Tricia Juanitas

Favorite Food: Fresh sushi. And the simpler, the better — no soy sauce, but plenty of ginger and wasabi.

Favorite dining experience of all time: As an outdoor enthusiast, my most memorable dining experiences are usually tied to an adventure, so the food and the voyage come hand-in-hand when rating. That being said, I would say my favorite dining experience was during a backpacking trip with my fiancé and brother. We were nearing the end of an amazing trip and our food rations were at a bare-minimum — we’re talking portioned CLIF Bars and a rogue lemon cucumber and a lemon — so we decided we would fish for our next meal. A few hours went by, and by this time the calorie deficiency combined with the summer rays were getting to us, so our hope for catching anything was diminishing. Just then the fishing rod started to bow. We gathered a handful of bay leaves and mountain sage, chopped up that rogue lemon cucumber to create a light and fresh tasting broth to cook our fish in and topped it off with lemon — starvation leads to innovation, I guess. That night, we ate like kings … or so it felt.

Favorite Local Restaurant: Pine Street Café in Nevada City. Best burger I have ever had — it’s a pre-hike tradition that is followed by a post-hike scoop of ice-cream from Treats right around the corner.

Earliest food-related memory from childhood: Growing up my family would always have barbeques — the men in my family would be by the grill drinking Sierra Nevada and the women would be cracking jokes while making lumpia inside. As a kid, I really didn’t have a role other than to run around and play so when it came time to eat I was a hard one to track down. Meal time was really intermittent spurts of me sitting down for a bite or two during whatever shenanigans I was getting into. So to get me to eat, my dad would make me fish-and-rice-bites, which are basically white rice and whatever fish we were barbequing balled up into bite-size pieces. He would quite literally jump in front of me during one of my sprints through the house, pop one in my mouth and send me on my way until the next time I ran by. I think it’s safe to say that’s how my sushi obsession was formed.

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