About Ichigo Shortcake

Me in Shirakawago, Japan
What is your real name because I see both Jenny and Akika floating around?
My real name is Jenny Ge but as I’ve always been envious of people with unique names so I wanted one of my own. Whether at school, work or socially, there were always many Jennys so I came up with this Japanese sounding name that I use more as a nickname. It has grown on me since and I use it sometimes when I feel like being more anonymous.
When did you start blogging and why?

My first official food related post was in October 2010. Although I entered the food scene quite late compared to a lot of people, it’s really never too late for anything, especially when it’s so fun and worthwhile. It started when I bought my first DSLR camera (prior to that I was taking bad photos of food with my old Canon point and shoots) and fell in love with what I saw. I love food and I love travel and now I’m in love with photography so starting this blog was a win-win situation. I could record all my food and travel journeys along with a few rantings here and there. I know I’ve been a little slack with writing (life gets the better of me sometimes) but I’m trying hard to write everyday now so hopefully I can keep it up!

How did you come up with Ichigo Shortcake as your blog name and what does it mean?

Ichigo means ‘strawberries’ so together it means strawberry shortcake. This was the first name that came to mind when I started this blog. I got the idea from this classic Japanese drama called SOS or “Strawberry on the Shortcake” that I loved watching when I was in high school.

Image courtesy of jdramazone.com
What is your ethnic background?

I was born in Shanghai, China and came to Australia when I was about 8 years old and have been living in the South-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne ever since. I was lucky enough to have lived overseas for part of my life because it really formed part of who I am and my love for Asian culture and food. It also built the foundations of my love for travel which I do every year.

A bit about my blogging partners in crime:

You will see me mention names on my posts here and there and wonder who in the world these people are. They are in fact my soul mate and long term boyfriend, my close friends and colleagues and of course my lovely family members.

My boyfriend, Yuye, is my cook at home (because he cooks way better than I do). He is also my bag carrier when I bring too many lenses out, my photographer when I get frustrated at photos that don’t look right and decision maker when I can’t decide where to eat or what to order. He also has to listen to me complain all the time and look after me when I’m unwell. I am thankful that I have him with me all the time because without him, I would not have started this blog nor write any posts at all. Did I also mention that he has to finish all the food when I order too much? It’s a bad life being my boyfriend.

Special thanks to Winnie, Y, Geoff, Racheese, batasan, Michelle, Susan, Dana and many others who have eaten out with me or at home. I’m sorry I made your food cold. Also a special thanks to my brother Jeffrey and my parents who have to put up with my spoilt behaviours all the time and thanks for making delicious home cooked food that has made me the foodie I am today.

What’s your most liked and disliked foods?

I always had the impression that to be a good foodie, I couldn’t have any dislikes for food. This is not really true. I just had to be open minded and willing to try new things. My favourite cuisine type is Japanese and French in that order and I absolutely adore anything that looks pretty. Visuals is a big factor for me as it means I can capture better photos and make me want to eat it more. The foods that I like are endless. Things like sushi and sashimi, hotpot, pork crackling, pasta, a mean pot of curry, cherries, strawberries, mangoes, desserts in any form or shape, ice cream, stew, lamb shanks (and the list goes on) will all make me salivate and die from hunger and craving. I can feel my stomach rumble as I’m typing this.

Sushi at Suzuran, Camberwell
I shamefully admit that I don’t like quite a few foods too. The top of the list is no doubt capsicums or bell peppers just because I dislike the taste. The larger the pieces and the more raw they are, the more I dislike them. If the taste or smell is strong enough, I won’t even eat the ingredients that are cooked with them. In recent years though I’ve learnt to eat capsicums to some extent. I can eat them in fried noodles and on pizza, I can eat them mashed up in salsas and in other forms too. Just don’t give me one to munch on like Chairman Kaga does on Iron Chef.

The other foods I rarely eat and prefer not to are bitter melon for obvious reasons, durian more because of smell than taste (I’ve tried recently to eat it but just can’t seem to like it much) and formerly carrots. I really don’t mind carrots anymore though. Did I mention I loved watching Iron Chef? It was my favourite show. 🙂

Image courtesy of http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/chairman-kaga
What camera and lenses do you use?

Most of the cameras I’ve used have been Canon. I used to use a Canon Ixus point and shoot which I very quickly grew out of. My first DSLR purchased last year is the Canon 550D which I adore and use a lot. It’s a light weight and easy to use DSLR for people who are not as experienced like myself. I’m still mastering the photo taking techniques and trying to remember all the functions on my camera but I’m loving it. I’m eagerly waiting for the Canon 5D MarkIII to be released which was launched in March 2012, but have yet worked up the courage to fork out $3k for it!

The lens I use most is the Canon 50mm Sigma 30mm f1.4 (I bought this some time in 2012). It’s a prime lens which means it doesn’t zoom but it gives the photos sharper qualities and better blur in the background, not to mention it’s a very cheap lens. I also own a Canon 100mm macro f2.8L which I use mostly for home cooking photos and macro nature shots and I recently purchased Canon 24-70mm f2.8L. The 24-70mm is a fantastic (although very bulky and heavy) lens to take around with you and I’ve replaced my kit lens 18-200mm f3.5 (which I really shouldn’t have bought) with this one. I want to buy many more lenses but photography is an expensive hobby.

Image courtesy of Hung Hsi Steven Su
I also used to own a Canon S95 point and shoot just to take around with me as backup. However, it was recently stolen in Italy when my dad took it with him there so I have plans to re-purchase a Canon S100 which was just released on the market. Exciting!

If you have any questions or wish to get in contact with me, please feel free to email me at jenny[at]ichigoshortcake[dot]com or leave a comment on my blog! I always love comments. 🙂

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