1. Favorite chef and why?
- Giada DeLaurentiis because i love Italian food and am fascinated with the Italian culture and I feel that she really embodies Italian food and lifestyle.
- Alton Brown because there is absolutely nobody else like him on the Food Network. He takes a scientific approach and finds out why thing are the way they are and figures out how to make the best of whatever he's cooking.
- Jamie Oliver because he has a passion for kids eating more healthy and he takes a holistic approach to food and cooking.
- Wylie Dufresne because he is renowned for his use of molecular gastronomy. I had the opportunity to meet Chef Dufresne in 2011. Read about that here.
- Frank Lee chef at SNOB for is use of fresh local ingredients. I also had the opportunity to meet Chef Lee last year. Read about that experience here.
2. Why did you start Twitter/Facebook and how do you use it differently from others your age?
- I differ from people my age because I get excited over new foods and interesting restaurants and Twitter was something I saw as a platform for reaching other people with the same interest. I knew it was a great way to directly connect with well known chefs and you can reach such a broad audience of people that you otherwise may have never connected with.
3. Who have you contacted on Twitter?
- My first interaction on Twitter was Melissa D'Arabian, winner of Next Food Network Star season 5, I made her recipe for cinnamon rolls over Christmas and tweeted a picture to her and she RTed it.
- After that, I made Tyler Florence's recipe for biscotti, and like Melissa D'Arabian, he RTed the picture I tweeted him.
- Then, most recently, I followed John Besh, runner up season 1 of Next Iron Chef, and he followed back. So I got my first verified follower!
4. What do you want to achieve from your blog?
- With a blog you aren't limited and there are no rules, so you can literally make it anything you want it to be. It started out as me wanting to share my love of food and my culinary experiences and it's turned into sort of a way to inspire and instruct others. And I always thought that if younger people, be it kids or teenagers, had somebody their own age doing something like this it wouldn't seem like something that was boring or that they didn't know how to do. I also have a passion, with the growing obesity epidemic in America, to teach people in my generation how to make some of their favorite foods and making easier, healthier versions that taste just as good or maybe even better. So I think the main thing I want to achieve from my blog is to let people in my generation know that cooking should be and experience and something that is fun. Not something that is a chore or that you never have time to do. Also, I want people to know that healthy eating doesn't alway mean salad and fish, it can also be flavorful and easy.
5. Favorite food to eat while watching a movie?
- I'm sort of a traditionalist. My go to for movie night is popcorn. I don't buy the microwave bags though, I learned a technique called brown paper bag popcorn. You put 1/4c. of kernels in a brown paper bag, microwave for 2 minutes or until popped, and I like to top mine with parmesan cheese and a little garlic salt. And to help the seasoning stick just lightly spray with a cooking spray before you season.
6. Favorite Food?
- There really is not one particular food that is my favorite. I think my favorite types of food are Italian food and seafood. But in general i consider myself a foodie in that I will try practically anything once and I truly enjoy trying all types of food. However, people also have things they dislike and for me that would be cilantro, red bell peppers, and really spicy food.
7. Most exciting dish you've cooked?
- That for me would be fish en papillote which means fish in paper. I saw Anne Burrell, from Secrets of a Restaurant Chef make it and I had to try it. It's surprisingly easy and it's really fun and impressive to serve for dinner guests.
- The most challenging thing i've ever made was gluten free bread. It's really hard to get the mixture just right so it will rise but also have the texture of bread. Also, French macarons were incredibly difficult. I will never complain about paying $2 a piece. I have major respect for people that make them.
8. If you could visit any restaurant in the country, where would you go?
- Personally, I would go to a restaurant called The French Laundry. It was ranked #1 on The Daily Meal's list of 101 best restaurants in America. It's located in a city call Yountville, Ca north of San Francisco in the Napa Valley, which is one of my favorite areas to visit. Described as a uniquely American restaurant whose inspiration lies in the countryside of France, the chef, Thomas Keller, creates two different nine course tasting menus everyday, chef's tasting and tasting of vegetables, and no ingredient is ever repeated throughout the meal. One of my favorite ways to eat is in a series of small plates. Partly because I'm indecisive and would want to try everything anyway and also because I think it's a great way to excite your palate and keep you interested throughout the course of the meal. So as of right now, The French Laundry is at the top of my list.
9. What chef would you most like to meet and why?
- I am a big Gordon Ramsay fan. I would love to see the real chef Ramsay as opposed to the Hell's Kitchen Chef Ramsay. And I would love to do a blindfolded taste test. That was alway the part of the season I looked most forward to on Hell's Kitchen and I used to make my mom do that with me. She always says I have a good palate so I would love to really put it to the test.
10. Favorite Local Restaurant
- My favorite local restaurant is one called Noble Fare. My first post on my blog was actually a review of Noble Fare so it's been a long running favorite. It was the first place I'd ever had an amuse bouche, so that's what made it really stand out in my mind and they also use fresh local ingredients. My favorite thing that I've eaten there is the pan seared diver scallops with cauliflower puree, israeli couscous with a truffle and corn succotash.