When looking for great-tasting recipes that are as pleasing to the eye as to the palate, one needn’t search much farther than the food blog Food for Thought created by Dana Cavooris. Serving up dishes with origins all over the world, her online food lover’s haven infuses every entry with humor and rings with obvious affection for cooking and eating. A fellow New Yorker and food aficionado, Dana recently granted Flavorful World an interview that anyone with a taste for culinary topics will definitely want to read.
Flavorful World: What drove your decision to start a food blog?
Dana Cavooris: I wish I could say divine inspiration or something equally as impressive, but in all reality, I created Food for Thought because I was bored. I was browsing Tastespotting one day, looking at delicious looking foods thinking “I can do this. It’s easy! All I have to do is make some food, take some pictures, and write some posts. How hard can that be?” It turns out it’s a lot harder than I had thought, but it’s also super gratifying and rewarding!
FW: Does “the perfect food” exist? If so, what is it? If not, what dish or food item comes closest and why?
DC: Yes… cheese! You can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. Sweet or savory. Firm or creamy. Always delicious. Seriously, what’s better than cheese!?
FW: Winter is presently upon us and temperatures are dropping. Tell us about your favorite cold weather comfort food(s).
DC: Definitely soup! I love soup and try at least one new soup recipe per week during the winter. I have always LOVED soup, and even wanted to start my own soup restaurant when I was little. I planned to name it “Just Soup.” So creative, I know.
FW: Fill each blank in the following sentence with the name of a Food Network or Cooking Channel personality: “I’d love to teach a cooking class with _____, eat a four-star gourmet meal with _____, and never see or hear from _____ ever again.”
DC: “I’d love to teach a cooking class with Carla Hall, eat a four-star gourmet meal with Ted Allen, and never see or hear from Paula Deen ever again.”
FW: What part of being a food blogger is the most difficult/challenging? What part comes most easily/naturally to you?
DC: I think what comes most naturally to me as a food blogger is the passion. I love food and cooking, and I always want to share what I make/learn/eat with people who will appreciate it. For me, the hard part is managing my time so that I can try/create recipes, take appetizing pictures, and think of something interesting to say in between “real life” (aka work, school, planning a wedding).
FW: H.L. Mencken said, “An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.” Tell us about a food or dish that despite being pleasing to the eye and nose, was disappointing to taste. Tell us about one that despite an off-putting appearance/aroma, was delicious.
DC: Based on its appearance and smell, I always feel like I should like fennel. I love all pretty much all vegetables, and the sweet aroma of fennel is so appetizing. It always shocks me when I taste it and want to spit it right back out.
On the other hand, the off-putting, gassy smell of cooking Brussels sprouts stopped me from trying them for years. But after finally trying them and realizing how delicious a perfectly roasted Brussels sprout can be, a big bowl of the cute little cabbage-head-look-alikes is just as alluring to me as a big bowl of chocolate. Well, almost.
FW: Tell us about the most recent meal you enjoyed in a restaurant whose menu excited you. What made the selections exciting?
DC: I recently had brunch at Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien. I’ve eaten there before, but every time I go I’m re-impressed by the menu. Everything just sounds so GOOD… they take traditional breakfast foods and kick them up a notch with their own twist. My personal favorite [menu item] is the “Artychoked Benedict.”
FW: Excluding the name of any of your pre-existing blogs, websites, or print/online personas, tell us what name you would give to your memoir about your culinary exploits?
DC: I have no idea… I would probably let my editor or publisher or someone name it… I am so not creative like that! It took me days to come up with the (not all that creative) name of “Food for Thought” LOL
FW: When you aren’t cooking and/or eating delicious foods, how do you most enjoy spending your time?
DC: My favorite way to spend time outside of the kitchen is with my fiancé, family, and friends. I know that sounds super cheesy and cliché, but it’s true!
*Note to Readers:Catch more of Dana’s wonderful food musings and gastronomic masterpieces at Food for Thought. Follow her on Twitter and ‘Like’ her on Facebook. Then take pride in yourself for having taken a definitive step toward better appreciation of how much fun food and cooking can be.