I don’t play favorites. Not with wine, not with food, not with restaurants and definitely not with my interview-ees. I’m an equal opportunity eater, drinker and interviewer. However, this week’s Food Blogger in the spotlight is a woman with whom I go back a few years. She called me out of the blue in 2007 and asked me if I wanted to put Really Good Cookies in a “Best of Boca” Cookie competition for Boca Raton Magazine and a few months later of that same year she called again and said she would like to showcase my line of Signature Cookies and Florida Snoballs in their upcoming holiday issue of Florida Table.
Ironically, I never met the woman behind the phone conversations and emails. I clandestinely dropped off my product at the magazine’s office and went on my merry way. Yes, Really Good Cookies and Florida Snoballs were both written about and photographed gloriously in both Boca Raton Magazine and Florida Table. Fast forward to October 2009; I’m at a TasteCasting Event and our Blogger in the Spotlight was there as well. I spied her! When I get excited I lose my ability to be articulate and graceful so with that said, I approached “The Magazine Lady” and said, “Hi Barb, I’m Really Good Cookies!!!! Do you remember me? you put me in both your magazines within months of each other, you made me a star!” and from that moment on we became fast friends. And now I have the opportunity to shine a little light on my friend as she did me.
Barb was interviewed for this piece before Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 and since then even more exciting and great things have happened to this week’s Blogger in the Spotlight. Barb Freda got a killer gig with Guy Fieri at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. Click here to read all about it. So dear readers it is with my deepest pleasure (as only a friend can have) and a hint bias that I present to you Barb Freda, this week’s blogger in the spotlight.
SFFW: How did you start food blogging?
Barb Freda: I’ve always written about food. A couple of years ago, I just thought: It’s time. Oh, and well, I’d read Julie Powell’s blog and thought, hey! That should be me!
SFFW: Do you do anything else other than blog about food-wine-beverage?
Barb Freda: I’m a full-time freelance writer. I have been the long-term consulting food editor for Florida Table and Boca Raton Magazine, served for one year as VISITFLORIDA.com’s “dining expert,” teach cooking classes, occasionally do TV food segments, write for food trade magazines, develop recipes…and on it goes.
SFFW: What is the most challenging thing about blogging?
Barb Freda: Being consistent about it. I blog for Florida Table, too, and I’ve gotten pretty good about scheduling those blogs. I need to be better about scheduling my own…One group I participate in is Tuesdays With Dorie, where we bake from “Baking from My Home to Yours.” But I also don’t like to eat too many sweets…and I just don’t get around to giving the stuff away…sooooo…Tuesdays with Dorie haven’t even kept me consistent.
SFFW: What is the greatest opportunity that has come from food-wine-beverage blogging for you?
Barb Freda: Getting to know other people who are in the business—I’ve always said food and wine people are fun people. And if you come across a food and wine person who isn’t fun? Then they just don’t know how to live.
SFFW: What is your most memorable blogging moment?
Barb Freda: Getting my first comments. I love knowing people are really reading the blog. And I still love the comments.
SFFW: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Barb Freda: It would have to have pasta. And good bread. Garlic would be involved. Cheese. Cheese would definitely be on the menu (I’ve been known to say I could eat a pound of cheese. And I’m only half-joking). Wine. A good red, I think. Dessert? Something simple. Like pound cake or shortbread.
SFFW: What super-action-figure-hero would you like to be and why?
Barb Freda: Any super-hero who could fly. Or maybe any super hero who could eat everything and stay skinny. Is there an action hero who does that while she saves the world?
SFFW: Do you have any bizarre kitchen habits?
Barb Freda: Of course not. HA. Let’s see. I always throw salt over my shoulder if I spill it, an old superstition, although I’m not superstitious…Hm. What else? Does always enjoying a glass of wine while I cook sound bizarre?
SFFW: What is the best food advice you have to share?
Barb Freda: Sit down to a meal with friends and family and Turn. The. Phones. Off. No calls, no texting allowed. (Which of course puts a dent in my tweeting, but …I’ll tweet when I’m done.) Meals are about more than the food.
SFFW: What is your one obsessive culinary habit?
Barb Freda: Photographing my food at all stages of prep and before I dig in.
SFFW: If you could choose to be any food, what would it be?
Barb Freda: Pasta: loved by all, cross-cultural, adaptable.
SFFW: If I came to your home and looked in your refrigerator, what would I find?
Barb Freda: Ruby Red grapefruit juice. Leftovers (a.k.a. lunch). Good eggs. Chilled white wine and prosecco (unless I enjoyed that the night before).
SFFW: What is the one “staple” food you always have in your cupboard?
Barb Freda: Canned beans, especially garbanzo beans and cannellini beans.
SFFW: What is your beverage of choice?
Barb Freda: Red wine and when not alcoholic, sparkling water, especially Pellegrino.
SFFW: What is your favorite comfort food?
Barb Freda: Pasta (see a trend here or anything?)
SFFW: What is your culinary claim to fame?
Barb Freda: I cooked for Danny Meyer at Union Square Café AND I cooked with Bobby Flay once in Philadelphia when he was introducing his first cookbook at The Book and The Cook event. He doesn’t remember me. I’m pretty sure Danny does. ad lib via SFFW…and now Guy Fieri at Superbowl XLIV!
To read previous bloggers in the spotlight articles look in the right hand column categories under South Florida Food and Wine Musings