Recently, we sat down with Leah Hillegas and Tim Naparstek, the pair behind the popular Instagram handle making everyone hungry, @templefoodies (yes, these adorable millennials are dating.) We wanted their personal take on what starters and apps would appeal most to their followers, the Temple University student body at large and faculty as well. We also wanted to get the scoop on just how Leah got her start and how she creatively differentiates herself among all the other local, microblogging epicurean extraordinaires. And if that isn’t already cute enough, the couple often cooks meals together like Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken and Chicken Parmigiana Pasta.
“I wasn’t really much of an eater before I came to Temple, “confessed Leah, now a sophomore undergrad, “Ironically, I seriously hated trying new foods,” she added. Lucky for her, she met boyfriend and blogger accomplice, Tim Naparstek. Tim was determined to broaden Leah’s culinary experiences by taking her to some of his favorite Philly haunts that involved Sushi (she had never eaten Sushi before) and also traditional Jewish delicacies found at Famous 4th Street Deli. “I’m so not ready to eat Gefilte Fish,” confessed wide-eyed Leah.
The micro bloggers, munched on some of our more popular starter apps and bar menu selections such as Margarita Flatbread, Harborside Buffalo Wings, Goat Cheese Fritters, Old Philly Nachos and Cheesesteak Egg Rolls. They also tried our skin-on French Fries with special seasoning and Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.
Leah, a sophomore from Quakertown, PA is planning on majoring in Advertising and Tim hails from Downingtown, PA and is on a prelaw track at Temple as well. The two aren’t sure what the future of @templefoodies looks like, especially after they graduate. They prefer to take it day by day.
What separates @templefoodies from other Philly Igers? “Well, I’m pretty picky about my photos and I truly try to post at least twice a day,” explained Leah. “It’s true,” added Tim. “Often I’m like um Leah, can we eat this now before it gets cold? She’s fastidious about composition and light and takes her craft very seriously. I’ve just gotten used to eating cold food,” he laughed.
When they’re not snapping and posting, Tim and Leah enjoy binge watching multiple episodes of their favorite TV series like Shameless and The Sopranos. They also enjoy going to Temple Football and Basketball games together as well.
What do they enjoy eating while casually watching TV? “Admittedly, I’m a 100% cheese addict. So anything that has to do with cheese – I’m all over it,” confessed Leah.
“Philly is truly now an undeniable world-class foodie town. We are seeing trends in narrowing niche categories like Humus, Ramen and Pho we also seeing new restaurants popping up with multicultural influences. What’s hot? “Mediterranean Food, Casual Fast Indian Cuisine, and Inventive Jewish classics.”
We asked Leah for tips and tricks on how college students can save some money in Philly when trying new restaurants. “Being active on social media channels is always a good idea. Follow the restaurant to see if they offer any daily specials or promotions around holidays and national food days. It’s also great to download apps like the one for Chipotle for example. They offer ongoing coupons to their fans, followers, etc.”
What advice to Leah have for inspiring snapping foodies? “It’s important just to have fun with it. It shouldn’t be thought of as a job per se. It shouldn’t be about how many followers you can get, how many sponsors or how much free swag you can wrangle. If you have a hidden agenda, people will be able to tell.”
In celebration of @templefoodies marking its one-year anniversary, we’re offering current temple students and faculty a fabulous deal. Every Tuesday (from now until Memorial Day, May 29, 2017), feast on our fresh Margarita Flatbread, crisp and yummy Goat Cheese Fritters and also our ever-popular and tasty Cheesesteak Landing Egg Rolls for just $5 each; regularly $11, $9 and $12 respectively…Wow! These are the three starters that Leah and Tim favored. Enjoy! Be sure to follow @templefoodies on Instagram for all sorts of amazing images as well as delicious deals to be had in and around Philly.