About

Image Credit: Shelley Eades
Image Credit: Shelley Eades

Hi, I’m Alanna! Recovering pastry chef-turned food photographer, stylist, videographer, and cookbook author.

Image credit: Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

THE BOJON GOURMET is a celebration of the sweet, savory, and occasionally boozy recipes that I create in my San Francisco kitchen. Most are based around seasonal produce, with whole grains and flours, eggs and dairy from happy animals, excellent chocolate, and the occasional tipple playing back-up roles. Many of my recipes are vegetarian, gluten-free, and some are even vegan.

Maple Chestnut Pudding Chomeurs {gluten-free}

I started this blog in 2009 during a stint of funemployment and borrowed the term “bojon” (no job, backwards) from a friend. One facet of the tao of Bojon involves immersing oneself in the present moment, and I never feel more zen than when I’m creating, photographing, writing about, and (mostly!) eating something delectable. Read more about the Tao of Bojon here.

Image credit: Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

I dreamed of being pastry chef since I learned, at the age of eight, that such a job existed. I studied baking and pastry at Tante Marie’s in San Francisco, and worked as a baker, pastry cook, pastry chef, caterer and personal chef for many years. Three years ago, I escaped the restaurant industry to work full-time on my blog and food photography. My work has been seen around the web and in print, including Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Go Gluten-Free, GFF Magazine, and The New York Times. To learn more about my food photography journey and the materials I use, see this post. My images can be purchased for commercial or private use here.

Vegan Champurrado {Mexican Hot Chocolate Atole}

I’m available for food photography and videography, recipe development, and sponsored posts for delectable foods that I love and use in my own kitchen. For more on how we can collaborate, see this page or get in touch via email: AGoodie[at]gmail.com.

My first cookbook, Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours, was released in September of 2016. To read more about my journey to becoming an author, see Why I said Yes to a Cookbook (and read about why I said No to the first offer).

Image courtesy of Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

On the rare occasions that I’m not thinking about food, I can be found dancing, hiking, playing ukulele songs about love and baking, and hanging out with my two favorite guys.

lunch-with-catamus-1

I hope you enjoy The Bojon Gourmet! You can peruse recipes from the archives, search for specific ingredients, and subscribe to receive new posts via email.

Image courtesy of Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

You can also say hello on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Thanks for stopping by, and happy cooking!

Image credit: Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

82 thoughts on “About”

  1. Nice bio, Alanna. Such a lovely blog and producer thereof…

    Oh man–the image of your cat a-stretched takes the cake.

    And, I truly dig the Tao of Bojon (and now know how to pronounce it rightly). Duly added to the lexicon!

  2. I stumbled upon your blog while searching for recipes. I do that a lot. Search for recipes. I kept clicking on recipes and becoming more excited by the moment. I was just wondering if I could make sweet potato cinnamon rolls this morning. And there you have them. Beautiful. This is one of the best blogs I have seen, beautiful photographs.
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you for the incredibly kind words. I'm overjoyed that you're enjoying the recipes and images. Please let us all know how things turn out. Happy baking!

      Ps. I like reading recipes, too.

    1. Thanks, Angela – your photos are great, too! It was really nice to meet everyone, and I'm looking forward to the next Bay Area Food Bloggers meet-up, and to reading more of your blog. :)

  3. Hi Alanna, I'm Ana from Fooduel.com. It is a site in which users vote recipes from 1 to 10.

    There is a ranking of the best recipes and a profile with your voted recipes. Each recipe has a link to the blog which belongs the recipe. This way you will get traffic to your blog.

    It's easy, fast and fun. The best Photo recipes will be here.

    You are invited to enter, add your blog and upload a recipe with a nice photo.

    You are able to see your stats:

    -Number of visits to your blog from Fooduel.com.
    -Number of votes received every day
    -Number of votes received by each category
    -Number of votes for each grade (1-10)
    -Number of votes for each recipe.

    You can watch how its works here http://www.fooduel.com/about.php

    We would love that you participate with some recipe. Looks Amazing!

    Best regards

    http://www.Fooduel.com

  4. A graduate of a full program at UC Santa Cruz?? Which college did you reside in and how did you get to baking and cooking? Kresge? Off-campus? Resident kitchens?

    I graduated 2011 and now studying music in Bali when I wanted to bake and I stumbled upon your site and recipe for Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. Found some tips there to make my Coffee Chocolate Hazelnut cookies! ^^ Thank you. Will be in Santa Cruz coming back to America but if I'm ever in San Francisco, will be thinking about Tante Marie school and you.

    1. Yes, I picked Kresge solely because not having a kitchen was unthinkable! I always loved cooking and baking, but went to college because I didn't find a cooking school I liked, and because my favorite English teacher told me I should. (I should really invoice him for my student loans.) I liked Tante Marie's and would definitely recommend it. How cool that you're studying music in Bali.

