Michelle Lopez is the baker, blogger, and photographer behind Hummingbird High. She started baking during her sophomore year in college. She started her blog when she first moved to Colorado where she discovered that baking at high altitude is different from baking at sea level. So, she decided to bake through her favorite cookbook, The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, and tried to tweak the recipes to work even at high altitude. The blog is a record of her trials and success. She’s since moved to Portland, Oregon and continues to bake recipes from cookbooks and blogs. Outside the blogsphere, she works in the engineering department of a successful tech company. Although she’s a formally trained economist, she would rather spend her time trying out different recipes for her blog. She has always enjoyed using simple ingredients. She believes that people can make delicious and beautiful dishes without using fussy ingredients.
1. Hummingbird High, your awesome blog covers fun topics ranging from food, recipes and travel. What are your absolute favorite categories or topics to write about?
All of the above! I love writing about food and travel, but also life in general.
2. Your site has been around and thriving for years. What are some of the major factors has contributed to the success and long staying power of the site?
I publish something new every week, so I think that keeps audiences engaged and committed. Having pretty photos and an open, honest voice also helps a lot!
3. I understand that you've been looking for classic recipes, and I was wondering what inspired this interest - why the classics?
I'm looking for classics because they're, well, classic. Nobody's ever going to get tired of chocolate chip cookies or a classic chocolate cake! As much as I love rare ingredients and elaborate baked goods, I understand that it can be difficult to find the time or energy to make such things. But a classic will never let you down!
4. Being passionate about travel and food, what are some items, whether it be cookware or travel gear that has had the most impact on your life as a cook and travel enthusiast?
In terms of cookware, I'd say I'm incredibly dependent on my KitchenAid mixer and a set of good, sturdy rubber spatulas. Also, a kitchen scale is your friend and will help minimize clean-up!
For travel, I like to travel incredibly light — so just as long as I have a pair of headphones, a good backpack, and a Kindle, I'm all set!
5. You've traveled to so many places and experienced their food and culture. If you had to choose one unique and unusual dining experiences during your travel to tell us about, which would it be?
Hm, it's hard to narrow it down to just one unique experience, but I will say that my hometown of Portland, Oregon offers an incredible amount of amazing food — more innovative than the food I find in San Francisco and New York. For a long time, real estate was so cheap in Portland and that allowed chefs to take bigger risks and be more inventive with their menus. I mean, there's an entire bakery in Portland dedicated to serving Catalan churros (xurros) and nothing else! Where else in the US can you get that?
How to Reach Michelle Lopez of the Hummingbird High