What is noodlepie?
From gutter grub to gourmet tables. Noodlepie is a blog about scoff & swill in Saigon. I do cover other topics, but only on a Friday, if the crows are nesting high, the cattle are in the lower paddock and the fortune teller says it’s OK.
Brilliant name. Why did you call it noodlepie?
East meets west, bangers ‘n’ mash meets bun mam, noodle meets pie. Them’s the bones of it. This is an ongoing project. There’s plenty noodle, not much pie in there at the moment, but the pie’s coming. All in good time.
I see, so who writes this incredible blog?
My name’s Graham Holliday. I’m a British freelance journalist and I’ve been based in Asia for about eight years. I get paid to write editorial and advertorial copy for magazines, newspapers, websites and corporate publications around the world. Regular clients include Action Asia, The Guardian, Scotland Magazine, Sunday Herald, TIME Magazine and VisitScotland. I particularly enjoy writing features about travel/food, environmental issues/conservation, ‘new media’ and blogging but I’ll consider any paid writing work. If you’re interested, I have a portfolio website – but it’s very out of date. I also blog for The Guardian’s Comment is free mega-blog.
So if you’re Graham, who the hell is this pieman dude?
Pieman is a nom de plume. It came about when I first started noodlepie and for better or worse it has stuck. In the early days I did think a total blogger-id blackout was the way to go. By the time I’d come to my senses, I’d already grown quite attached to my alter ego.
Aren’t you that big shot, almost award winning blogger I’ve heard about?
Quite possibly. I’ve been close… real close. Was a finalist for best city and best overall food blog at the first annual Food Blog Awards in 2005. Comprehensively lost in each and every single category. I recovered by hitting the big time as a finalist in the 2005 Bloggies (think Blog Oscars). True to form, I lost that too. In September, 2005 the food folk at The Observer newspaper took pity and voted me one of the ‘World’s best food blogs’. Ace chef and food writer Nigel Slater sent me a nice email too. He "really enjoys" noodlepie. That’s right, it’s not just the hoi polloi hanging out here. I was a finalist again in the 2006 Bloggies and you’ll never guess what…
Bummer. Nice about The Observer, though. What are you writing about at the moment?
Wildlife, green tourism, conservation stories and new media/online-trends – I wanna do way more on that subject if I can – Samples: food blogging in The Guardian, citizen journalism also in The Guardian and travel blogging in TIME Magazine.
Your writing’s great, can I hire you?
Sure, I’ll consider any serious offers of paid writing work and don’t think just ‘cos I’m based in Saigon I only write about Vietnam. No, no, no, no. In reality I do very, very little about Vietnam. Although it is a great base. I frequently work on assignments overseas and I’ve written for quite a few big name outlets. Check out my portfolio and drop me an email if you’re interested in hiring me.
You should sort out a book deal. I reckon a Saigon streetfood book written by you would totally rock…
It’s a thought innit… and you’re not the first to have suggested it. I’m starting to think about it more seriously. What I’d like to do is select something in the region of 40 or 50 class ‘A’ street vendors, learn more about their lives, their speciality dishes, write some corkin’ text about them and their nosh – bags of background, colour and depth all in my own style. Then maybe run some recipes alongside. It’d take a fair old whack of pavement pounding on my part and a decent translator. I’d also need a quality photographer on board. My snaps wouldn’t do the thing justice. I’d want input into the design process too. I’m thinking big, I’m thinking bright, I’m thinking coffee table and classy. If you’re an agent and interested – get in touch. Although I must say Hillel’s latest free opus has totally blown me away. I’m toying with doing something along similar, yet very different, lines.
I’d love to visit Vietnam. Can you answer my list of questions?
Maybe. Please be very specific. As of this update to the ‘About’ page (Dec 2005) I’m getting around ten emails per week from people asking questions about food, travel, hotels, weather, the colour of my socks and the price of fish. Unfortunately, it’s got to the point where, unless you have a very specific question that you can’t find the answer to anywhere else and think I might be able to help, I’m afraid I probably won’t return your email. Throughout 2005 I’ve become increasingly miffed at the number of people who have asked my advice – which I have given – but then don’t bother to return a simple courtesy email. If that was you – I hope your ears are burning 🙁 – if it wasn’t – thanks for getting in touch 🙂 Seriously, I’m happy to help if you’re specific, it’s just gone a bit mental these past few months.
I see you run advertising. What’s the score?
I run BlogAds. Current rates range from US$65 per week – $600 for 3 months. I also have a rate card for locked in positions and tailored deals. Email me if you’re interested. At the moment noodlepie gets something like 60,000 hits per month. Apart from apppearing in The Observer, this ‘very nearly award winning’ blog has stuffed the column inches of the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, The Guardian (by me – shameless tartlike, self-promotion there – apologies) and several other mainstream media outlets. If you’re new to blogvertising and think it’s all a bit ‘out there’ I suggest you read what Jeff Jarvis, blog-god, says.
Can’t I just buy you sommit. A gift? French lingerie? iPod?
Feel free. Some very kind readers occasionally buy me stuff from my UK Amazon Wishlist. Others send me Amazon gift certificates or Flickr Pro account renewals. Gifts are always appreciated. Hell, if I ever get that book done and dusted I might just fire off free copies to extra specially loyal readers… maybe 😉
Need more? Hit the comment box.