Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Spotlight:: Jason Foodgeek of DCFüd

I first met Jason Foodgeek at the Capital Cooking Cookbook launch party last month.  DCFüd is an Online Magazine devoted to the food and food lovers of the Washington, DC area; it launched in 2004.  They currently have 4 main writers and many guest writers, but are in the process of recruiting several new writers.
 Jason Foodgeek at the Capital Cooking Cookbook launch 

Photo by Duane Heaton

How did you get into blogging?

I am originally from the most culturally diverse county in the country, Queens, NYC, where he grew up eating dozens of cuisines.  I am culturally diverse in my own right and learned how to cook several cuisines at my Mom's side as a kid.  That passion for food was obvious to the people around me, including the ones I cooked for; when DCFüd was looking for writers in 2004, RAY encouraged me to apply to the site, and RAY and I were added as writers.  The original editors have since moved on, and I now run the site.

Favorite ingredient?

Thai yellow curry paste. My own chimichurri. Coconut milk.

How would you describe DC Cuisine?

I personally focus more on ethnic foods, and the DC area has a wonderful variety of various cuisines.  And, because the area itself is so ethnically diverse, the ethnic foods here tend to be pretty authentic.

How long have you lived in DC and how did you end up here?

I've been here 7 years.  I moved form NYC for grad school and a girl, both of which are now history. ;)

Who are your culinary inspirations?

My mom (in memory), Alton Brown (met him), Andrew Zimmern, Tony Bourdain, Jose from Taqueria El Charrito Caminante 

What is your favorite local restaurant and why?

Taqueria El Charrito is so good - the tacos, yuca con chicharones, tamales, pupusas, etc. I'm a fan of Kabob Bazaar as well, especially around Persian new year.  Both of these places are affordable, authentic, and very tasty.

Let's also give a shout of to the local farmer's markets including Courthouse, Ballston, and Dupont.  So far, this season has brought some incredible products and ingredients to the market.  Had some lamb chili from Virginia Lamb (Dupont Market) for lunch, and I've been using cheese from Blue Ridge (various markets) in my recipes and salads lately.

What is your favorite Food Network Show?

The Private Chefs of Beverly Hills is a new favorite. It is realistic and crazy at the same time, and very entertaining.  I tried out for The Next Food Network Star a couple of seasons ago.  I like Good Eats as well.  On the Travel Channel, I'm a fan of No Reservations and Bizarre Food.

Do you have a favorite cookbook?

I own close to 100 cookbooks, mostly ethnic, but I still keep going back to the Joy of Cooking for the basics.

What are your most exciting challenges right now?

I'm one of 2 finalists in a beef grilling contest at the Food and Wine Festival of National Harbor, so the guy with the flank steak is looking like an exciting challenge.  That and figuring out how to install adsense and other Wordpress gadgets and features- I've been trying for over a year.

Any recipes to share? 

Yes, my family recipe for empanadas:

Anything else you’d like to share with the viewers?

I hosted several food segments on local TV a couple of years ago, including the one linked here.  I had a drink (I designed) named after me at a social event - the "flaming foodgeek" - habaneros, honey, triple sec, orange juice, vodka...and a prayer.  ;)

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