Today we speak to social media influencer, cook, stay-at-home mom, and food photographer Danielle Grey to explore her experience with the popular kitchenware brand BILL.F.
BILL.F: Hi Danielle, thanks for speaking with us today and welcome to the “BILL.F Chef Time” blog. So, tell us a little about yourself?
Danielle: Well, I am an Italian American; my grandparents moved here from Italy, but I am originally from San Francisco Bay area. It's funny. I used to think I lived in San Francisco because the San Francisco airport is actually in San Bruno, but I loved growing up in San Bruno with excellent, 64-degree weather every day. So, I do love the city, but now I am in the Napa area with my two kids and my husband.
BILL.F: What's your first memory of your love of cooking? When did you start to become passionate about it?
Danielle: I think I always really loved holidays and getting together with the family because that's when we would get a chance to visit each other, and that meant a lot to me.
It wasn’t necessarily that the food was the best or most important, but it was the conversation and being together that I valued more than anything. My mom never had to work but always enjoyed working and getting out of the house, and my dad was very regimented, so I took on that cooking role at a very young age.
BILL.F: Speaking of cooking, you are always coming out with different dishes and colorful arrangements, and they look fantastic. Still, it’s evident that although taste is an important part, the presentation seems to be equally as important to you. What is your process behind the dishes you make?
Danielle: Well, thank you. I feel like we all have to eat something, but I feel like my cooking is not just something to eat; it’s a piece of art. I do love feeding my family seeing them enjoy what I make. However, food can always taste good, but making it look appealing on top of that is an aspect of cooking I pride myself on.
I started doing social media when I was living in San Francisco. Instead of going to the grocery store, I would get meal kits and started documenting my journey, trying different recipes and dish arrangements as a hobby. Then I began to fall in love with food photography. I took many different Instagram workshops with varying influencers in the industry and allowing natural light to be a part of all food shots always seemed to stick with me. Dinner time with the family is always important to me, but now being able to share these dinner-time creations with others is something I cherish.
I knew growing up I wanted to be an artist, but I wasn’t good at drawing. Then I realized that when I put things on the plate, I was good at making things look appealing. At twelve years old, I would never have imagined that I would have as many followers as I do now experiencing these creations.
"Dinner time with family is always important to me, but now being able to share these dinner-time creations with others is something I cherish."
BILL.F - By Mothers, For Families
While spending time at home cooking for her two sons Bill and James, BILL.F brand founder Nancy Xu came across a problem — her kitchen. None of her tools were stylish and high-quality. Why couldn’t kitchenware be elegant and strong at the same time? Determined to transform the future of the kitchenware industry, she founded BILL.F, named after her oldest son, Bill. Nancy’s products grew in popularity and she began selling her renowned kitchenware to retailers throughout Europe, Asia, and Australia. Nearly 15 years later, BILL.F is re-designing kitchenware essentials specially suited for American homes in 2019. With improvements to usability, visual design and consumer needs, BILL.F has launched its world-renowned line of kitchenware to the United States.
BILL.F: What is it about BILL.F kitchenware that allowed it to find a home in your kitchen?
Danielle: I feel like I just gelled with the focus behind BILL.F kitchenware. I liked what this company was about. I liked the affordability and the modern look. It's cool because it works in a kitchen for me, a wife and mother of two, but will also work in a kitchen for a college student and is at a price that can fit into a modest budget. I feel the products are art pieces, and working with different products like the acacia wood end-grain cutting board helps me create some of my most iconic pieces.
"The acacia wood end-grain cutting board helps me create some of my most iconic pieces."
BILL.F: Is there something about BILL.F kitchenware that you feel is unique compared to other brands out there?
Danielle: I would have to say the patterns and the natural elements incorporated into the different kitchenware pieces. The teak wood bowls are super smooth and make for gorgeous pictures. I love how each design is unique, and I have to go back to the beautiful acacia wood cutting board. I have cutting boards all around my house, but that is one that I can truly put on display.
BILL.F: Out of the BILL.F products you have tried is there one out there that is your favorite?
Danielle: I love the chef's knives, cutting board, measuring spoons, as well as the pizza board.
BILL.F: What products would you recommend for someone out there that shares your passion for cooking and creating art through food?
Danielle: The cheese board is phenomenal, and I recommend it to anyone who loves putting tasteful displays together. I have never seen a cheese board with magnetic cheese knives, and it just adds a nice touch to everything.
BILL.F: I am fascinated how you took something that you love and created it into this huge social media presence with a following that grows each passing day. What advice would you give to those that share your culinary enthusiasm?
Danielle: There is always a new recipe. It doesn't have to be the same thing for dinner every night. I feel like with cooking, there are always new things to try, and if it doesn't turn out the way you hoped, just try again, never stop, never give up, and never stop learning.
"Never stop, Never give up, Never stop learning."
BILL.F: Danielle, we appreciate the time you have taken out for us, and our readers will be able to gain a lot from your experience and look forward to your continued success.
Continue to stay tuned as we further explore how the dream of BILL.F is being realized through American homes and families every day.