Rich Callahan Photographer

Rich Callahan – Contributing Photographer TYL

Rich Callahan

Rich Callahan, contributing photographer at The Yum List, shares a little about his background, food and travel preferences and gives some insight into his role.

What’s your role at The Yum List?

I am a contributing photographer and lead smart-arse!

When you’re not Yum Listing…

I’m editing photos and spending time with my wife and son, who is getting ready to head out to University soon.

In what countries have you lived? Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Denver, Colorado, in the US. It’s not a foodie place at all, but it has amazing Mexican food. I lived there all my life and spent my entire career as a chef until we moved to Seoul, South Korea, where we lived for four years before moving to KL.

What are your food and beverage preferences or preferred style of dining?

I am the picky eater of The Yum List, which is odd for someone who has spent way too much time in professional kitchens. I like quality ingredients, not expensive ones, but quality – there’s a big difference. 

Go-to drink?

Sparkling water.

What is comfort food for you?

Mexican food, tacos, burritos, and, let’s not forget, chips (I am starting a campaign that all food should be in chip form).

What style of traveller are you?

I am a light traveller, except for my 50kg backpack of camera gear. I like to travel with just a carry-on. If you forget something, buy it. If it is not needed, do not bring it.

What’s in your fridge?

Homemade kombucha and healthy stuff my wife buys.

What do you like to cook?

Mexican and Italian.

What do you look for in a menu?

A small tight menu. I want to go to a place that does five to six mains amazingly well rather than a place that has 10+ mains which are average.

What do you do for fun?

Tease Matt Brown (a Yum List writer) and play board games (D&D player).

Something people might not know about Rich Callahan …

I went to culinary school and spent what feels like a lifetime in the kitchen.

Favourite place to travel?

I just came back from Italy, and it was amazing, but Japan is still my number one.

Stand-out travel story?

On my first trip to Thailand, I was hit by a truck while riding a scooter (totally not my fault), and then five days later, I saw an elephant trample a woman.

Something readers might not know about The Yum List…

We have a lot of fun with reviews, but we take write-ups and photos seriously. We ask tonnes of questions, want to hear stories, and learn about someone else’s passion. We may look like we are just laughing and out for drinks or dinner, but this is something we take pride in doing well and treat every experience as an opportunity to learn something new and understand multiple perspectives.

What is your favourite Yum List experience?

Too many to list, but my favourite thing is when I send a friend to a restaurant I really liked that we reviewed, and they tell me they loved it.

Pet food and beverage/ or travel peeves… 

This could be an article all by itself. I am a big guy, so the short person who puts their seat back on a flight is not my favourite. Neither are ten-page menus, bad lighting, people who crowd the gate even though they are in the last boarding group, dark restaurants, and rude people.

Final words… 

Keep the sun to your back, travel more and enjoy life.

Check out some of Rich Callahan’s photos on The Yum List here, and stay up to date with the latest gourmet happenings around Malaysia here and here.

IG: richcallahanphoto


  1. I can confirm that Rich excels at teasing me.

  2. Caning A Jaramillo

    Super cool interview!
    How can I hire this man to take photos for my restaurant?
    I saw his pics, they are phenomenal!

  3. Good to learn about the guy behind the lens!

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