Grand Forks food blogger wins national award for ‘My Name is Yeh’
Molly Yeh still can’t believe the popularity of her blog.
“It’s crazy,” she said. “It’s just so crazy.”
What started as a personal diary has transformed into one of the Internet’s go-to food blogs.
Yeh’s blog, “My Name is Yeh,” collected yet another national accolade last week when it was named Saveur’s Blog of the Year and given the magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Baking and Desserts Blog.
Her blog, which she started when she still lived in New York City, is mostly a food blog, but she also dabbles about her adventures transitioning from living in the city to farm life, traveling and spending time with the people she loves.
A fan of diaries her entire life, Yeh originally set up the blog as a hobby and as a way of documenting her life.
Yeh said, however, it became clear that her life was mainly about food, and that’s when it turned into mainly a food blog.
“Food is such a good way to connect with my culture and with other cultures,” she said.
“It seemed natural to do a food blog.”
When she moved from New York City to East Grand Forks with her now-husband, her blog started to take off, she said.
While living on the east coast, she maintained the blog as mostly just a hobby.
But when she moved to the Midwest, she said she didn’t know anybody or didn’t have much to do, so she devoted her time and energy to her blog.
From there, her blog grew to become one of the most successful food blogs on the Internet. Her Instagram account has more than 77,000 followers, and she was named Yahoo! Food Blogger of the Year in 2014.
Along with that, she has worked as a freelance writer and recipe developer for Betty Crocker, Food52 and Food & Wine magazine, among others, and was interviewed by New York Times food editor Sam Sifton, who came to the area to visit her.
This latest award (Saveur’s Blog of the Year) was special to Yeh because she got to physically accept the award and be with a huge group of bloggers whose blogs she has read throughout the years.
“It was one big, wonderful food-blogging party where you weren’t the only one who has stood on a table to take a picture of your food,” she said. “You were surrounded by other people who do that.”
Yeh said she feels her blog has been successful because of the hard work she puts into it. She said she doesn’t take her readers for granted and tries to maintain a high level of quality in all of her blog posts.
“I want to give them the best content that I possibly can. I want to test my recipes so that I know they’re going to work for other people.”
Yeh said she’s oftentimes asked about how someone can have a successful blog, and every time she gives a different answer.
In her opinion, photos are one of the most important assets to her blog, and blogs in general. She said many readers will come to the blog for photos and then end up staying around for the words, personality and the unique voice.
“It is a diary, and people are looking for something unique,” she said. “They’re going to your blog for your point of view, your style of recipes, your story.
“So staying true to your voice and being the most extreme version of yourself and showing other people that is the essence of what a blog is.”
Other than blogging, Yeh is a Juilliard-trained percussionist and is currently performing with an opera tour in Los Angeles.
But through it all, Yeh is still astonished by her blog’s success — something she considers to be just a diary about her life.
“I’ve kept diaries for as long as I could write. If someone had told me early on that you can keep a diary and eat and make food for a living, I don’t know how my life would have been different.”