Interview With FoodGeekery!

Fri, Apr 23, 2010


Today we are getting to know Jason of Food Geekery. This food blog is about real food from a real geek. Jason used to be a picky eater but has found a new love for food that has helped him become healthy just by changing his eating habits from processed foods to real food and learning how to cook. As in good geek form, Jason not only looks at the basics but delves deeper into such things as how to make yogurt (coming soon!) and a fabulous homemade oreo with half the ingredients!

MiK: What made you  decide that blogging about your food experiences (both from restaurants and your own recipes) were right for you?

Jason: The decision to take up food blogging was a pretty easy decision for me to make as once I got into the food scene I couldn’t stop talking about it.  I talked about it so much that I was finally told I should blog about it (so that everyone got a break).  Since I’d had other “techie” blogs in the past, I just created and dipped my toes into the food world.

When looking at your About page, it seems that you didn’t really enjoy food, as you were a “picky eater“, until you decided to change your eating habits. What do you think sparked this change in your sense of taste?

It’s true, I was very picky.  Actually I was so picky there should be a new word to describe what I was.  When it came to food if it wasn’t bland and fried, I didn’t want it and if it was green, it needed to be far away from my plate.  I’m still sorta ashamed that I was that person, I wish I hadn’t been, I’ll tell you that.  So what changed my sense of taste?  I really don’t know!  I think that over time as I slowly ate less and less “bad” food and more “real” food I know I got braver and started trying things.  I wish I knew why I suddenly went from hating fish/veggies/etc to really enjoying the taste.

MiK: You say that you never really cooked your own meals until 2008. How was that learning experience for you? Did it make a difference in what food you choose to eat?

When I decided to start cooking the experience was mixed at first.  I had no idea what I was doing so I didn’t want to rush into it.  I started by buying a few cookbooks as well as books by chefs, to get their perspectives.  I started slow with cuisines I was familiar with, such as Italian.  When I was picky, cheese and meat was life, so Italian (Americanized, anyway) was my favorite food.  As I read the books and practiced I decided there was no reason not to try different foods.  The very first baby steps were into Mexican cuisine, as I used to avoid it (didn’t like beans, tomatoes, peppers, etc), but I figured I’d be able to slowly try things out.  Over time Mexican and the many different Asian cuisines have become my absolute favorites and I’m always looking to trying something new.

MiK: Now that you enjoy fresher foods, what is your favorite food to cook and eat for yourself? What was your favorite food before you started this healthier lifestyle and is it still on your favorites list?

Jason: Wow… that’s a question I’ve actually never thought about.  I think that my favorite meal to cook and eat would have to be pozole rojo (a Mexican pork, dried pepper and hominy stew of sorts), hands down.   The weird thing is that I had never tried hominy before that dish, and it is a main component. I’ve probably made this dish (or some variation) over a dozen times, even though it is extremely time consuming.

When it comes to my favorite food long ago, hmmm… that’s a tough one, to tell the truth.  Well, honestly it’s more embarrassing than tough.  My favorite meal used to be the Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch, no lettuce.  Really.  I’d usually order 5 – 10 of ‘em and eat till I was full, then warm the rest up the next day.  Taco Bell no longer makes these (it’s not on their menu, at least), but at the time it was heaven (also was the only thing I’d eat at Taco Bell).  These things had 560 calories, 33g fat, 980mg sodium and 44g carbs. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I’d usually eat 3 or 4 of ‘em in a sitting.

To answer the final part, I haven’t eaten at Taco Bell since mid-2008 and hadn’t had one of these since probably 2006 or so, nor would I want to.

MiK: You get the chance to go to quite a few different restaurants around the country and give them a try.  What is one of the most memorable restaurants and why?

Jason: I don’t get to try as many as I’d like, now that I appreciate it more, but I do have a favorite.  In Omaha there is a restaurant called “The Boiler Room” and it is quite unique.  Most of the food served is local from family farms, they don’t shy away from offal meats, and everything is extremely delicious.  I had wanted it to be my final meal before leaving Omaha, but due to a very bad snow storm, I didn’t get to go.  When eating there it was a true adventure… you didn’t really know what would be on the menu until that morning (when it was updated on their site) and even then it would blow your mind.  The meal I had involved sweetbreads, squash and Kobe beef.  It was remarkable.  The service was also the best I’ve ever had.  We never wanted for anything.  Our water glass was never empty, we didn’t have to wait to find someone, everything was absolutely perfect.  If I ever go back to Omaha to visit, I’ll definitely be eating there again.

MiK: As someone who has learned to eat healthy, lose weight and still enjoy food, what kind of advice would you give to people who are hoping to do the same thing?

Jason: The biggest piece of advice would simply be: “You can do it.” Really, for years I was told that I shouldn’t worry, my lack of losing weight wasn’t my fault and there was nothing I could do.  I believed that for years until I decided I was sick of being so heavy and decided to try and see what I could do on my own.  The second biggest piece of advice would be: “Don’t do any diet you aren’t prepared to do for the rest of your life.”  For those of you who are anti-carb or anti-fat or whatever, are you ready to do that forever?  If not, then don’t start.  Any diet that restricts what you eat isn’t a good one (with the exception of avoiding things like Trans Fats).  I succeeded by not limiting what types of foods I could eat.  That way I could just eat less.  Anyone out there has the ability to do this and I hope that more will!

MiK: If you were a dish what would you be? If you were an ingredient what would you be?

Jason: I’ve been told that I have a very… interesting personality, so putting it into a dish isn’t going to be the easiest.  I’m very extroverted and will sit and talk to someone for hours if they’re interested.  Some find that great while others can’t get away fast enough.  It’s a love me or hate me thing, I’ve come to realize, so whatever the dish is would have to be something just as polarizing.  On the same token, I’m very laid back and take very little super seriously, so that would have to play a part as well.  Perhaps a Coconut-Durian Cupcake would be a great example.  Durian is very polarizing, but cupcakes are about the least serious thing you can find.  Plus, I think it’s delicious.

When it comes to an ingredient, I’d have to say a raw oyster.  You can’t tell anything about an oyster until the shell is off and it’s something that people either love or hate and is usually eaten in very laid back environments.

Thank you, Jason, for a great interview! If you are interested in reading more about real food from a real geek who is constantly learning and sharing everything he can about food, check out Food Geekery. You won’t be disappointed!

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This post was written by:

Rochelle - who has written 324 posts on Made in Kitchen Blog.

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6 Responses to “Interview With FoodGeekery!”

  1. Divina Says:

    Another great interview Rochelle. Jason, thanks for the sound and wise advice that people always take for granted. It’s nice to know another food blogger.

  2. Magic of Spice Says:

    Fun! Wonderful interview, very enjoyable:)

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