Favorite Food: There aren’t many foods I don’t like but I truly think I could live on pizza. I love all types but my favorite is thin-crust, Italian style with fresh mozzarella, light tomato or pesto sauce and lots of basil – yum! Or, topped with lots and lots of veggies, especially mushrooms – or prosciutto and arugula is another fave combo. Let’s be honest, you really can’t go wrong with pizza! And it doesn’t have to be gourmet – a frozen pizza is a standby item in my freezer and I’m known to get awfully excited when the occasional “Pizza Friday” rolls around and there’s Round Table in the office!
Favorite Local Restaurants: This is a tough one since I’m still fairly new to Sacramento but I’ve had good experiences at Zocalo, Masullo, Tower Cafe and Grange so far. My favorite places in the Bay Area are Corso in Berkeley (think rustic Italian trattoria), Pho 84 in Oakland (best Vietnamese), Va de Vi in Walnut Creek (fun to share small plates on their back patio) and Oliveto in Oakland and Prima in Walnut Creek (both for their delicious homemade pastas).
Favorite Dining Experience of All Time: My favorite dining experience of all time was a meal I had in Italy in 2004. My dad and step-mom had come to visit me and we spent a few days driving around the Tuscan countryside. We had one of the most beautiful and peaceful meals I’ve ever had at a little hilltop restaurant in the town of Montalcino at a restaurant and winery called Poggio Antico. No bustling restaurant atmosphere or even any other diners for that matter – the three of us were quite literally alone on a hillside in Tuscany sharing a delicious meal in a breathtaking environment (and the wine wasn’t bad either!)
Most Impressive Dish You’ve Whipped Up Using Only the Ingredients On Hand: This has never actually happened and for good reason – let’s just say I still haven’t lived down the time I tried to “whip up” a batch of cookies in college and “substitute” olive oil for butter since we didn’t have any. The final product didn’t resemble any cookie I’ve ever eaten (or ever would) – which is why they ended up in the trash.
Favorite Family Recipe: My step-mom taught me how to make risotto a few years ago and after realizing how easy it was to make I’ve been making it at home every once in awhile – I guess it turns out I can whip something up after all!