About Annie

 

Cremona, Italy, 2017 (Photo by Ashley Hutchinson)

Who are you?

My name is Annie Chu (clever, you think to yourself with a shallow laugh). I was born in Taipei, Taiwan and grew up in Vancouver, Canada. My parents are very adventurous eaters and introduced my sisters and me to food like lechon from the Philippines and laksa from Malaysia when we could barely hold chopsticks. I later moved to Ottawa, Canada, and Lyon, France (my undergrad was in International Studies and Modern Languages) where I learned to cook and appreciate food for myself. 

Now, I live in the crazy city of Toronto and work 9-5 as a Professional Development Lawyer (it’s an unusual but pretty cool job, if I do say so myself) and “work” 5-9 on Chu on This (in quotations because sometimes the work just involves drinking prosecco with a pensive look).

What kind of blog is this?

Chu on This is a culinary travel blog with a focus on culture. Culture meaning all the things that contribute to why we do what we do, and why we eat what we eat. For example, figuring out a cultural explanation for why you can’t cook, how to find “authentic” food, why Le Creuset is now making minimalist bowls, or why we all cried (maybe you did, maybe you didn’t) while watching Crazy Rich Asians

But it is also likely that you came here for my bread and butter (not literally, as I ain’t got the patience to churn) which are my travel guides and Toronto restaurant reviews, and that is also great. Come on in!

How did you start your blog?

In or around 2008-ish, everyone and their grandma were starting blogs. I thought I would do one to document my undergraduate life musings and my exchange year to France. It became pretty obvious that no one cared about my musings, but a lot of people did care about what I was eating. So, I transformed Chu on This into a full-fledged food and travel blog in 2010, largely based around checking things off my Life List.

When I moved to Toronto, the scope expanded (because Toronto’s restaurant scene is actually insane) and I started to incorporate a lot of other interesting food and travel experiences into the blog. I also went through two massive blog re-designs that were tough at the time but I think were worth it in the end. 

Beijing, China, 2012

What is the Chu Crew?

Though I create almost all the content for this site, I couldn’t do it without the dedicated “Chu Crew” — my friends and family who have been there to support this project from the very beginning or joined along the way. Whether it’s providing a second opinion at a restaurant, helping me execute elaborate travel plans, or getting behind the lens from time to time, I am incredibly grateful for these guys. You’ll see them mentioned throughout the site without an explanation otherwise (it just gets a little annoying to write “my friend, Eric” in every other post). 

Can we work together on something?

Yes! Well, maybe. I occasionally create sponsored posts and content for brands that are a good fit for the blog in a formal way, so please do reach out if you have something in mind. However, I’m also open to all sorts of collaborations and opportunities (including climbing mountains in Banff, doing cooking demonstrations, camping trips, farm visits, hotel stays, photography crawls, speaking on podcasts, speaking to your high school or university students, and definitely anything that involves Italian wine and pizza). Please send me a quick email for more info and to obtain a speaking or media kit!

 

Chu on This is honoured to be shortlisted for the Taste Canada Awards 2017.