      Hope the cookies turn out great. :)

  5. Wow! I just came across your blog while searching for a granola recipe on Pinterest and am a new fan! I am a high school student with a passion for food and photography (I keep a blog called Cannella Vita). I study classical ballet, and love yoga, so I found your bio fascinating! I am your newest fan!

  6. I just stumbled across your blog after putting one of your recipes on Pinterest. Decided to look up the info about the lentil and spinach soup and – Voila, started reading your blog. Will have to bookmark your blog now. Thanks for such an interesting read.

  7. I love your blog – you have the best gluten-free cookie recipes! I wanted to go to culinary school too but my parents told me to go to college instead. Now I study nutrition and teach others to love movement & food. Although I gave up the dream of owning a bakery, I want to write a healthy cookbook. I love your little tips, your attention to detail and cooking slowly, which I find missing from most cookbooks and amateur blogs these days. Do you have any favorite cookbooks or chefs/bloggers to learn how to cook like the best without going to culinary school?

  8. Hi Kathryn! Thank you for the sweetest note ever – I'm all warm and fuzzy! I went to college at the encouragement of some grown-ups, too, before going to pastry school. Studying nutrition and teaching others to love movement and food sounds beautiful – good for you! I'm so excited for you to write your cookbook – that's awesome!

    I'm not a very technical cook (I'm trained as a baker/pastry chef), but my very favorite cookbook author is Deborah Madison (Local Flavors and Vegetable Soups are the books I use the most). I'm sure you know Deb Perelman (smitten kitchen) and Heidi Swanson (101 cookbooks) – other favorite bloggers/authors. I also really like the cookbook Once Upon a Tart – great recipes and fun writing. Mollie Katzen (Moosewood) and Alice Waters (Chez Panisse) are other ladies I've learned a lot from. And I love love love Cook's Illustrated (magazines, books, or website – well worth the membership fee). I'll add more if I think of anyone else.

    Thank you for writing – please keep in touch! :)

  9. Hi Alanna. I have all my ingredients to make my gluten free pie crusts for my daughters but I did not buy xanthan gum because it's so expensive. Can I use tapioca starch instead? Happy Thanksgiving!! Susanne

    1. Hi Susanne! I don't think that tapioca starch is as powerfully sticky as xanthan gum. Without the gum, the dough may be more brittle to roll out, and the final texture less flaky and more delicate. If you can spring for the xanthan gum, I would advise you to do so; otherwise, the dough will probably still be ok, just harder to work with and less flaky. You could also try adding a tablespoon or two of ground flax or chia seeds for added stickiness. I wish I could magically transport some of my xanthan gum to you – I have a giant bag that I will never use up! Either way, please let me know how it goes.

  10. Hey Alanna, I really love the new look you have now on the site..especially your portfolio ♥
    I wanted to email you about an event I'm having in 2014. What's the best way to connect?
    Happy New Year. Looking forward to all your new recipes next year ;)
    Angela

    1. What a sweet note, Nancy – thank you! I don't have a cookbook out, but I'm doing some preliminary work in the hopes of publishing one in the not-too-distant future. Thanks for the words of encouragement! :)

  11. Hi Alanna!
    Love your site!
    I just wanted to let you know that I clicked on the "recipe" link in the sentence above, "You can peruse recipes by type, search for specific ingredients, explore the archives…" and it was a broken link. I would want to know!

    Best,
    Marni

    1. Oooh, thank you Marni – I really appreciate your telling me! Fixed it. Seems to be some weird bug, probably related to the fancy code my sweetie wrote for the recipe indexer. Tech support! :) Thanks for reading!

  12. Just wanted to say that I enjoy reading your blog and "Love" your recipes. They are simple and the ingredients are usually staples in my pantry.

  13. I stumbled upon your website through Foodgawker and I'm so glad I made it here. I've been admiring your recipes and photos for almost a half an hour now! I really love all your beautiful photos and your recipes sound delicious! I also have an orange tabby that I like to cuddle against his will, (thankfully sometimes he gives in) they are the best! I'm so glad I found your site and I will definitely be back!

  14. Hi Alanna! It is good to read how you are balancing a lot of different interests. I just graduated with my MFA from Davis and I'm floundering a bit at the moment trying to figure things out. I'm also interested in food, dancing and whiskey so your blog is quite fun!

    Best,
    Jamie

    1. Hi, Jamie! Thanks so much for the nice note – sounds like we have much in common! I'm really glad you're enjoying the blog, and I hope you're able to embrace your inner bojon during this time. All my best!

