It’s that most wonderful time of year – the time for “lists!” The best of, the worst of, the most pretentious, the cheesiest, blah, blah, blah. When it comes to food, I sometimes wonder about the creds of these folks who are telling me what to eat and what to avoid. Vegetables for dessert? Really?? What do they know? For the genuine dish, I turn to a true culinary road warrior, the Siren of Street Food and the Queen of Cured Meats, the insatiable Mad Me-Shell for an all-you-can-eat feast of the best and worst of 2012 in food!
TW: What was the best thing you ate this year?
MMS: Who could pick just one!? I know most will assume I will choose something like a quadruple bacon cheeseburger (that does sound amazing), but I think I’ll class things up a bit with this one! I am still having dreams about the warm pulled duck salad I had this summer at Albannach, a fantastic restaurant and whiskey bar in London. This ‘salad’ featured green beans, bacon (yes, bacon!), shallots, sautéed potatoes and pulled duck. Unmmm, yeah, I had to be stopped from licking my plate.
TW: What was the worst thing you ate this year?
MMS: For me, this one is easy. I was at an event and tried one of the passed appetizers, a stuffed artichoke. Approximately three seconds after shoving said artichoke in my mouth, I realized I, in fact, detest artichokes. I got cold chills just reminiscing about this experience!
TW: What do you think are the top two or three food trends of 2013?
MMS: Well I sure as heck hope it’s not small plates!! Seriously restaurants, enough with the small plates already, we get it. I do think we’ll see a continued surge of old-fashioned cocktails on drink menus and chefs getting adventurous with some exotic animal meats (alligator, kangaroo, etc.). Most importantly, I HOPE 2013 will further solidify the local food sourcing trend for restaurants.
TW: Who's your favorite celebrity chef?
MMS: Curtis Stone! He is a highly trained chef with a simple food philosophy and approachable recipes that appeal to a culinary novice such as me. And I guess he’s not bad to look at. No seriously, Curtis, call me maybe?
TW: Who do you think is the most annoying celebrity chef?
MMS: Jamie Oliver! Jamie Oliver. Jamie Oliver. His restaurants and television shows present laughably contradictory points-of-views and his recommendations are largely misinformed. I could go on all day…
TW: What's your "secret comfort food?"
MMS: You just had to go there, didn’t you? This hurts my soul to admit out loud, but Totino’s Pizza Rolls are just little slices of meat-filled heaven. I have surely eaten more of them in the last few years than any human should consume in a lifetime.
TW: If you could start a food truck business, what would you serve?
MMS: I feel confident a ‘liquid’ food truck would be a hit! Zany and I would start a bar on wheels…what could go wrong?!
TW: What are you eating on New Year’s Eve?
MMS: Whiskey and Champagne. What? Do people actually consume anything other than booze on New Year’s Eve? Oh, they do? Hmmmm, I’ll probably still just stick with the whiskey/champagne combo!
TW: If you were in an Iron Chef competition - what would the secret ingredient be?
MMS: Is bacon too obvious of an answer?? Man, I love bacon…what were we even talking about? Oh, yes. You know what? I’m still going to go with bacon!