1. Where is one place you haven’t traveled to that you would like to go?
Hmm…that’s a hard one. I have traveled to many destinations, but there are still so many places in this world to go! Right off bat, I’d have to say Brazil. I’ve had a lot of friends that have gone and know a few people that live there and it just seems like it would be a lot of fun! Plus, there is so much to do…you can explore the city and also have some fun at the beach! I’ve eaten at a few Brazilian restaurants in NYC, but I’d love to go there and just eat to see how similar they are to the real thing. Nothing beats tasting the food of the local people to get the real experience!
2. What is always in your fridge?
A Carton of eggs, unsweetened organic soy milk, fruit infused earl grey & black ice tea ( I make this myself), coffee (sometimes whole beans – I like to ground them myself), baby spinach, vine ripe tomatoes, unsalted butter (I actually like to keep it in my freezer), soy pita bread, fruit preserve (usually orange marmalade or blueberry), cheese (light Muenster, Provolone, or Swiss. But always Parmesan Reggiano or Pecorino Romano), quart of fat free or low fat vanilla yogurt, fresh whole fruit (depending on the season), a bag of some kind of salty chip (I’m a “snacker”…I have to have indulgence when my mood suites me…and I keep opened snacks that can get soggy from humidity in the fridge, keeps fresher that way), extra firm organic tofu, lemons, tap water (I like ice cold water from the tap. NYC supposedly has the best tap water).
3. What is one food trend you don’t like?
Foam. I get why it’s popular and the huge flavor you get from a little foam is an explosion in your mouth. I just can’t get over how it looks like saliva spit. It grosses me out to look at it!
4. What is your all time favorite staple/”go to” restaurant in NYC?
Ahhh! There are so many depending on what cuisine I’m in the mood for! That’s the thing about NYC, it has SO many wonderful restaurants. Just to name some though?
If I were in the mood for Thai, hands down it’s Bohdi Tree on 3rd avenue between 10th and 11th street. When I first discovered it, I ate there almost every day for the 1st week! The owners have a couple of other restaurants in Brooklyn too!
L’Express on Park Avenue and East 20th Street is always good. It’s great for brunch and late night eating. They’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.. I used to live in Gramercy and it was just a three block walk from my apartment. It was my Cheers…you know that TV show that was on years ago. When I moved to the Flat Iron District a few years later( I was just beginning my stint in the restaurant world) it was a block away, down the street, so I always made sure that when I had time off I would meet friends there for drinks and dinner.
Rosa Mexicano for Mexican… It’s upscale fine dining Mexican food, with dishes from all over Mexico. They have 3 locations in Manhattan so whether you’re uptown, midtown, or downtown it’s easy to get to!
The Odeon. It’s been around forever and I’ve never had a bad meal there! It’s a Tribeca staple for sure!
5. Do you prefer cake or cookies? Do you have a favorite place to induldge your sweet tooth?
Trick question because again it depends on my mood. I wouldn’t say no to either, but I LOVE pie. Give me a whole pie (of any kind) and it’ll be gone in less than a day if you don’t watch me! But since ButterLane opened in the East Village I make it a point to go at least once a month. I’ll buy anywhere from 4 to 24 cupcakes at a time….they are that good and it’s similar to what I would bake myself. Venieros Italian Bakeryis also close by, so if I’m heading to ButterLane I’ll stop by Venieros too. I always will come back with a small slice of their Italian Cheesecake (it’s so fluffly and light tasting, even though I know it probably has 100 calories a lick!) and more often than not a lobster tail pastry filled with chocolate mousse. It’s devine! Oh..and I also add Tu-Lu’s Gluten Free Bakeryto make it the perfect 3. It’s not even a question, because Tu-Lu’s is literally next door to Venieros. They bake these beautiful gingersnap cookies. One is roughly a little bit larger than the size of my palm. It’s baked crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside…my perfect combination for a cookie! And they don’t even taste gluten free! That’s the best part! Whenever I am there I always buy how many ever they have left…people waiting in line behind me hate me for it!
6. What is your favorite song currently?
I like all kinds of music, but I’m not really into hip hop or rap that much. I’ll listen to it and some of it is really good, but I LOVE dance/house music and country. I’m listening to a lot of Billy Currington, Katy Perry, Train, Taio Cruz, and One Republic as of late. I’ve always liked them, but they help me write, work out, and also relax!
7. If you could meet any chef in the world, who would it be and why?
I want to meet them all! I unfortunately can’t just say one because I respect all of them and it would be a great honor to meet any of them. I know I would learn a lot!
8. Have you met any celebrity chefs? Were they what I envisioned them to be?
I have met a few so far, but Mario Batali was my first! In passing outside one of his restaurant…I was sitting on the bench outside the front door with a couple of my friends. We had just finished a cocktail hour with light bites at the bar. Mario came outside and as we got up, he sat down on the bench. The girls and I were wearing short skirts that day and sitting on the bench had left indentations on the back of our upper thighs. We were noticing how silly we looked when he said to us, that the view from where he was didn’t look bad at all. We laughed in response to his comment! He’s always been someone I wanted to meet. He’s exactly how I thought he would be, smiley and funny! He was wearing his signature orange crocks too!
I also met Paul Liebrandt. I was given, as a Christmas present one year, a gift certificate to De Gustibus Cooking School in NYC. I choose to have it with Paul, who is the Executive Chef and owner of Corton down in Tribeca. The execution and precision of his dishes are amazing… and he’s also easy on the eyes! It was a really fun night! He’s very reserved, but has a slight off-hand humor that some people I don’t think would pick up on. I’d love to see him in action in his kitchen at home!
9. Out of all the places in the world I have traveled to, what is your favorite?
Italy! I once went on a trip to Italy with a friend for a wedding. We fly into Milano from NYC, but spent 5 days on the Italian Riviera coast before the wedding. It was such an amazing experience! Eating the wonderful pasta and fish dishes while looking out at the sea. Driving through the little street in this little car we rented looking for a place to park so we wouldn’t have to walk too far to the restaurant for dinner…many fond memories!
We then stayed a couple of days in Milano city where the bride & groom lived. I fell in love with Gelato while on this trip! The Italians believe anytime of day is a good time for Gelato! The city also has this club in the middle of this huge city park…we had so much fun dancing with enormous old trees surrounding us and bulb lights interwoven into the branches(NYC used to have something like that in Union Square Park, but now the area is a playground for kids).
The Bride was originally from Spain, the Groom from Milano. It was a magnificent wedding, so much fun, so much love! They had it in the town of Lake Cuomo at the Groom’s aunt’s estate. It’s such a beautiful place! A perfect European wedding! No George Clooney sighting though, that was unfortunate!
10. Guilty pleasure(s)?
LOL…way too many to tell! I have a lot of guilty pleasures or indulgences…get to know me better and then we can talk about them!