Ricky Ly is food writer for Asia Trend Magazine and TastyChomps.com, a food blog in Orlando, that has been recognized by the Orlando Sentinel as Best Food Blog. He is the author of the Food Lovers’ Guide to Orlando.
Looking back, what did you wish you had known before becoming a journalist?
I wish I knew about all the late nights writing away when friends are asleep.
Who is a role model for you and why?
One of my biggest role models would be Jeff Houck, food writer of the Tampa Bay Tribune, and Scott Joseph of ScottJosephOrlando.com, who are both enlightening and at times humorous in their works.
Why is media diversity important to you?
Sometimes, perspectives of stories and cultural understanding for subjects can be lost if there is not enough media diversity. It makes the story less full and rich than it can be when there are a diversity of voices, backgrounds and views.
What do you love most about being Asian American? What are you most proud of?
I love the strong cultural and family values of being Asian yet also having that individualistic, creative streak that comes from American culture. I also love, no surprise, how wonderful and diverse Asian food can be from spicy Szechuan peppercorn dishes that numb the tongue to beef tripe in Vietnamese pho, it really teaches you to appreciate your food when you are taught to embrace it at a young age.
Are there any interesting facts/trivia about your past experiences and background?
I think I am most proud of my heritage as an Asian American through the story of my mother. Orphaned during the Vietnam War, a boat refugee, she sacrificed her life behind and came here to the States with nothing, working day and night to support her family without complaints. Through her strength and love, I am who I am today.
Learn more about other AAJA members profiled for AAPI Month.