What’s your favourite table?
Oh, goodness. This is hard. I love the hustle and bustle of Katz's in NYC; I love this one particular bistro around the corner from Notre Dame on rue St. Michel in Paris (I can't remember the name, but I'd know it if I saw it) because it was intimate and family-owned and I felt comfortable and at home. I love the closest thing to it, Greenup Cafe in Cincinnati. I love the Korean floor pillows at Riverside Korean.
What would you have for your last supper?
It would involve foie gras, cheese, steak, and buttercream. Not all together, but certainly in courses. And maybe some pad thai and bulgogi for kicks.
What’s your poison?
I had a spell there when I had foie gras four or five times in less than two weeks. So foie gras. On an every day basis? Compound butters. Jelly beans (Jelly Belly, thank you).
Name your three desert island ingredients.
I am going to assume that I can eat the fish and the fruit and whatever I find, so soy sauce, peanut oil and butter.
What would you put in Room 101?
Oh, goodness. It's so hard to think of something I despise. Refried beans. I really dislike them, particularly at Mexican restaurants that are "americanized" and dump them on everything. I refer to it as "Mexi-can't."
Which book gets you cooking?
Nearly anything Nigella Lawson. Her books are food porn, both because she's so hot and because she's everything I aspire to be in a food writer. Her recipes are pretty foolproof and tasty, too.
What’s your dream dinner party line-up?
Oh, man. My dear friends, and perhaps if we're picking famous folks--- Nigella, Anthony Bourdain, Gordon Ramsay (I want to see THAT fight), Barack Obama and Steve Jobs.
What was your childhood teatime treat?
Rye bread with margarine.
What was your most memorable meal?
Roasted chicken and potatoes that had been cooked in duck fat and goose fat and chicken fat down an alley in Paris. God. Just amazing.
What was your biggest food disaster?
Hmm. I almost had one at Cincy Supper Club with my half-frozen lamb leg, but that was averted. I can't think of any real food disasters. I've been lucky. Oh, wait. Bacon brittle. That was pretty bad.
What’s the worst meal you’ve ever had?
Lately? Arnold's, totally. Overall? I can't really think of any. Maybe lunch at Palacio Real (or whatever it's called) near my office. Refried beans on everything; what a nightmare. Morton's was also particularly bad.
Who’s your food hero/food villain?
The Frugal Gourmet. He taught me all of the foundations I still rely upon today, helped establish my tastes, and made me realize that there was life outside of 1950s-style "gourmet". I was very sad when I found out he'd died.
My food villain is Sandra Lee. Good food does not come from packets of preservatives and artificial flavorings. Sure, you can take shortcuts-- Rachael Ray (who annoys me) and Nigella both do it, but the food still relies on real flavors and ingredients. Sure, something might be store bought, but at least it doesn't involve Cool Whip and Hollandaise mix.
Nigella or Delia?
Vegetarians: genius or madness?
If it works for you, that's great. Me, I can't live without pork and beef and chicken and... I really don't get veganism, though. Honey? No honey? That's just criminal.
Fast food or fresh food?
I love fresh food, but occasionally I like fast food french fries. Take away my foodie card, I dare you.
Who would you most like to cook for?
I like to cook for Terry. He truly appreciates it and loves to help me. And I love it when he cooks for me, too. We have two very different styles, but we both cook out of love.
What would you cook to impress a date?Tortellini with browned butter, sage, and parmesan. Some fantastic salad with homemade vinaigrette. Gelato. Nothing I have to slave over, and nothing too filling!
Make a wish.
That everyone could enjoy food as much as I do. That would mean that everyone would be able to buy food and enjoy food, and no one would go hungry. That sounds sort of simplistic and altruistic, but hunger-- particularly right now-- is such a huge problem, and shouldn't be.