The first Q&A sesh to welcome the fall season is with Christine, a former colleague of mine during my first bean counting job. We worked on an awesome team together, and we had a blast working with each other. The more we got to know one another, the more we realized we both had a shared love for dining out and trying new foods (including L'Artusi, Kajitsu, Bohemian, and El Almacén as well as Dirt Candy around the corner after attending the eponoymous cookbook launch party together). Not only is Christine a smart cookie, she is also one of the best food enthusiasts to go out with -- she'll try anything once, which makes selecting spots to go out together that much easier. While we spend nearly a third of the year tied to the demands of the bean counting universe, we both make the conscious effort to get away from all that, aka, making time for a decent meal other than company/client-funded takeout and meet up for much-needed cocktails or glasses of wine. I look forward to more gluttonous adventures with Christine, because I do not doubt on bit that we will eat our way through many amazing things together.
Thanks again to Christine for taking the time and participating in this month's Q&A!
Christine (on the right) with her sisters eating dessert at Serendipity IIIs for the first time.
New York, NY
FAVORITE ALL-TIME RESTAURANT
Fine dining: My first ever fine dining experience was at Annisa and I still can’t forget it.
Casual dining: Recently I went to Le Sans Coulette and fell in love with the place. It’s really good french food for a great price, and the appetizer is very interesting. They give you a huge basket of fresh vegetables, bread/pate, and a rack of cured meats to eat to your heart's content -- majority of the reason why it is now my favorite restaurant.
MOST REGULARLY FREQUENTED SPOT(S)
When I’m in the hood/it’s 4 am: Mamouns Falafel, Artichoke, Banh Mi Saigon, 16 Handles, Jimmy Johns
When I'm a cog in the machine: Chopt, Just Salad, Subway, the many corporate cafeterias of Restaurant Associates
DRINK OF CHOICE
Disaronno (i.e., amaretto) on the rocks -- it makes you look like a cool scotch drinker without actually drinking the stuff (good for those who can't drink scotch). I also enjoy india pale ales (IPAs), moscato, and shots of anything.
SOMETHING YOU SECRETLY INDULGE
Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell, I still remember when they came out with the concept. It's pretty amazing, but for every Gordita I eat, my extremely reputable foodie credibility slowly dwindles away, thus why it is a (now not so much) secret indulgence.
DISH YOU MOST ENJOY PREPARING
I don't always cook, but when I do, I make banana bread from scratch. My friends say it’s really edible. I'd like to say I have a secret recipe, but it's the third hit you get when you Google. Shhh!
THE HOMEMADE DISH YOU ALWAYS LONG FOR
Taiwanese braised bamboo with rice. My dad tries to make it in the States, but it's always better at my grandfather’s in Taiwan.
GASTRONOMIC GETAWAY/ADVENTURE OF CHOICE
I love Vietnamese food but have never been to Vietnam, so I would love to explore and try some authentic Viet cuisine. Other delicious getaways include a trip to Taiwan to get reacquainted with its amazing night market junket and a road trip to Maine for a seafood feast with a pit stop at the Ben 'n' Jerry's Ice Cream Factory in Vermont for the real deal (see cookbook response).
Adam Richmond of Man vs. Food. Every time I watch him, I feel a combination of hunger, jealousy, and repulsion. A vicious cycle I go through every night from 10-11 PM.
MEAL YOU WISH YOU CAN REPEAT BUT SOMEHOW CANNOT
My dad is the chef of the house. My mom will cook, but only if it's a life or starving-to-death situation. That being said, when I was about 8 years old, she made dinner once when my dad was out of town -- fried rice with ham, peas, eggs and corn. I haven't seen her cook since and probably never will since she claims I am now a grown up and can feed myself.
Tough bread, overly salty food, and overcooked fish/meat.
FAVORITE DESSERT OF ALL TIME
All (I have the sweetest of tooths), but if I had to be specific: corner piece chocolate brownie, key lime pie, cupcakes of any flavor and macarons, which they say are the new cupcakes.
FAVORITE COOKBOOK/COFFEE TABLE BOOK
This past birthday my friends gave me my first "cookbook" of Ben 'n' Jerry's recipes and an ice cream machine. Ice cream party TBD, and everybody's invited.
CULINARY WORDS THAT NEVER LOSE THEIR PANACHE
The classic bon appétit.
FOOD BLOG(S) YOU JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF
The first food blog I ever got into was Food Porn Daily (SFW). Other sites I tend to visit are Food Gawker and Tom Haverfoods (a funny site based on Tom Haverford from the television program, Parks and Recreation). Okay, the latter isn't actually a food blog, but it's food related/a great procrastinator. And of course Four Tines, but purely because I'm featured and am now famous.