We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Arsenault and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, why did you pursue a creative career?
I’ve always loved the world; by that, I mean all of the cultures, the foods, the places. Food, especially, is what brings people together, regardless of their background. I’m Canadian, I moved here a couple years ago; my dad is from Prince Edward Island (a very small island on Canada’s east coast), my mom from Poland. I’ve got several cultures just in my own family and moving here (to San Diego) was so exciting. As a food and travel writer and photographer, every day feels like an opportunity to explore and share. As a recipe developer, I simply cannot get enough of the delicious food and drinks here. Being creative was never not an option for me. The need to explore and share is in my blood.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
To be honest, I’m just in love with what I do. I see everything as if it’s through a camera lens and get so excited when an opportunity comes up to take photos or tell a story, no matter how big or small. When I first began travel writing, the market was so saturated and as I was just starting out, I felt that I had to venture out a little bit more to separate myself from others. Food, as a sidekick of travel, was a natural place for me to venture out to. In addition to photographing food (and writing about it), I develop recipes and do some food styling. To go even further, I studied travel and tourism, wine, and beer; and I’ve been trying to make the most of all this down time during the pandemic by furthering my beer education. San Diego, of course, has been very inspiring, beer-wise, and all I want to do when things feel a little more normal is get out there with my camera and tell the stories of local breweries.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since moving here, our friends and family back in Canada have absolutely made the most of being able to come out here and stay with us, so I’m no stranger to planning epic weeks with visitors. I live in Solana Beach, so of course some beach-time is a must; especially in the heat of the summer. For a busy, but absolutely perfect day, we’d do breakfast at Swami’s, hike through Annie’s Canyon, and follow that up with a pint or two at Culture Brewing. We’d remedy those inevitable grumbling bellies of ours with some tacos at Death by Tequila or City Tacos in Encinitas, or even just grab some tortilla chips and Stoked on Salsa’s classic spice salsa to snack on by the beach. That night, we’d grab dinner and cocktails at Alce 101, and finish up the evening with some music at Belly Up!
A day or two in the city would involve an afternoon hitting up some shops and breweries in North Park, a picnic at Balboa Park, and a stop at Liberty Station to grab a bite to eat. We’d fill up on some decadent brunch at Morning Glory, grab some fresh fruits and veg at the Little Italy Farmer’s Market, and order a ridiculous amount of pasta at Bencotto. A stop at Vino Carta for some wine and cheese is non-negotiable – and of course we’d pick up some wine to bring home for later.
If the timing worked out, we’d head to Barrio Logan for their monthly art crawl, do some shopping, grab a bite at Las Cuatro Milpas, and then grab another bite at Barrio Dogg (hey, all that walking will work up an appetite!). A quick visit to Coronado for a stroll along the beach and some lunch at Miguel’s is a must (don’t forget to order some habanero queso – it’s not on the menu!). We’d end the week back up in North County; ride our bikes up to Leucadia, check out the Wednesday farmers market in Carlsbad, hit up the beach with some takeout in Oceanside…
If there’s time, we’d head east and do some hiking, and check out the views (and sips, obviously) at a winery or two. But let’s be honest: a week just isn’t enough time to do all the exploring!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband and my family have always been beyond encouraging in terms of following through with my ideas and dreams, no matter how crazy or unattainable they’ve seemed. The Pink Boots Society has been integral with pushing me toward exploring the beer world; they even awarded me a scholarship a few years back that brought me to Bavaria. And last, but not least, my bestie, Alison Martin (@amartincreative), is my personal cheerleader.