The words “say what you mean and mean what you say” defines and epitomizes this week’s blogger in the spotlight. I met “Fat Kids Club” back in February 2010 at the Sun-Sentinel Best of Blog awards in Fort Lauderdale. Burger Beast introduced us and after chatting with Fat Kids Club for a bit I knew I had to follow her, this girl is a riot unto herself! She’s got a public love affair going on with “Jack” she accepts cravings and answers her appetite; she writes one of the hottest food blogs and is an equal opportunity eater not beholden to saying any one meal was the best.
Dori Zinn founder and president of the Fat Kids Club has caught some heat for her blog simply because of the title but the truth is if you read her posts she writes about great comfort food from South Florida restaurants and homemade recipes; she does not advocate obesity, she simply has fun with her food and enjoys every bite of it. Dori and her blog are very much like her famous fudge brownies, she’s got pure ingredients that produces one hell ‘eva product that when finished you can’t get enough; you simply follow her just to read what “will” Dori Zinn say next?? Blogger in the Spotlight Readers, I present to you the one and only Dori Zinn Founder and President of the Fat Kids Club:
South Florida Food and Wine: How did you start food blogging?
Fat Kids Club: I sort of fell into it, actually… I graduated from FAU in December, 2008 and was lucky enough to get a job right out of school. But it was only part-time. One night I was out to dinner with my old college newspaper advisor and he suggested that since I talk so much about “eating like a ‘fat kid’” that I start a food blog about it.
South Florida Food and Wine: Do you do anything else other than blog about food?
Fat Kids Club: I love writing. I’m happy to have a background in Journalism, even if it’s a dying industry. Besides fatkidsclub.com, I also write for NewTimes’ food blog, Clean Plate Charlie. I also serve as the Vice President of Membership for the Society of Professional Journalists South Florida Pro Chapter.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most challenging thing about blogging?
Fat Kids Club: Sometimes I find it pretty difficult to find fresh content constantly, even with all of the great material around. A lot of people constantly ask me why I haven’t written about a certain restaurant. The majority of the time, it’s probably because I haven’t been there. Other times, it’s because I wonder what is so great about that restaurant that I need to invest time in it? South Florida has thousands of restaurants… I can’t get to them all, but if I can get to it, I’d like to know that it would be worth my time so I can tell others it’s worth theirs.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the greatest opportunity that has come from blogging for you?
Fat Kids Club: When I started fatkidsclub.com, it was because I needed something to do in my free time. Last October, I got featured in the Miami NewTimes for it. Following that, I got an offer from Broward NewTimes to write for them and get paid. The recognition that you’re doing something right is always rewarding, but doing it for free is difficult. People don’t believe me when I say blogging pays. It’s not much, and rarely do people get to consider it a well-paying full-time job, but it does exist…
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your most memorable blogging moment?
Fat Kids Club: I actually started blogging in 2006 when I worked for the FAU school newspaper, the University Press. It’s completely unrelated to food, but I covered the Republican Primary Presidential debates. I got to meet Tim Russert and Brian Williams. I don’t get embarrassed easily, but I was extremely star-struck. It was hard to put on a work face when I was talking to people I genuinely respected and admired in the media world.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Fat Kids Club: I’m an advocate for comfort food. I can’t get enough of my Grandma’s Homemade mac ‘n cheese.
South Florida Food and Wine: What super-action-hero would you like to be and why?
Fat Kids Club: I never really got into action hero’s, but Wonder Woman seems the most logical. Those boots are FIERCE.
South Florida Food and Wine: Do you have any wacky cooking habits?
Fat Kids Club: I wouldn’t say wacky. I have OCD on a regular basis, and when it comes to cooking, it’s no different. When slicing or cutting (cucumbers, for example), I count how many slices there are. When I’m cooking bacon, I count how many pieces there are. Same with pancakes. I always have to know how much.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the best food advice you have to share?
Fat Kids Club: I got a lot of heat for starting a website called fatkidsclub.com. People would tell me I was advocating obesity. I had been saying the term “fat kid” since high school and to me, it was all one big joke (still is). The motto is “accept your craving and answer your appetite.” I know we can’t eat everything, but I think that if you’ve got a craving for anything, even Cinnamon Toast Crunch, you should eat it. Cravings aren’t always about juicy cheeseburgers or deep-fried Oreos. Every so often I crave a Chicken Caesar Salad or Strawberry Smoothies. Don’t necessarily answer every greasy suggestion your brain gives, but learn to accept your appetite. That way, the internal fight you’re having with yourself won’t be so brutal.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one obsessive kitchen habit?
Fat Kids Club: If it’s not clean, I can’t cook in it. Who cooks in a dirty kitchen? I mean– I’ll *make* it dirty, but it can’t start out that way…
South Florida Food and Wine: If you could choose to be any food, what would it be?
Fat Kids Club: Oh I can’t live with that. I’d walk around telling everyone to eat me…
South Florida Food and Wine: If looked in your refrigerator, what would I find?
Fat Kids Club: Yogurt, strawberries, hummus, garlic, iced tea, cheese, Dole’s 100 % juice, strawberry jelly, Heinz (and Heinz only) ketchup. And leftovers from somewhere.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the one “staple” food you always have in your cupboard?
Fat Kids Club: Cereal of some kind, and pasta.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your beverage of choice?
Fat Kids Club: Alcoholic? Jack (Daniels) and coke.
Non-alocholic? …Is that really an option?
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite comfort food?
Fat Kids Club: Let’s revert back to my Grandma’s Homemade mac ‘n cheese.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your culinary claim to fame?
Fat Kids Club: My brownies. Famous in three counties! At least that’s what I keep telling myself…
South Florida Food and Wine: What is in your kitchen junk drawer?
Fat Kids Club: My junk drawer? Take-out menus, chopsticks, band-aids (shouldn’t they be in all kitchens?), and I think there is scotch tape in there, too…
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the best culinary gift you ever received?
Fat Kids Club: Do paid meals count? I don’t think I’ve gotten anything materialistic…
South Florida Food and Wine: What kitchen chore do you dislike the most?
Fat Kids Club: Anything that involves cleaning the stove. GROSS.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most exotic food you have ever eaten and where?
Fat Kids Club: I’m normally up for a challenge, but in South Florida, I don’t really consider the majority of the food “exotic” since so many different ethnicities are part of our culture. Suffice to say, I haven’t attempted cow testicles or cockroaches.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most bizarre thing you ever did with food?
Fat Kids Club: I don’t really do “bizarre.” That makes it sound like I chopped my food with a chainsaw or something.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most extravagant food or beverage item or culinary tool you spent money on?
Fat Kids Club: I’m severely anemic, but I’ll throw down for a really good steak, especially to boost my iron levels! And dessert. Really good dessert.
South Florida Food and Wine: Where was the best meal you ever had? And why?
Fat Kids Club: How can anyone answer this? I enjoy food entirely too much to say one meal was the best