It started with a hot dog. Raving about the quality of the dogs she was eating at Moe's in Grays Ferry, Kris Chau told her friend Hawk Krall they should start a food blog.
"I told Hawk, 'We draw for a living,' " said Chau, a designer for Urban Outfitters and freelance illustrator. " 'We draw for food.' "
Krall had no objections. Still, he was surprised when Chau went home that night in 2007, signed up for a Blogspot account and named it "Drawing for Food."
"I was a line cook for years, so I had a lot of ideas about food," said Krall, who started cooking at bars but moved to fancier kitchens, such as the now-closed Brasserie Perrier. "I purposefully wanted to do illustration related to food because food started off as a day job. But then I thought, why not just bring [food] into illustration?"
On Drawing for Food (motto: "Gushing about food and drawing too"), Chau, Krall and Serious Eats blogger Caroline Russock chat about what they eat and where they eat it. Photos accompany the meals - sometimes homemade - and when no one has a camera, Chau tries to do a food illustration instead, she said.
There is little consistency to when they post, Chau prefers it that way. "When I blog, it's like my journal. I don't really report on it. We do Drawing for Food because we love it."
But Chau and Krall love something else, too: hotdogs. A recent post on Drawing For Food was a photo of a Texas wiener. The previous post showcased a French Korean Croissant hot dog from Paris Baguette in Cheltenham.
Many of Krall's pieces for publications such as the New York Press and Willamette Week are lowbrow foods drawn with a comic-book-inspired technique. "Every time I get a call now, it's like, 'Draw a hotdog,' " Krall said. "I can draw other things! I can draw roast beef!"
At the end of each year, Chau and Krall align their illustrator skills and taste buds to do a roundup of the year's best dishes and restaurants. "I love drawing," Chau said. "And if you love eating and you're a foodie, it's kind of a natural progression."