  15. Ran across your pin on Pinterest. ..Term "Bojon" caught my eye, since I just finished a research project about Bojons in Pueblo, CO. In that case the label was a derogatory term for Slovenian immigrants. Now, the Slovenian-American community has adopted the description as an expression of ethnic pride/ self-identity.

  16. I was desperately looking for a savory biscuits recipe involving goat cheese. And then I found you. And got mesmerized by your blog.
    Truly inspiring!

  17. Like so many others who have dropped you a line, I was searching for a chocolate chip/peanut butter/oatmeal cookie recipe using buckwheat flour that would turn out better than the one I concocted myself…unbelievably, you had that very recipe! Now, because of your finishing techniques, I am researching salt flakes, fruit bitters, and devouring your photographs and recipes which are truly eye candy. I live just over the GG Bridge from SF and have access to so many of the ingredients you talk about here…your blog is a real treasure. Nice "no job!"

    1. Hi Linda! Thank you so much for stopping by, and for the incredibly kind note – it has truly made my day! Those chocolate chip nut butter oatmeal buckwheat flour cookies are my favorites; we were totally on the same wavelength, huh? Let me know if you're ever in SF and want to get a drink. :)

  18. Hello Alanna! I am astonished by your beautiful photography!!!! Definitely got a "signature" look going on with all those darling trickling and pouring shots :D

  19. Hi, I found your recipies on Pinterest and your blog through them.
    Thank you for the inspiration, both in regards of a healthier gluten free lifestyle but also for the beauty to all the senses that you fantastic photos capture.
    Crossing my fingers you'll get to make a cookbook, I'd buy it as soon as I hear about it. :)

    All the very best,
    Malin in Sweden

    1. Hi Malin! I'm so glad you found your way here. Thanks a million for the kind note. :) Keep your eyes peeled for a cookbook announcement, coming to the blog soon! ;)

  20. Hi Alanna! We've emailed you to request permission to share your Matcha Mint Chip Ice Cream on BeautifulNow, because we think it's beautiful! And we think our community of 800K fans will agree. But we haven't heard back from you yet. Please let us know by end of day today so we can include it. The post will run next Wednesday on BeautifulNow and will be featured on our social platforms. Feel free to email if you have questions. shira@beautifulnow.is

  21. Hi Alanna.. Loved the zen of Bojon!! I have been a long standing admirer of your photographs.. even before I held a camera or knew that i would be interested in food blogging one day.( I blog at http://www.lapetitchef.in … ) But you know what? I Love reading the posts just as much!! Made the Mumbai mules couple of days back..changed a little, but we loved it. Its a beautiful space.. PS: I am completely with you on the Tao of Bojon!! :) Love!

  22. Hi!
    I just wanted to thank you for creating such a beautiful resource. I recently moved away from the Bay Area and started my sophomore year of high school on the east coast. Whenever I find myself missing California more than usual, browsing through your posts never fails to cheer me up. Thanks again :)
    Olivia

    1. Hi Olivia! This sweet note completely made my day. Thank you! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the site. I’m sorry you had to move away from CA, though – booooo! Wishing you the best with the rest of the school year. <3

      xoxo,
      A

  23. I stumbled across this precious gem on accident (I was looking at your Apple Galette with Rum Spiced Dulce de Leche, gluten free). Your aesthetic is phenomenal! Just commenting some love and appreciation.

  24. Hey lovely Alanna. For some reason I think it was fortune that made me stumble upon your blog today. I’ve been blogging very sporadically for almost four years now but never really put my ‘all’ into it. However, I was let go from my steady job just before Christmas last year and now I’m doing a bit of soul searching, trying to decide what to invest my energy into whilst I’m still ‘bojon’ (haha – I love that term!). I feel a bit lost and a little bit low in confidence at the moment. I’ve decided to plunge my free time into tidying up my blog and really encouraging to see what you started during a similar time of uncertainty (and where you are today!). You’re massively talented, genuine, warm and humble. Thanks for sharing these honest moments with us. You’ve encouraged me hugely today. Laura xx

    1. Hi Laura!! I’ve been a Mess fan for years, so thanks a million for stopping by and for the kind words – this means so much to me! I had no idea you weren’t a full-time blogger – I’m floored. And how harsh to be let go just before the holidays. Ech. I have no doubt you’ll find your way, being massively talented, genuine, warm and humble yourself. I’m around if you ever want to chat! xoxo

  25. Great site! So happy to have found it! But I can’t seem to find a recipe for gluten free pizza crust? Am I missing it? I saw the pizza recipes but not how to make the crust?? HELP! :)

  26. I just found you randomly via Fb while checking out a recipe that was posted.I have not seen one thing on your blog that I wouldn’t make;EVERYTHING looks wonderful!!Can’t wait to try some of the recipes.I signed up for emails so as not to miss a thing!Thank You !

