entertains: High-fun, Low-Stress Dinner Parties for 6 – 12
- Off The Eaten Path: Inspired Recipes for Adventurous Cooks
- Glutton For Pleasure: Signature Recipes, Epic Stories, and Surreal Etiquette
As many know Bob then moved on to television. Bobs shows are evolving and reinvented as needed but always stay eccentric and likeable just like the host. The shows Bob has hosted include:
- The Surreal Gourmet
- Glutton for Punishment
- Twas the Night Before Dinner Christmas Special
- World’s Weirdest Restaurants
I can not wait to see where Bobs next reinvention takes him!
The SheBloggers publishers were lucky enough to see Bob in action. Bob treated us to some recipes from his latest book “Glutton For Pleasure: Signature Recipes, Epic Stories, and Surreal Etiquette”. The recipes he shared included Chicken Popsicles (pictured above displayed on the watermelon), Cauliflower Popcorn (served in a fun popcorn container as seen above) and Salmon Cupcakes (seen presented by Bob in photo above). Fun food with a twist.
“Great things can happen if you follow your passion” is something I heard over and over again at #LINK2013. The message was sent loud and clear from Bob as well. I learned some fun ways to present food but the one thing I took away from hearing Bob speak is to follow your passion. Sometimes being an expert in an industry is not required to fulfill your dream but you will need confidence, and creativity and the willingness to reinvent yourself. Reinventing yourself is not easy but it is necessary if you want to succeed.
Oh and also “Never underestimate the power of dumb luck”.
Was it really an accident or meant to be?
**** Side note: Did you notice his pepper mill? It is the Calgary tower. the mill was gifted to Bob from the mayor of Calgary when Bob was in town to attempt to break the world record for the most pancakes flipped in an hour. Having lived in Calgary I would LOVE one of those pepper mills.