Peer Review #3

written and posted Nov 29 by Mallory Mariano by Celina Johan

homepage of 'Celine's Tasty Tales'

In Celine’s ‘About’ page, she notes how she first fell in-love with all things related to the culinary arts in 2020, during a tumultuous year when much of the world was thrown in disarray, arguably on a spiritual, national, communal, and indeed collective level. While the rest of the world confronted the reality of major portions of everyday life sequestered under a lockdown, of social-distancing, she was in the kitchen experiencing an awakening. That “each dish [she] crafted become a chapter in the novel of [her] culinary odyssey, a testament to resilience, creativity, and the unifying power of food”. Indeed, this one sentence captures the essence of Food is to be loved; food is to be cherished; food is to be shared; food is a collective experience, yet incredibly individualistic as well; food should be enjoyed; food should be savoured; food should be nutritious; food should be experienced, an assault of the senses.

From the jump, there is a coziness to Celine’s site on the whole. The colour palate, the design, the typography, the choice of predominantly warm tones, the accessible prose, certainly speak to this.

In this, Celine succeeds at painting her experiences as a food-lover, while simultaneously conveying her experiences in a manner that can only be described as professional, quirky, accessible, amiable, self-aware, and overall, incredibly pleasant both visually and in terms of her laid-back prose.

In Magical Delight at Sleepy Hollow, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, she writes how her experiences at Disney’s flagship Waffle House, particularly with the melody of both a – rather generous — tender fried-chicken laid upon a buttery and flaky Waffle equates a “harmonious duet”; the visual aide included only serves to tease readers in conceptualizing the experience of the highlighted food item. Indeed, Kissane notes that incrementally, journalism has evolved particularly in the digital age, to encompass “video and audio features [which] have become relatively common on newspaper sites” (Kissane, 2012). Online publications have an innate ability to not only deliver tangential media alongside editorial pieces but are able to do so with a kind of visual and auditory flair that ostensibly supersedes the print form. Celine’s adding of well-produced photos alongside her written content, particularly speak to this – a component she has ensured is included with every single one of her posts.

photo of chicken and waffle sandwich from Disney World
Chicken & Waffle Sandwich. Image: Celine Tasty Tales

As someone who rarely consumes food-reviews in the form of blog posts, Celine’s specific brand of approachability both in her prose, as well as her innate ability to transport readers to the specific restaurant/locale through well-produced visual aides, ascertains a kind of amiability to her approach in content creation. Rather than crafting culinary reviews that aspire to heights of Gordon Ramsay or the Michelin Guide, Celine has instead opted to build a brand entirely premised on the notion of accessibility. That, at its core, her reviews are meant to be read by virtually anyone, ranging from the curious tourist just visiting Vancouver for the first time, to the well-versed food-lover constantly searching for their weekend outings. She commits to the approach, and she does it well.

photo of a slice of blueberry muffin sprinkled with powdered sugar
‘Blueberry Bliss’. Image: Celine Tasty Tales

This editorial approach, blending style, anecdotal experience, and passion, is exemplified in Blueberry Bliss, One Bite at a Time (Aside: I appreciate Celine’s choice in clearly including thoughtfully pieced-together title names for each content piece; it is admittedly a minor detail, but one that adds to the flair and personality of which her site is so clearly steeped in). Celine writes that baking can be marked by experimentation, but that one should “embrace the fun and nervousness” regardless of failure. It is this embracing of imperfection, of being unafraid to come off as less-than polished or put-together, that connotes Celine’s branding as ultimately girl-next-door. She is clearly uninterested in constructing a brand that is anything but authentic and relatable; key characteristics that invariably speak to the innate strengths, and therefore marketability, of her brand with her readers.

Who is for? It’s for the connoisseur. The savant. The passionate. The savour er. The wasps.

However, it is also for the young-mother scouring Pinterest for a quick-and-easy desert recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner. The young girl taking a preternatural interest in baking as a pastime while she waits for the summer to drift by. The college student casually browsing food-related blogging content. The tourist looking for a local gem while visiting town for the week. Undoubtedly, Celine masterfully navigates a widespread appeal through content and design, thusly making her platform both a visual feast, while simultaneously acting as kindling for the soul. Bravo.


Kissane, E. (2012). Issue № 4. Contents may have shifted. Contents Magazine. (accessed 29 Nov 2023)

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