FOOD bloggers are a dime a dozen these days but one Northern Rivers foodie has been able to carve out a niche writing exclusively about the cafes and restaurants in her local area.
Self described "food tragic” Sarah McGrory's blog, Get Forked and Fly, has just been listed as one of the top 10 blogs of the year by food bible the Australian Good Food Guide.
The former journalist launched the blog a little over two years ago, initially as a food and travel guide.
It soon evolved into a specialised Byron Shire food, restaurant and cafe blog.
The web page has growing appeal with both locals and visitors seeking out "insider” details about food in the Byron Shire, which has a growing culinary reputation.
"Mine is really written from a personal view point - a local's opinion about the local area,” Sarah said.
"As far as I know there is no one else doing what I'm doing.”
Sarah said she was not the type of "critic” to write a harsh review after one visit.
"I'm not the be all and end all of opinions, I make sure I go somewhere at least three or four times before I even write about it because I think that's a fair way to gauge a place,” she said.
"Subsequently it costs me a lot,” she laughed.
"I've never had a free meal, everything I've written about on the blog I've paid for 100 per cent.”
While many people perceived food blogging as "glamorous”, Sarah said "most of the time it's me just going for dinner with my husband”.
"He always makes the comment that he never gets to eat anything warm, because I'm always fluffing around taking pictures. But he's quite happy to comply and come along as long as I'm paying.”
She is also occasionally reticent about whipping out the camera to photograph the food - even though it's a necessary evil for a blogger.
"I'm so self-conscious of that, there are times when I'll got a restaurant and I just can't bring the camera out - it's too quiet and it's too intimate.”
Sarah said that despite the laser focus of her blog, she would never run out out things to write about.
"I'm never going to be able to write about everything, because one, places come and go frequently in the area, and two, once you've written about somewhere, two years later you have to write about them again because they've changed their menus, or staff, or owners, or the whole dining experience,” she said.
In her day job Ms McGroy is a social media manager and content writer - with her clients including several well known food brands in Byron - so her universe now revolves around food.
She has also just launched a new venture, Byron Bay crackers.
She definitely plans to continue blogging well into the future.
"It's been fun, and with this award now it's motivation to keep going,” she said.
"Hopefully people keep enjoying it and appreciating the information from a local's perspective. The food community up here is very supportive of each other.”
Sarah's Byron Shire food picks
Bay Leaf Cafe, Byron Bay: Dukkah eggs
Three Blue Ducks, The Farm: Spanner crab scramble
Duk, Chinese street food: Char siu pork
The Stockpot Kitchen, Bangalow Bowlo: Fried chicken night, Thursdays.
Fleet, Brunswick Heads: For a special, intimate dining experience.