1. What is the name of your blog? Urban Swank
2. Could you describe your blog in one sentence? A food blog dedicated to sharing a wealth of information to expose and showcase the fun in food and the experiences that surround one’s love for food.
3. How did you get into food blogging? After years of visiting restaurants and seeing that the dining scene had so much to offer, we wanted to expose everyone to what was available. So often, we develop routines around our eating habits including where we go and what we eat. This happens for many reasons including one’s comfort with what they already know or being uncomfortable with trying something new. Even those die hard foodies may not be up to date on what’s out there. In addition, food is a diverse, interesting, and wonderful subject that encompasses each and every one of us. We want our readers to step outside of their box, visit that new restaurant that everyone is raving about, create a new recipe, plan a night out with friends to collectively try a new dish, etc. We want to bring the fun to food and provide insight into what the food experience could and should be.
4. What’s the toughest part of writing about food? Shanna: At the heart of food writing for me is reaching my readers. Sometimes it is difficult to place into words your exact experience from taking that initial bite of a great crab cake or having a cocktail that puts you into instant relaxation mode. There are moments in writing when those feelings can’t be reproduced or putting them in words becomes a daunting task. If I could only take a snapshot of my thoughts! Felice: It is easy to write about good food and even bad food; but when the food is boring I find it so hard to write about it! Urban Girl and I have gone back and forth trying to find the right words to do our blogs when the food is ho-hum.
5. What’s been your favorite food moment? Shanna: I have favorite food moments. I have a history of being tricked into eating something by it being disguised as something else. Take my recent experience of trying boar meat when I actually thought I was eating oxtail. When it is actually great; that is the icing on the cake! Felice: I would have to say sitting down and interviewing Top Chef Tiffany Derry as she prepared to open her new restaurant. We have followed her career since she was a sous chef at Pesce Restaurant in Houston. It was great getting to watch her grow and to interview her as her dreams are unfolding.
6. Do you have a top restaurant? If so, what’s the name and is there an item you generally order? Shanna: You would ask this one; wouldn’t you! Seafood is my favorite, so I will go with Japaniero’s in Sugarland, TX. The Chilean Sea Bass is served blackened with a hint of lime juice and placed on a spread of black beans. In addition, I have never visited without ordering their shrimp dumplings that are paired with a “to die for” extra creamy peanut sauce. Felice: I have several top restaurants so this is going to be a hard one. Since, I’ve spent the last ten years traveling all over the U.S. weekly for work I’ve gotten to literally taste my way through the states. Let me start with my new fave, Kevin Rathbun Steak in Atlanta. This place is so good and I usually get one of the specials. Next, I would have to pick Asia De Cuba in New York, and I can honestly say I have tried about 90% of the menu and have never been disappointed.
7. What’s one U.S. city you’d travel to just for the food? Shanna: That’s easy. Chicago. Felice: This would have to be Atlanta for me because I have so many favorites in the city.
8. Is there a food you absolutely despise? Shanna: OYSTERS! I have tried them every way you can prepare them. It’s like those chitterlings that my mom makes; it must be an acquired taste…lol! Felice: It would have to be Kimchi! The smell takes me out before I can even get the food to my mouth.
9. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten? Shanna: Octopus. My verdict…100% not my thing. Felice: Chocolate covered worms, and just thinking about that experience makes me sick (I think I just threw up in my mouth).
10. Are you more likely to stick with what you know, or do you try something new each time? Shanna: Before we started our blog, I would have answered that I always stick to what I know. Here recently, I am all about trying something that I would not normally order. However, I still stick to my guns on some things, but if it’s in my “safe zone”, I will try just about anything….ONCE. Felice: I am the girl that loves trying new things! Each year for my birthday dinner my friends always know for sure that they will be trying a new restaurant and are expected to step out of the box and try something they usually would not order from the menu.
Editor’s Note: Images provided by Urban Swank