A FOOD lover from Smithills hopes to make his hobby a career after travelling the world and eating at more than 350 restaurants and blogging about his experiences.
Shaun Barnes, who works in internet marketing, set up FoodGeek.co.uk in 2011 to keep track of all the restaurants he and his wife, Fiona, had visited.
But 18 months ago the blog expanded to include Mr Barnes’ own recipes and simple tips and tricks for other food lovers — from barbeque ribs to avocado chocolate pudding — and since then his twitter followers have shot up to more than 3,500.
Mr Barnes often chooses holiday locations with his wife depending on what restaurants they want to try — and one of his favourite trips was to Copenhagen to eat at Noma.
Mr Barnes, aged 31, said: “I’m a real foodie. I’ve always loved cooking and eating. Since starting my blog I have been to about 350 places around the world.
“I officially started it to keep track with all the places I had been to, and in the last 18 months it’s really started to kick off. The more reviews and recipes I post the more I’d like to do it as a profession in the future.
“A really good place my wife and I have been to is Noma in Copenhagen two years ago. I placed them at 15 in my 50 best restaurants last year.
“I have been to most of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants as well as places closer to home in Manchester and Bolton too.
“As well as reviews I have always cooked from scratch and often tweet photos of what I make to my followers. Everyone replied saying I should post recipes — so I did.”
As well as travelling and reviewing, he has recently turned his attentions to making cakes made from real ale and has unveiled his chocolate porter cake at Bolton Market’s Great Ale Year Round.
He said: “I made a cake for my wife’s birthday and mentioned that I’d used real ale to the people at Great Ale Year Round at Bolton Market.
“They really wanted to see a photo of it, but I decided that I’d just make another one instead for the market’s opening launch weekend. It went down really well.”