By Rose “rina” Chai and Oanhie “Shinsen” Pham, Staff Writers
Chelsia “Kamala” Lai, an alumna from DePaul University and the national director of marketing, is a dedicated female leader who exemplifies everything Delta Phi Lambda stands for. Chelsia held numerous positions, including VP of Records, President, AME, Stroll Chair, and Public Relations Chair. Not only was she active within her chapter, she was also involved in DePaul University’s Multicultural Greek Council (MGC).
Lai served as the internal vice president on the MGC executive board. She was also a MGC delegate and a member of the Fraternal Sorority Life (FSL) committee in her freshman year. Chelsia’s dedication to not only Delta Phi Lambda, but also to the MGC family and to her academics was recognized and she was selected to be a member of the Order of Omega at DePaul University.
Throughout her years as an undergraduate sister, Chelsia made an everlasting impression on everyone.
“Her knowledge about the ins and outs of the sorority has helped the sorority stay on track and helped me become a productive and beneficial member of Delta Phi Lambda,” said Kryselle “REBELLA” Evangelista, who is also a sister from DePaul. “She really is a fine example of what it means to be DPhiL!”
Aside from being an inspiring sister of Delta Phi Lambda, Chelsia is also a foodie who documents her adventures on Instagram. The Jade Times asked Chelsia about her favorite places to eat, tips on sharing foodie adventures on social media and the popularity of her Instagram account, which currently has over 5,000 followers.
What inspired you to create an Instagram account for your foodie adventures?
Chelsia: I actually had my Instagram for a while before it became mostly about food! I’ve always enjoyed documenting things with my camera as well, whether it be food, friends, moments, etc. I take pictures of everything. Because I eat out so much, food became one of my main subjects and from there I just decided to continue to take photos to document where I eat and what I eat!
When did you start noticing you were gaining followers? Did the number grow steadily, or was it an overnight success?
Chelsia: I believe it’s been about a year that I started to notice that a lot more people were responding to my Instagram and it was great to have interaction and engagement through these photos. From there, my followers grew steadily. It definitely took a year to build up to where I am now!
How did others notice start noticing your posts?
Chelsia: I think the biggest factor that helped with post recognition was the use of hashtags on my posts. That way people who were searching for food photos or places to eat could easily find my photo through the hashtags. Since then, I have continued to use hashtags to be able to get my photo out to as many people as possible.
What has been your favorite dish/drink so far and why?
Chelsia: My favorite drink is definitely bubble tea. Many of my Instagram photos are of bubble tea from various places where I get bubble tea regularly. I tend to get the regular milk tea with tapioca, because that’s what I grew up on and I think the milky and creamy flavor is very refreshing!
My favorite dish so far has got to be sushi from a restaurant called Kai Zan in Chicago. The sushi was so fresh and flavorful on its own. The chef also prepared each roll very well so you got a burst of flavor with each bite.
Other dishes I love to eat regularly are tacos, ramen, and hot dogs. All these foods are found all over Chicago in so many forms that you can never tire of eating them!
What has been your followers’ most favorite photo so far?
Chelsia: So far, my most popular photo has been of a pizza from Dolce Italian Chicago. It was a Tartufata pizza with bianca, speck, spicy salami, truffle oil. I ordered it on a special off-the-menu crust that comes in a star shape with the corners stuffed with ricotta cheese. It was amazingly indulgent and delicious!
What cities/states have you been to for foodie adventures?
Chelsia: I’ve taken photos of my food in Minnesota, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Hawaii!
When it comes to your foodie adventures, is there a city that’s most memorable so far?
Chelsia: So far, I think New York has been the most memorable. There are a lot of things on my list to try in New York but because I only had one day there I was not able to try it all out. I think what makes New York most memorable is that the selection of restaurants/types of food are endless. There are also so many famous/well-known restaurants with unique dishes that I really would love to try. I definitely can’t wait to go back and eat more!
Describe your Instagram posts in three words.
Chelsia: Minimalistic, foodie, photography
What tips would you give to someone who wants to start sharing his or her food adventures via social media, too?
Chelsia: Definitely just go for it! I feel when you’re really passionate about something that you post, it shows and people tend to respond more. I would say, use hashtags because it brings awareness to your pictures and your profile in general. Also try to develop a style or brand for yourself through your photos so that they are all cohesive. I think that’s one of the strongest pieces of advice any foodie in Chicago will tell you. It is so important to build your own brand and have a recognizable style in what you do. It takes time to develop but once you do, everything will look put together and fit well in your Instagram!
Any plans for your next foodie adventure? Any place you have not been and want to in the near future?
Chelsia: I have been to California on several occasions, but that was really before I took photos of my food. I would love to go back and eat my way through California because they have an amazing and unique food scene as well.
As for a place that I have never been? I would love to go to Portugal or Spain and try the cuisine there!
For more of Lai and her foodie adventures, follow her Instagram: www.instagram.com/chelsias.
Featured Image: Chelsia Lai
Article Images: Chelsia Lai