It’s #FoodExplorerFriday! This week we are featuring Ama Pod, community manager of GastroPost and HBIC of Fat Girl Food Squad.
A FoodiePages #FoodExplorer is someone who loves to experience and experiment with the freshest, most delicious local foods they can get their hands on. What does being a Food Explorer mean to you?
Being a food explorer means experiencing and learning anything and everything when it comes to food and drink. I have gone out of my comfort zone and taken molecular gastronomy classes, I have eaten chocolate covered bugs — basically being a food explorer is being fearless and not being afraid to try anything once.
What sparked your interest in food/cooking?
When I was younger, my mom wasn’t particularly the best cook in the world. Her idea of a home-cooked meal was frozen Captain Highliner’s fish sticks. As I became older, I wanted to experiment more with the foods we had in the kitchen and how they could work together. When I finally moved out of my parents home at age 18, I realized that food was not only important but meal planning was huge. I loved being able to make my own spaghetti sauces or make chili that would last for days. It let me challenge myself and from then, I have wanted to learn more and more. Food connects people together in so many different ways and I love making a love letter with the food I make.
Favourite ingredient to work with right now?
Garlic and Olive Oil, simple but you can’t go wrong.
What is your favourite dish/recipe to make right now? Include the Full Recipe and a Picture and we will feature it on FoodiePages.
My partner and I love cooking from Jamie Oliver’s 15-Minuter Meals. Each of the recipes are tasty and delicious and have so many leftovers. We have been making this a lot lately.
Mediterranean is one of my favourite foods to eat and this combines everything I love in one simple, easy to cook recipe.
Your typical eating day consists of…?
I cannot start my day without breakfast, if I don’t have breakfast – I can’t function. Breakfast can range from toast with jam to bagels with cream cheese to eggs and bacon depending on the day of the week. From Monday to Friday, I work full-time at Gastropost as their Toronto Community Manager, so I’ll often eat out (on lunch) but try to be conscious of what I am eating. I’ll try to have a salad or soup. Something filling but healthy. Often I’m out reviewing restaurants at night and since I don’t have control of what is being put into those foods, I’ll try to watch how much food I’m in-taking at restaurant openings and not eating everything placed in front of me. I’ll usually have one coffee a day and I don’t drink very much anymore. My preferred drink of choice is Toronto tap water.
A Food Exploration is a cooking/dining experience. Your most recent Food Exploration, or your favourite Food Exploration ever is?
I would have to say one of my most recent Food Exploration experiences that I highly enjoyed was at the recently opened Little Sister Snack Bar – the atmosphere is great and the food even better. I had not yet had the chance to try a proper Indonesian restaurant and this made my mouth celebrate in a way that was unheard of. Some of the highlights of the meal included the Sumatra (spiced beef croquette) and the grilled mustard greens. We sat at the bar and the bartender ensured to walk us through the entire menu, making recommendations and also telling us a bit about the restaurant as a whole. I would highly recommend a Kintamani Punch when you do check it out, such a refreshing (and dangerously delicious) cocktail.
If you could prepare a meal for any person to have ever lived, who would they be? What would you make them?
My grandfather who passed away when I was 13 years old. He was a great man and I would love to show him everything I have accomplished. He grew up in Nova Scotia, so I think I would like to prepare a beautiful Surf N’ Turf with delicious lobster, huge steaks and tons of local vegetables. Something that celebrated where he was from but also gave him a rich and full meal.
Finally, would you like to nominate somebody for the next #FoodExplorerFriday?
Abbey Sharpe (Abbey’s Kitchen) or Andrew Dobson (DobberNation).