Catholic Techie (& Foodie) Jeff Young

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You might know him as the Catholic Foodie. He took the Catholic world by storm–with a spatula in his hand–a few years ago, and his fan club is large.

Jeff Young and His Wife Char

But did you know that the Jeff Young is also a techie? In fact, he builds websites, consults, and is a copywriter, among other things. He maintains not just the Catholic Foodie site that’s to blame for the drool all over my keyboard, but also Write Design Media, his professional side.

So this week, let me insert some drool onto your keyboard as I interview a Catholic Techie who has a Foodie streak!

Tell us about yourself in five words or less.

Fun, faith-filled foodie who’s family-focused.

Of your pursuits, what’s your favorite?

I would have to say that The Catholic Foodie is my favorite pursuit. I love to teach while entertaining, and The Catholic Foodie provides a platform for that.

I am constantly amazed at the response I get from folks when I talk about the intersection of food and faith. When not eating, people generally love to talk about food! I guess that’s why Food Network is so popular.

When I talk about food, people get excited. It’s really a great way to share the Faith in a non-confrontational way.

Cooking, eating, and entertaining are just a part of who I am. I guess it was ingrained in me while growing up in south Louisiana. And it excites me to share my passion for food, faith and family with the world.

When you think of the New Evangelization from your approach as a “Catholic Techie,” what excites you? What makes you want to continue?

With the technology that we have today, we can evangelize without evangelizing. And I think that is so important.

In my experience, faith for most people is not an intellectual exercise. Faith is about relationships. It’s about connections.

There are plenty of excellent apologetics and catechetical websites out there on the internet. And that’s great, we need them.

But what I get excited about are those websites (blogs, podcasts, etc.) that “evangelize” indirectly.

The Catholic Foodie is where food meets faith. The Break with Fr. Roderick incorporates technology, movies & TV, as well as things peculiar to us as “the Peculiar [Catholic] Bunch.” CatholicMom.com is an indispensable resource for all things Faith, family and fun.

In a way, this indirect evangelization reminds me of that famous saying attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the gospel everywhere you go and, when necessary, use words.”

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?

It’s the people. The friendships that have formed through my work online are such rich and tremendous blessings to me. When I’m not cooking or talking about food, I can be found building websites that work. When clients hire me to build a website, or when they hire me as a consultant for SEO or content creation, they usually get more than they bargained for… in a good sense. Often they get a friend out of the deal too. And I think that’s pretty cool. I know I find it rewarding.

In your spare time, what are we likely to find you doing? Do you have a gadget in hand or do you go native and screenless?

In my spare time you’ll find me in the kitchen, of course! I often joke that cooking is like therapy for me…and I must need a lot of therapy!

Seriously, my wife and I believe that eating together as a family is one of the most important things we do each day. It is important to us that we eat good food, too: food that both tastes good and is good for us. So we do cook every day (with a few exceptions… so that we can enjoy one of the many fine local restaurants in the area).

Whether I am in the kitchen or at a restaurant, my iPhone is always close by. I frequently photograph and post pics of food. Apps like Instagram and Pinterest have made this so easy… and fun! All my food photos also end up on The Catholic Foodie Facebook page where there’s always somebody saying something about food. Bon appetit!

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2012 Sarah Reinhard

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