  27. I just happened upon your blog searching for a recipe. What a treasure you are! I look forward to trying all of your chocolate recipes and as a chocolate sommelier I appreciate a good chocolate dessert. Your photography is stunning and who knows, maybe one day we will meet? My small company of artists creates the only accessory line for fine chocolate. Everything is eco friendly and made in the United States. We have a chocolate storage box, an aroma kit that several bean to bar chocolate makers use to train staff, chocolate tasting sheets and chocolate envelopes to store opened bars of chocolate. If you feel inspired check out our website: projetchocolat.com. In the meantime you will inspire me!!

  28. Hi, Alanna. Just so you know, the term Bojon is an ethnic slur to disrespect Slovenians. It’s one of those words that can be used safely only by Bojons to playfully slam each other, but, used by non-Slovenians, is considered a pejorative. In any case, I lived in the Bay Area for 30 years before moving to OC, love to cook, and look forward to trying some of your recipes. I just wish you had researched the term before using it (it’s a cute turn of phrase, though).

  29. Hi Alanna,

    Love your site and the book. I’ve made two cakes from it and they were amazing! I was wondering if you could share some other GF blogs or books that have inspired you along your journey. I realized I have a sensitivity to gluten a few years ago and had a hard time finding good GF recipes. I love pastries so that was a tough blow so your blog + book was the light at the end of the tunnel! Thank you for writing this and helping me expand my library. Cheers!

    1. Aw, thank you so much Carol! Kudos to you and your GF journey. I love Aran Goyoaga’s book and blog. Kimberley Hasselbrink’s book and blog. Gluten-Free For Good cookbook by Sam Seneviratne. Blogs: Heartbeet Kitchen, Snixy Kitchen, Salted Plains, London Bakes, Green Kitchen Stories and all of their books. And Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich is superb. Hope that helps! :)

  30. Hi Alanna
    I stumbled across your blog and love it. Made the teff tahini brownies last night…really good…never would have thought of chocolate and tahini together. And you have an orange kitty! I have my second now, Xena, first passed away, orange cats are so fun loving crazy. Looking forward to trying more recipes!

    1. Aw, I’m so sorry to hear about your kitty. Xena sounds like a perfect name for a cat! Thanks a bunch for trying out the brownie recipe and for the sweet words!

  31. I am absolutely loving Alternative Baker! I cannot get enough of it. Thank you for doing this hard work to elevate gluten free baked goods to the level of divine. I have tried so many disappointing GF recipes in the past and it has been such a GIFT to happen upon your delicious work!

    Thank you so, so much!!

    1. Aw, this completely makes my day!! I’m SO glad you’re liking the book and recipes. Many thanks for the sweet note!

  32. Hey Alanna-
    I just got your lovely cookbook and have a question for you. I am not aiming to make primarily gluten-free pastries, but love the addition of whole grains, so I was wondering if you tested these recipes with all purpose flour in place of the sweet rice flour in many of the recipes. I’m going to play around with ratios a little bit, but I thought I’d see if you thought it would work to use the primary alternative grain that a recipes calls for and then use AP flour instead of the rice and/or millet/oat combo you use in a lot of them. Thanks so much!

    -Laura

    1. Hi Laura! I’m psyched that you got my book even though you’re not gluten-free – that’s awesome! I think your plan sounds perfect. You can probably leave out any tapioca flour or cornstarch as well if you’re using AP. Let me know how it goes!

  33. Hi Alanna,
    I’m a silent follower of you for many years. I love your work ! I’m getting into serious food photography now. I have Rebel t3i and I don’t think I’m upgrading sooner. I’m a bit hesitant to approach potential clients armed with a Rebel camera and a 50mm 1.8 lens fearing that my photos won’t come out sharp. Do you still use your Rebel to shoot this amazing photos ? I’d very much love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks and all the best !

    1. Hi Farwin, Thanks so much for the sweet note! I ended up upgrading to the Mark 3 two years ago and I’m quite happy with it. But I think that as long as clients know what your work looks like, you should be fine shooting for them with the equipment you’ve got, especially if it’s for web or social media use where most people will be viewing the images pretty small. If you use a tripod, then you can keep the ISO lower and have less grain for sharper images, and no camera shake.

      FYI I’m starting to teach photography workshops; if you’re interested you can find out more here: http://bojongourmet.com/workshops/

      Thanks for reading all these years! -A

      1. Thanks for the response Alanna. I really appreciate it. I wish I could attend one of your workshops. I’m in Ireland. But I’m hoping to pretty soon :)

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