The Blogger Brigade – Karen Mclean

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They access an audience in digital captivity that log on every day to read what they write. They have revolutionised the realm of storytelling and they claim that it’s just for fun. Fuelled with thoughts, dared with expression, donning new looks and wearing the right attitude, these new age fashion gurus mean serious business. Whatever the subject, these bloggers share one single attribute- passion. With followers in  thousands, we speak to the top bloggers of the region,discover some new talent and tap in to their ambition.

Karen Mclean

Australian born, Karen, developed an interest in cooking from a very early age. Her grandfather owned four restaurants in Vietnam and she spent her childhood in the kitchen learning and cooking with him. Her parents are equally great chefs and she credits her father with teaching her to
appreciate food. If she were to spend any money, she would spend it on food.

As a fully qualified chartered accountant, Karen was part of a commercial and business operations team for a major Japanese pharmaceutical company. Two years ago, she began bridging her love of photography and culinary by posting pictures of her creations on social media. The overwhelming response and daily emails led to the birth of her blog, Secret Squirrel Food.

The 30-year-old foodie, who posts all her recipes on the blog, loves to create nutritious, healthy food that tricks the consumer with its looks. Firmly believing that healthy food is delicious and not boring, Karen grabs interest with recipes that are 100% nourishing. She experiments with greens and presents dishes that are delicious and nutritious. For this chef, stepping into the kitchen is a mystery. Her days are spent thinking about food, cooking it, photographing it and eating it. She comes up with various ways to make food healthier and finds herself experimenting with different ingredients. She gets a kick out of surprised reactions from those that find out what goes into making her food and this inspires her to do more.

Her favourite restaurants in Dubai include Tom & Serg, which serves the best coffee in town, and Comptoir102, which cooks wholesome food sourced from local organic farms. She also heads to Chez Sushi to customise her own perfect sushi and The Farm, Al Barari to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. And finally, Zuma, where “The food is just out of this world!”

When you meet Karen, her passion for food and her drive towards promoting healthy eating are apparent. It was this drive that led to the name of the blog. “I love to sneak vegetables like avocado, sweet potato, spinach and zucchini in when you least suspect it. My friends and family happily eat my food without any suspicions. It’s like a sneaky squirrel but with healthy foods!” she smiles.