I’ve been sharing my love of food with you fabulous people, and I haven’t shared me! I decided to do a self-interview and answer the question, “Who is The Fab Foodie?” (I think that is so catchy – I’m going to put it on a T-Shirt!)

QM: How did you come up with the name, “The Fab Foodie”?

FF: I came up with the name almost by accident. I wanted to use something that was catchy and described me – not necessarily an alter ego; more like a different side of my personality.

QM: How did you get into cooking?

FF: Food has always been an important part of my life, although it took a while for me to recognize my passion for it. I remember my favorite pastime while spending summers with my grandparents in North Carolina was shelling fresh field peas from my grandfather’s garden. It had (and still has) almost a calming effect on me. My grandmother and aunt were two of my earliest influences in the kitchen. My grandmother’s liver and onions are legendary in our family, and her sweet potato pies are unrivaled. I was so honored when she gave me her recipe last Thanksgiving! My Aunt Vickie is the baker in our family – her sweets have caused many sugar hangovers after family functions. She gave me a love of baking – not to mention a mean sweet tooth!

 

QM: What inspires you to cook?

FF: There are so many different things and ideas that inspire me to cook. When I started becoming serious about food, I would watch Food Network programming religiously, in particular Rachael Ray and Paula Deen. Their shows inspired me to try new things and make up dishes based on something they cooked on their show. I remember watching Rachael Ray do a show where she cooked lentils. The dish looked so good, I looked up a recipe and tried them the next day. I’d never cooked or tasted a lentil in my life, and now it’s one of my favorite weeknight meals. Lately, I’ve been inspired by seasonal produce at the farmer’s market. It’s so amazing to me how wonderful the flavors in farm-fresh produce are compared to what is available at the grocery store.

QM: What is your all-time favorite dish?

FF: My all-time favorite dish would have to be North Carolina barbeque (that’s pulled pork for Northerners), hushpuppies, coleslaw, and fried okra. I’m a country girl at heart, and that is my favorite Southern meal, washed down with a cold Sweet Tea.

QM: What are five things you would include on a “Foodie Bucket List”?

FF: Wow…my current “Foodie Bucket List” is about two pages long, and growing! Let’s see…in no particular order:

  • Have a restaurant crawl in New York City
  • Meet Paula Deen
  • Have pasta in Italy
  • Eat my way around New Orleans
  • Eat fresh croissants in Paris

 

QM: What would you have as your last meal?

FF: My mom’s liver and onions with rice and sautéed Brussels sprouts. My mom’s liver and onions is almost as good as my grandmother’s. More importantly, she was the person who first taught me to put love in my food – it’ll make everything taste even better. If that had to be my last meal, I know I would be full with my mom’s love – and that’s enough for me.

QM: When was the first time you had beer?

FF: The first time I had beer was probably in college (after I turned 21, of course!). The first time I truly appreciated beer was on a night out with some girlfriends. We were at DuClaw Brewing Company and I asked the bartender for a lesson in beer tasting. He gave me a quick-and-dirty lesson on tasting beer, and I’ve been hooked since that day. The first time I had a homemade brew was at the home of a friend of an ex-boyfriend, who also made wine. I remember being a little uneasy about it at first – I’d never heard of someone making beer at home before. That experience opened my eyes to the amazing flavors that beers have. I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy beer – it reminds me a lot of cooking.

QM: Follow-up: What’s your favorite beer?

FF: I don’t have one particular favorite beer. I do prefer certain brands over others. I’m also partial to amber ales and unfiltered wheat ales. I’ve been enjoying a lot of seasonal ales recently, particularly the Sam Adams Summer Ale and the Blue Moon seasonal ales. I guess you could call me a beer snob – I prefer draft over bottle, and I’m very particular about the beers I drink. I’m really excited to take a brewery tour, but I can’t find anyone to go with me!

QM: Describe your dream kitchen.

FF: I don’t think I have enough space! A six-burner stove and a double oven are must-haves. I would have a side-by-side refrigerator and a separate deep freezer. A walk-in pantry with ample shelves. New pots and pans. A cooking island for prep work (I like a lot of space!). A huge window for my fresh herbs. Lots of countertop space. Did you notice I left out a dishwasher? I did that on purpose. I don’t have anything against them, but I’ve come to a point where I don’t mind washing dishes.

QM: If given the opportunity, what city in the world would you choose to live in?

FF: I would choose DC! I’m a true blue Washingtonian. I love everything about the city – the neighborhoods, the eclectic mix of people, the emerging restaurant scene, everything! There is always something new to find and exciting to do.

QM: Speaking of the emerging restaurant scene, what is your take on DC’s emergence as a “Foodie City”?

FF: I can’t say “I LOVE IT!” enough! I am so excited that we are finally getting the recognition we deserve for the rich culinary traditions here and the future of the DC culinary industry is bright! I am especially intrigued by the new mobile food truck phenomenon that is sweeping my city. Curbside Cupcakes, Fojol Bros., Rebel Heroes, and El Floridano are setting the standard for an amazing new trend, and to incorporate social media into their businesses is absolute genius. (In my other life, I’m a grad student in Communications – aka a “Media Nerd”) I really want to take a day and hit every food truck – especially Curbside Cupcakes. I’ve been stalking Pinky for months!

QM: What would you call a “Perfect Day”?

FF: That’s a tough question. It would probably involve a museum, because in addition to being a media nerd, I’m also a history nerd. It would definitely involve a restaurant I’ve never tried, and a fun activity like paddle boating on the Tidal Basin or an impromptu photo shoot around the city. That would be a perfect day – doing all the things that make me fall even more in love with Washington DC!

QM: What three adjective would you use to describe yourself?

FF: energetic, creative, complex.

QM: If you could give the world one piece of advice, what would it be?

FF: Never lose your passion for what you love, and never settle for less than what your passion demands.

QM: What would you do if you didn’t have to work?

FF: (Deep sigh as I close my eyes and imagine such an existence) I would write. A lot. I would try to expand the business ideas I have floating in my head. I would find new ways to share Confessions… with the world. I would live my best life and follow my passion.

QM: Is there anything you absolutely refuse to do under any circumstances?

FF: I refuse to ride a rollercoaster and watch scary movies. Feel free to call me anything synonymous with scared or afraid. Sticks and stones, people…sticks and stones.

QM: Was there ever a time when you were frightened for your life?

FF: One of the first jobs I had after graduating from college was as a Shift Manager at Avis Rent-a-Car at BWI Airport. It was the worst job ever, but I was able to drive rental cars every day for free. During my time there, I had two experiences that left me fearful for my life and thankful to still be breathing.  The first incident occurred about a week after I started at Avis. I was driving home one night and, two blocks from my apartment, was t-boned by a man who ran a stop sign. The car was totaled. Thankfully, I walked away from the incident, but it definitely could have been a different outcome. The second incident was a couple of weeks after the accident. I was walking up to my stoop after a long night at work, and a young man stuck a gun in my face and demanded my money. I assured him I had no cash and he stole my cell phone and $2 in cash. It was only after he ran away and I was safely behind locked doors that I realized I had my entire paycheck in cash in my messenger bag. Again, fearful for my life, but thankful to be alive (and still have my money!)

Are there any questions you have for the Fab Foodie? Email me at thefabfoodie@gmail.com !

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