The holiday weekend winds down with a continuation of me interviewing me. This is probably too much information, but it's worth it for my friends coming up to me to say they've learned something new (or in one person's case, that they already know me).
And now, on to Parts Two and Three. . . .
Working on one of my other commitments. Or seeking out my next blog post.
Last song playing on your radio/smart phone/iPod:
I'm pretty sure it was a song by Nicki Minaj.
Where did you grow up? If you’re not from Orange County, what brought you here?
I’m a Bay Area gal. I transferred to Cal Poly Pomona to complete my degree. I thought it would be three years, and back home. It was quite the contrary.
Do you like to do anything besides go out to eat?
I have the shopping gene. And lately, I’ll sleep more than exercise. But when I’m out and about, it’s yoga and training for my first half-marathon.
Hardest lesson you've learned:
How to take criticism. You just do.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Taking the 21A SamTrans bus to Serramonte or Stonestown to run errands or meet my friend for Boudin clam chowder in a bread bowl.
Favorite Halloween costume:
The hubby and I were Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. He wore an entire suit, minus the pants. I had a beret and navy dress smeared with cream cheese. Classy, huh?
What were you up to five years ago?
Doing facilities management for a financial services company. I worked with foodservice, engineering, security, housekeeping, and many other vendors. We had a 30+ acre property, including parking structures and landscaping. Over 2,500 associates relied on us to keep them comfortable. Talk about internal clients.
Favorite holiday and why:
My birthday. I pamper myself at the spa and plan wherever the hell I want to eat.
Last book you read or last movie watched; how was it?
A neighbor just emailed me Fifty Shades of Grey. It trumped my hard copy of (Bourdain's) Medium Raw.
When you use the internet, what’s on your homepage?
The Krazy Coupon Lady, but I think I want to change it to Anderson (Cooper); he is so quirky and oddly grey.
Last thing you looked up/searched online:
The lipstick Kristin Chenoweth was wearing; it was called Fire In The Hole. Can’t figure out who makes it.
Do you have any skills that are non-food related? What are they?
I LOVE to organize. And I play well with others.
What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
Maybe doing personal assistant work or event planning. I enjoy spending other people’s money.
So I know it's a cop out on the original questionnaire to not include a recipe, so in lieu of that I'm gonna do what I am comfortable with - answer more questions!
Brownies. Bananas. Truffles (mushrooms, not desserts). Caviar. Risotto. Deep dish pizza.
Do you really hang out with Edwin?
It would be easier for me to say PSYCH -- It's Gustavo! But yeah, we sit down for a meal maybe monthly. I have a lot of respect for him, and am thankful for our friendship.
We hear you love music.
I have eclectic taste that's influenced by the people I'm around. My childhood was a mix of Casey Kasem's America's Top 20, KMEL r&b/hip-hop, and oldies my parents loved. In college, it was a mix of KKSF smooth jazz, young country and Japanese anime soundtracks (Robotech's Lynn Minmei has special meaning).
Nowadays I'm addicted to Alt-Nation on Sirius XM: Airborne Toxic Event, Cage the Elephant, Imagine Dragons, Chappo, Bombay Bicycle Club, Black Keys, Foster the People.... it goes on and on. Still love all things current, though.Oh, and we scored tickets to Young the Giant this summer. Yay!
Why don't you report on more hole in the wall places?
Mainly because the rest of the team does such a fantastic job of it already. And because Mr. brekkie fan has a thing for fancy places.
How many times have you been to French Laundry?
Five dinners over the course of 11 years. Our initial visit was probably my first real experience with fine dining. And that's where the real love affair with food began.
Give us more chef dish!
Besides the fact that I couldn't think straight when interviewing Michael Chiarello? Louie Francis Jocson (Red Table) has this chalkboard in the kitchen where they had a list of people who tried balut. Awesome! Alan Greeley is a potty mouth, but since he's a culinary bad ass it doesn't matter. One guy chef totally dissed a gal chef as I interviewed him. Awkward.
Do you give a lot of restaurant recommendations?
It depends. I ask people about distance, price range and who they are going to be with. The best thing I can ask someone is what they don't want, and work from there. For a family chain, Lazy Dog Cafe. Affordable upscale - easily the prix fixe lunch at Marche Moderne. For Asian food, I refer a lot of them to Edwin's blog.
My approach is very 'big picture'. Seafood lovers would enjoy House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer IF they understand that it's not a quiet place, but you can't beat the location and prices; plus I'd remind them that it's mostly meter parking until 7 o'clock. A lot of factors go into giving any sort of recommendation.
Where haven't you been that you want to check out?Well, I still want a dining companion for Pizzeria Mozza in Newport. I've done the LA outpost, and fell in love with sweetbreads and real mozzarella, just haven't done the pizza yet. There's a Thai place inside the OC Badminton Club that I'm curious about, just because I like the random combination. Hangar 24 in Redlands for a proper beer tasting. And one of Anahita's hidden dinners.