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Meet Lauren Pariseau of Hunger Thirst Play

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Pariseau.

Lauren, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Three years ago I left a career in the restaurant industry to become a full-time stay at home mom. While it was an amazing chance to watch my little girl grow, I missed my work life and my buhand recommended maybe starting a blog to fill up some time (and likely to get me off his back.) A passion for food, cocktails, and love for Boston coupled with my restaurant background gave me the inspiration to start Hunger Thirst Play, and a little googling gave me a blog.

The beginning of Hunger Thirst Play started with lousy, grainy photos taken in my harsh kitchen lighting with an old iPhone. The kind you look back at and get the same feeling look at pictures of your 1993 rat tail. Woof, what was I thinking. Fast forward to now, where my freelance food photography has brought in more monthly income than the blog itself.

There is SO much to know in the food blogging – or any blogging game. While I still feel left in the dust a lot of the time, I equally feel lightyears from where I was. At the end of the day, I’m doing things that I love – cooking and baking food (of course with my own share of dreaded recipe fails), mixing up new cocktails, experimenting with flavors, trekking around an amazing city, learning new things, and sharing it with whoever will listen.

Has it been a smooth road?
Since the start of Hunger Thirst Play life has thrown us a few curve balls. Shortly after the birth of my daughter, I received the diagnosis of my benign brain tumor – who I call Frank. A slow growing meningioma, that I unknowingly had since high school, he blossomed during my pregnancy.

He had shacked up in the lining of my brain, grew down my jugular and around my carotid artery, paralyzing my left vocal cords, some muscles in my shoulder, tongue, and throat. Meet me? You would never know.

Go power walking with me in the cold? Watch out for my speech impediment. In a loud bar? Let’s get close because you’ll never hear me. Though some things will never be the same, things could have been so much different. At the end of the day, I try to remind myself to count my blessings.

Just recently, we have a new set of challenges in front of us as my husband and I recently purchased our own two restaurants, opening one of them and with baby #2 on the way – because you might as well go all in, right?!

The hours are long, the work is never ending, but having some of your own creations on a menu that people are raving about – there’s a tremendous, overwhelming joy that comes with that. Joy and drive, because it validates that all the recipe fails, photography reshoots, and late nights are totally worth it.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Hunger Thirst Play is a recipe and lifestyle website with a focus on seasonal comfort food. A New England girl through and through, my cooking is heavily influenced by the feel of the seasons. The way a cold, crisp chill can be calmed by heart soup or the smell of fresh spring air is a great excuse for lemon desserts.

My role is the whole kit and caboodle. Recipe development, testing, food photography, writing, social media scheduling, web development (still working on this one!). One thing, I would like to think, sets me a little ahead is my photography. Especially when meandering through the first few recipe posts! I also have an affinity for food puns and dad jokes, I’m not entirely sure if that sets me apart, but it’s true.

I am most proud of others receiving joy from my recipes or recommendations. To hear that they cooked the Peach + Burrata Toasts or whipped up the Hibiscus Bourbon Cocktail to share with family and friends (and they loved it) it’s music to my ears and my heart.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Being New England born and raised Boston is my favorite place to be. I grew up in a small town, went to school out in Western Mass and eventually settled here in Somerville. The fun of a day game at Fenway, drinking fancy cocktails in Back Bay, or discovering delicious new eats in Downtown Crossing or Southie – or in my mom life now things like finding a place to park at the Children’s Museum – this city is so full of good things. Good things to do for every single person living here.

If someone was just starting out I would vote hands down to start in Boston. There is so much to discover, so many other bloggers and a great support system for women supporting women to get sh*t done.

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