I was very excited when I got the chance to interview Greg for the Food Writer Friday. I was hooked alone by looking at a picture of his kitchen. How much I’d love to cook in there some time.
I’ve been a regular follower of his blog and his food. I simply admire the man! Seriously, do you ever visit a blog and read every new post that they write and don’t think you’re stalking? (Never mind, if it’s just me who feels that way.)
In spite of the stress in his early years, he’s completely comfortable in his own skin and truly confident in what he writes about. I’m so attracted to intelligent confident people.
We also get to know the man through his blog, in addition to the great food, photos and recipes. It’s no wonder he’s got a top blog and a brand new cookbook coming out in November. The new cookbook is called Savory Pies and Greg describes his pies as the culinary equivalent of a well-loved blanket. Doesn’t that give you the best feeling about this book?
I have a job and a food blog and although I work from home, I’m flat out seven days a week. I had a look at what Greg does and I’m in awe. Seriously. He’s got a job, then there’s his blog Sippity Sup – Serious Fun Food where he writes more than once a week.
He’s really active in the blogging community. He leaves comments on his favorite blogs and you can find him chatting along in various social networks. You can “like” him on Facebook and follow him on @SippitySup at Twitter plus he’s a popular speaker at IFBC and Food Buzz Festival.
Now don’t forget the cookbook. He’s had to perfect every one of these recipes, make sure that they are all correct, then he had to prepare all the recipes for the photography and of course edit the book – all this amazing work while he was following his normal routine.
And if that’s not busy enough for you, he’s done cooking demonstrations in Panama, Costa Rica and gone to Norway to promote culinary travel.
I’m not the only one who thinks Greg is a terrific food writer. He’s been featured in Food and Wine Magazine, the LA Times, More Magazine, The Today Show Online and Saveur’s Best of the Web.
I had to laugh when he told me that as a kid he hated watermelon and that he has only learned to enjoy it as an adult. Most people say sushi or brussel sprouts – but watermelon? Apparently the texture felt like he was eating water glass. As someone who could live on watermelon, I’d happily take his share.
Reading his blog, it’s so obvious how passionate he is about food, cooking and photography. Be passionate is the advice he gives to new food writers/bloggers. It’s the only way to be successful!
With all Greg manages to accomplish, managing the work – home- blog must be challanginge and he agrees. This is an important issue for him and he speaks about it at blog conferences. He agrees that when you’re passionate about something it’s easy to let it become an obsession, so to keep his life in balance he keeps to a schedule. He told me that just the blog alone wouldn’t be enough so he makes time for everything he loves.
For a peek into his personality, this post about Pooch Poop, or Why My Wireless Network is Now Known as WTFICU2. I cracked up. I know it’s not about food but that’s what I meant about his blog giving you an insight about the man.
Greg learned to cook watching his mother cook from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and when other kids were eating “tuna twist” or “mug-o-lunch”, Greg and his brother were eating Bouillabaisse, Duck a la Orange, and Mousse de Foies de Volaille. His mother used to have grand dinner parties and Greg and his brother would help with the crêpes so she could keep 2 or 3 pans going. Now, that’s learning how to cook from your mother!
If you ask him what city he’d love to have dinner in there’s no hemming and hawing – it’s Paris.
One of my greatest associations with that great city is the great many boulangeries sprinkled throughout every neighborhood. What a joy it is to walk past theseplaces inhale deeply and take a quick peek in the window at the array of delicious baked goods. There is no experience quite like it in this country. Somehow we have grown into a carbabhorrent, gluten-fearing mass of cowering humanity. We have come see food as the enemy. But not the Parisians, they embrace life and all its flavors, it seems to me. I am sure the reality is more complicated. But when I am in Paris I have very little interest in reality.
The first time I walked those streets it was the 1980s. I was quite young and a tad romantic; armed with just enough French to feel cocky I decided to conquer all the sights, sounds and yes, flavors I could in one brief two day visit. One of the first stops was indeed a boulangerie. Now, I was no patsy to the ways of French pastry. My mother had been making brioche at home since my childhood. But all the unusual bread shapes struck me: baton, bloomer, boule, epi, ficelle, fougasse, pistolets…the list seemed endless. On that first trip the treat I settled upon the simplest and most iconic of yeasty prodigies– a baguette sliced lengthwise and stuffed with gooey Camembert
cheese. Oh my! What a sensation that was. I have been trying to recreate that simple perfection ever since.
I wanted to know what cuisine or culinary style he most wanted to be known for and it’s Serious Fun Food – no wonder that’s part of his blog’s title. He’s also a clean as you go-er. I need to visit that gorgeous kitchen of his and learn to stay tidy. He says the disarray makes it tough for him to concentrate. All is not lost, however, as he doesn’t trust neat cooks so I’m definitely in!
His favorite go-to meal is pasta and his favorite spices are crushed red pepper flakes, smoked paprika and Asian fish sauce. We’ll have to wait till November of this year to find out what recipe he’s developed that he’s most proud of.
I can’t yet say. Because my cookbook’s coming out in November 2012 on Ulysses Press, I really want it’s debut to come on publication, so all I’ll say my favorite recipe is a pie. Some sort of savory Pie!. The subject of the book is Savory Pies, and the genesis for the book was a recipe that I plan to include.
I wanted to know what part of his blog at sippitysup.com he likes best. Is it the writing, the photography or the cooking? There was no hesitation whatsoever. I don’t think a second went by before he said:
Hands down. No doubt. The cooking!I can spend hours (even days) planning, thinking, preparing to make a particular dish. It is where I feel the passion for my blog the most acutely. The writing is very spur of the moment for me. It comes out fast and furious, or not at all. Which is fine. when it doesn’t come it doesn’t come. I don’t force it. I also don’t stress the photos.
My “other life” has been spent as an entertainment industry photographer. I’ve photographed a lot (a lot) of big name Hollywood stars. Big screen. Small Screen. No Screen. Actors, writers, producers and all. I’m not talking about paparazzi. I don’t have the personality to hide in the bushes. My photos are planned. We work in a studio. Producers, publicists and magazines are my clients. I didn’t want my blog to feel like work. So I use a point and shoot camera on my blog. I realize this means that lots of other blogs have better pictures than mine, but the limitations of the medium force me to find ways to get creative and produce simple photos that tell the story with a minimum of hassle.
I hope you’ll visit Greg at SippitySup and tell him you read this interview and while you’re there, have a look at this Chocolate Pecan Tart. I’ve wanted to make it since Valentine’s Day but I’m waiting for a dinner party so I don’t sit in the closet with a fork and eat it all by myself.