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Meet Tory Nguyen of FoodwithTory in Katy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tory Nguyen.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Growing up, I was fortunate to have my mom and my aunties be really great cooks. They can make all kinds of delicious Vietnamese dishes. I would hang around in the kitchen, watch them cook, and they would ask me to taste the food before they set it on the table. I think this definitely helped me develop a love for food and a more diverse palate.

Fast forward, my family and I moved to America. I soon discovered that there are so many more different cuisines out there that I have yet to explore. The more I watch food and travel shows (one of my favorite hobbies), the more I appreciate food on a different level. Food is so much more than just fuel. It represents the culture, the people, and it definitely is an art. As I grow older and get to experience different types of cuisines, my fascination for food grows stronger. I started going out to eat more and start taking photos of all the dishes that I eat.

Eventually, I graduated from college and started my 9 to 5 job. Life was good but at times, I would feel empty and unfulfilled. One day, my current manager called me into his office. We sat down and had a heart to heart conversation. He asked me what my passions were and what I really wanted to do. I started thinking and food blogging was the first thing that came to my mind. I really enjoy taking pictures and reviewing food. So I decided to start a food Instagram account called FoodwithTory to share my food adventures with everyone. My motto is: “If it looks good, eat it!”

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
For me, one of the biggest struggles was time management I never knew having a food blog could be so time-consuming. It’s like a second job besides my full-time job. I am a perfectionist, and a little bit indecisive, so it used to take me a really long time to select and edit photos. I also need time to interact with the people who follow me and who I follow. I always think of which high-quality content to put out next. It’s a lot of work, but its fun and I am passionate about all of it. Eventually, I’ve learned to manage my time a lot more efficiently.

I am constantly challenging myself to make my food Instagram better. When I first started, I did not have any experience with photography. Yet I decided to go with a DSLR camera and taught myself how to take more professional photos, sharper photos. In the beginning, I would get really frustrated because the photos did not come out how I wanted them to be. Eventually, with a lot of practice, my photos are getting more like how I imagine them to look like. I’ve also learnt some tricks and tips on how to edit photos to make them look more aesthetic. It is a big learning curve and I am still acquiring new photography skills every day!

Please tell us about FoodwithTory.
FoodwithTory is a blog where I showcase photos of the most delicious food around the Houston area and beyond. When you come to a new restaurant, the menu can be overwhelming, and you might have no idea what to order. My purpose is to use passion to help everyone pick out the next best place to eat. I’m willing to experience the good and bad so you don’t have to worry about ordering a dish that is not pleasing to the palate.

My family and friends always come to me for recommendations on which restaurants they should eat at, or what’s good and new in town to try. It makes my heart full when they come back and say what I recommended was good, or when my photos get compliments and reposted by restaurants.

I am proud of my authenticity and honesty in reviewing food places. What I put out are my honest opinions. I only feature the food that I think is good and worth people’s time. I also like to give the restaurant feedback on what they can improve on to help grow their business. Being a melting pot, Houston has a lot of potential drawing in more and more diverse cuisines. Because I enjoy trying new places, my goal is to continue to explore more restaurants in the Houston area and beyond!

What is the role of Luck?
To me, if success is the meal, then hard work is the main course and the star of the meal. Luck is a side dish that complements the main course. I started FoodwithTory late in July 2019 but it has grown so much although it still has a way to go before it’s where I want it to be. I am glad that I’ve connected with people that are like me. I’ve got to interact and meet some of the awesome foodies, fun friends, humble people who share the same interests and hobbies. I am fortunate to have a strong support system from my family to my closest friends. I can even talk to my coworkers about food because they also love to eat! The amount of support is tremendous and I am so grateful that I am able to do what I love.

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