Interview with a Food Network Legend

I have been invited to Sunset Magazine’s Savor the Central Coast as a freelance journalist and will be working on a Skinny Vacation post that will center around this upcoming event. Along with the Sunset Magazine event I also was invited to participate in an interview with Food Network Legend, Restauranteur and Author Susan Feniger. Susan just came out with a new book and is very enthusiastic about local, natural eating… sound like anyone you know? I was so inspired that I wanted to do a prelude to my upcoming post so that I can share this interview with all of you.

I asked Susan: “What regions of the world inspire you the most to cook with ingredients that are available here on the Central Coast?”

Susan answered saying that her travels all over the world have influenced her but going to Farmers Markets influence her the most. She loves that her local Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica CA has great produce for Indian, Mexican, Israelian and Turkish dishes. Susan is very enthusiastic about supporting local Farmers Markets and went on to say “… we need to do as much as we can with local produce to support our local farmers.” She is inspired by what she finds at her local Farmer’s Market and has taken that inspiration to her amazing restaurants to change the way food is served.

In Susan’s restaurants and food trucks a new menu has been adapted which gives the delicious local produce the starting role and the protein a supporting roll. Her plates are 80% produce and 20% protein, her restaurants have also adapted the Meatless Monday phenomenon to the menus. I just love this! Not only are you eating more greens and produce this also makes any meal skinnier.

It’s so exciting for me to hear that a restauranteur and legend like Susan is enthusiastic about eating, and more importantly feeding her patrons, local all natural foods. Maybe it will hammer my point of eating All Natural, it’s not just what you should do for your body but it is now the popular thing to do!
Susan went on to say ” The thing I love about cooking is you continue to learn all the time… That’s what made this 30+ years exciting, I am still growing.”

Are you still growing? Are you trying new foods, or stuck in a food rut? I have a challenge for you, go to your local Farmer’s Market and pick out an item of produce that you have never cooked with. Go home and do what I do, log on to Food Network and type in the name of your new treasure and then search all the delicious recipes until you find one you can get excited about and then cook away my friend. I love the above quote, Susan has been in the food industry for over 30 years, she is a legend and… she is still learning! So don’t be scared of food and of cooking, even the best are still learning and having a fabulous time doing it!

Now, before I finish I must add in this little bit. Susan Feniger got to work side by side with the great Julia Child and spoke at length about her. Julia is my idol, my Mom and I use to watch her all the time and I still love her old shows. So for those of you who LOVE Julia Child this little bit has been added for you.

Susan and Julia worked together on Cooking With Master Chefs, she said about her old co-host “Julia was one of a kind, I don’t think there was a more amazing teacher than her.” She said Julia was humble. knowledgeable, fun and best of all playful. She knew not to take cooking too serious but when it came to ingredients she was very serious.

I hope this has inspired you all to cook, I know it has inspired me! Even the greats are still learning, no one “knows it all” so get in your kitchen and get dirty, I promise you if you have a playful fun attitude like Julia food will change your life, like it did for her and it continues to do for me.



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