This week’s blogger in the spotlight is absolutely darling from the word go! She’s honest, insightful, and humorous. You can’t not like her or her writing style. Ramblings of a Hungry Artist A.K.A. Mandy, covers the gamut from Coca-Cola to Free Range Chicken to soufflés made with Splenda to Osteria Francescana.
Besides being darling what struck me about Mandy is her self-proclaimed title of ‘food activist’. I wasn’t quite sure what a ‘food activist’ is or does for that matter and was intrigued. At first blush I’m thinking “Ramblings of a Hungry Artist” is some sign-carrying-no preservative-organic-only picketing kind of rogue blogger who is definitely one NOT to tangle with; but I couldn’t be further from the truth.
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist is a blog teaching you about food and how it CAN be integrated into all facets of life, simply put, gastronomy. Mandy has a Masters degree in Italian Gastronomy & Tourism, WHOA! So when I started to interview Mandy and became a follower/fan of her writing I realized this woman is truly a passionate enthusiast about food on levels we don’t even consider; on her site Mandy states what is important to her is the safety of the food, the tastes and varieties of food, the well being of the people that create the food, and the future of the food system; and that her ultimate goal in life is to get people excited about food again. Well Ms. Food activist, food-lover and all around food guru you’ve got me looking, thinking and experiencing food in a whole new way simply by your postings I can only imagine how you will touch and inspire people with your book. So Blogger in the Spotlight followers, I present to you the inspiring, the delightful and the interminably erudite, Ramblings of a Hungry Artist
South Florida Food and Wine: How did you start food blogging?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: I have been obsessed with food since birth, I’m pretty sure. In college, I naturally fell into writing (even though throughout life, I didn’t have the tact for it). Suddenly, voila, I was actually good at it, and I enjoyed it! I had been wanting to blog about food for awhile, but was hesitant specifically because there were already WAY TOO MANY food bloggers in the blogosphere. Finally, my friends encouraged me to start one and the rest, as they say, is history.
South Florida Food and Wine: Do you do anything else other than blog about food-wine-beverage?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: I am currently working on a book about Miami’s cuisine.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most challenging thing about blogging?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: I work off of inspiration and muses, and sometimes it’s just not there. I didn’t blog for the whole month of January. I don’t like to force things, but not keeping current is the easiest way to lose your audience.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the greatest opportunity that has come from blogging for you?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: Meeting AMAZING and LIKE-MINDED people!
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your most memorable blogging moment?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: Receiving an e-mail from a stranger stating that they learned a lot about food issues from reading the blog. The individual said that, thanks to my blog, they were going to make a dedicated effort to eating differently.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: Fried gnocchi with aged balsamic vinegar and a side of prosciutto Macaroni and cheese with wild mushrooms and tomatoes
Spaghetti carbonara with a runny egg on top
Roasted chicken with artichoke and potato salad
South Florida Food and Wine: What super-action-hero would you like to be and why?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: I would want to be Batman/Bruce Wayne simply because he’s real. He did not get bitten by a radioactive spider or come from planet Zog. He also gets to eat at the best restaurants in Gotham without having to make reservations or wait in line.
South Florida Food and Wine: Do you have any wacky cooking habits?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: I become a complete control-freak in the kitchen. I won’t let anyone help me, not even to hand me something from the refrigerator – I yell at them and kick them out.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the best food advice you have to share?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: DON’T BE SCARED!
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one obsessive kitchen habit?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: I Clean, Clean, and Clean. I, sometimes, enjoy it more than cooking, but NEVER more than eating.
South Florida Food and Wine: If you could choose to be any food, what would it be?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: An organic, free-range chicken on a large farm with a nice owner
South Florida Food and Wine: If looked in your refrigerator, what would I find?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: I live with my parents and siblings so everything and anything and it ranges on a daily basis = leftovers, fruit, sodas and juices, yogurt, CHEESE, both rotting and fresh vegetables, and condiments galore.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the one “staple” food you always have in your cupboard?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: Red hot chili pepper flakes
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your beverage of choice?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: This is HORRIBLE, but I do have one vice that goes against all of my principles. I am addicted to Coca-Cola.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite comfort food?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: Corn tortillas with melted cheese, a bit of jalapeno, some diced tomato, and lots and lots of sour cream.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your culinary claim to fame?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: Quesadilla
South Florida Food and Wine: What is in your kitchen junk drawer?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: I’m just as passionate about GADGETS as I am about cleaning. I have two of everything.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the best culinary gift you ever received?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: My ex-roommate is a classically trained chef. I lived with her for 9 months in Italy.
South Florida Food and Wine: What kitchen chore do you dislike the most?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: Prepping with a knife (so – dicing, chopping, slicing, mincing, etc). It’s really tedious.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most exotic food you have ever eaten and where?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: Pane con la milza – Spleen, lung, and ricotta cheese sandwich in Palermo, Italy on a rainy day.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most bizarre thing you ever did with food?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: I tried to make a soufflé with Splenda. That REALLY didn’t work. Sunken soufflé = End of the South Beach Diet
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most extravagant food or beverage item or culinary tool you spent money on?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: I went berserk at Eataly, the MECCA for FOOD LOVERS (make a pilgrimage when the supermarket opens in New York later this year). I spent 50 euros (excluding lunch and dessert) on crap that I honestly didn’t need, but I was being gluttonous (jam, chocolate, chips, pasta sauce, an environmental grocery bag to put said crap in, crackers, pesto?, etc.). Half of it either ended up in my happy stomach or breaking on a bus or a plane.
South Florida Food and Wine: Where was the best meal you ever had? And why?
Ramblings of a Hungry Artist: Private lunch tasting at Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy with 10 of the craziest foodies on Earth. Massimo Bottura is the chef and he is simply a food artist. He took us on a sensorial journey through his life by means of his magnificent food. It was my first venture in molecular gastronomy. He welcomed us into his restaurant, and essentially his life, with open arms as he tried to make it the most memorable meal of our lives. You could honestly taste the LOVE and PASSION.
You can follow Mandy on her blog Ramblings of a Hungry Artist and on Twitter
Christine can be reached via email through the South Florida Food and Wine Group Page on Facebook, join our Group!
Follow Christine at South Florida Food and Wine, the go-to resource for all things food, wine and events in South Florida
Follow us on Twitter @SLFoodandWine