It’s no secret Louisiana is known for its food. Boiled crawfish and home-cooked jambalaya runs through the veins of any native, while beignets and king cake warm their heart. For most, this passion leads to little other than a full stomach, but some have found a way to turn it into a career.
Victoria Hines is one of those few. The LSU alumna took her passion for food online in 2016, and has since amassed over 3,000 Instagram followers on her food blog, @foodiestoforkwith.
Hines said her love for food grew out of her Louisiana upbringing. Being constantly surrounded by some of the best eats in the country resulted in a desire to share, first with friends and family, and eventually a more public audience. She formed her page out of the blue, but it quickly evolved into something more.
There, she shares anything good, from her favorite juice from Main Squeeze to oh-so-satisfying Mid City Beer Garden cheese pulls. Her page is about enjoying yourself but also feeling good— finding a balance between what’s good for the body and what’s good for the soul.
“I love posting about healthy, nutritional foods and the benefits of certain foods and supplements, as well as mixing in some seriously indulgent eats because we all know Louisiana has a lot of it,” Hines said. “My blog stresses everything in moderation.”
Some of her top recommendations around Baton Rouge include Ava Street Cafe and Gov’t Taco, as well as Inga’s and Rotolo’s Craft & Crust for students on a budget. One thing she feels is missing, however, is good Filipino cuisine.
“I'm addicted to Asian food,” she said. “My grandma is from the Phillippines so I grew up eating Filipino food.”
Though she usually posts about restaurants around Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Hines also enjoys cooking. While at home she likes to prepare healthy dishes, especially breakfast.
“I can whip up a mean avocado toast, egg white casserole, three-ingredient pancakes (recipe on the blog), and some fresh celery juice on the side,” she said.
Hines also occasionally delves into the worlds of fitness and skincare. She isn’t incredibly concerned with fitting into a single box. Instead, she chooses to embrace what she enjoys and share that with her followers.
The foodie said her blog began to blossom when she began posting for herself instead of worrying about what others thought, and encourages others to do the same.
“I worried a lot about what other people would think when I first started out, and it wasn't until I put others opinions aside that it started to thrive,” Hines said. “People will always have an opinion about what you're doing or what you're posting about but don't let that hold you back.”
Now, the blogger is using her platform for more than sharing local eats. Hines recently created a project called Give A Fork, dedicated to getting the community involved in feeding the hungry in Baton Rouge.
“I felt a calling to take my platform and turn it around in a way that helps people,” she said. “I wanted to do something more than posts pictures of food. I want to be able to give food to those who need it.”
Above all, Hines stressed the importance of chasing your passion and finding a way to create something out of it.
“I absolutely love having this hobby of mine. It gets my creative juices flowing, has allowed me to meet new people I probably wouldn't have otherwise met and has opened the door to so many fun opportunities,” Hines said. “If there's something you're passionate about, go with it.”