By JUSTINE FROSTAD
What sparked your passion for cooking?
I have always been a great eater. Cooking was the obvious next step for me as I found myself wanting to recreate wonderful dishes I came across while eating out. I was also lucky enough to grow up with lots of wonderful home cooking — my mom made dinner pretty much every night growing up, my grandpa was a cook in a chinese restaurant, and my grandma spoiled us every holiday with homemade dumplings and other treats.
Why did you decide to start blogging about food?
I started Lick My Spoon partially to keep in touch with friends and family back home when I moved from NYC to SF years ago. It was also my way of chronicling my eating adventures as I discovered a new city.
What has been the most surprising response to your blog, Lick My Spoon?
It still floors me whenever I meet someone far from home who has heard of my blog. It’s a flattering reminder that it’s not just Mom reading it anymore.
Where do you go for inspiration when coming up with recipes/meal ideas?
I have been so blessed to have had the opportunity to travel and taste so many ridiculously delicious things. I often think back to meals I’ve had and loved, and try to figure out how to recreate them at home. I’m also very fortunate to be living in an area where fresh, seasonal produce and artisanal products are readily available. Many times, I’ll just hit the farmers market and see what looks good. The meal will develop from there.
What is your most memorable meal featured on Lick My Spoon, and why?
The French Laundry. This was like the holy grail for me. My dear friends took my husband and me there as a wedding present. Best wedding present ever. The experience was just incredible — amazing thoughtful food, flawless service, and to be able to share it with people I love, well, that was just priceless. http://lickmyspoon.com/travel/the-french-laundry/
I read that you recently traveled to Italy, Greece and France. How did your recent travels inspire you?
Everyday I was amazed at how sweet the fruit was, how rich in flavor the meats were, how creamy and luxurious the dairy was…it reminded me that it’s all about the ingredients. When you start with something that is so delicious already in its purest form, you don’t need to do much to it.
Can you share one of your favorite memories in the kitchen?
There are so many…but one is of my mom making grilled cheeses for my brother and me for lunch or after school. It was nothing fancy — white bread and kraft singles — but yeah…grilled cheese is still my ultimate comfort food. Gooey, warm, and full of love.
Who is your culinary idol? Why?
My grandpa is up there. He has been cooking for so long, something like making the best short ribs on Earth is second nature to him.
What advice would you give others hoping to start a niche blog?
Find your passion and your voice and stay true to it.
Where do you hope to take Lick My Spoon from here?
I hope to continue sharing all the delicious experiences that have brought me joy, in the hopes that others can experience it for themselves in some way, whether it’s through a recipe, a reco of some hidden gem I’ve discovered, or simply a little food porn indulgence during the day.