Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spotlight: Stacey Viera of Every Food Fits

Stacey Viera
Meet Stacey Viera of Every Food Fits blog.  Not only is she a photographer, but she loves food.  

How did you get into blogging?
I love food, and I love photography. It was only a matter of time until I pursued food photography as a career, and in early 2009, I decided to create a food photo blog to practice my craft. But something was missing. Actually, it was more like someone. I presented the idea of a cooking/nutrition blog to Sam Lewandowski, RD, a colleague I met in the food industry. I missed working with Sam, and more than that, I think she’s sensible about eating, and I wanted to share her non-diet philosophy with the world. Sam and I both believe that “diet” is a four-letter word! Nearly two years later, we’re growing our blog as partners with hyperlocal news site, offering healthy and delicious recipes each week, as well as nutrition news and interviews with D.C. chefs.

Tell us about your blog.
We named the blog Every Food Fits to make the point that no one food is all good or all bad. When labeling foods as good or bad, we carry those biases into our daily eating habits and lose out on some of the pleasure and enjoyment of food and the overall eating experience. Besides, we set ourselves up for failure when we deprive ourselves. It’s simply not worth it. If we are incorporating a wide variety of foods, then there is room for everything – even if it’s only a bite!

What is your favorite blog post and why?
Readers seem to love the posts with bright, fun photos, like the “Technicolor Pancakes” post -

But my favorites are the chef interviews. If I had to pick just one...well, I can’t. I write to educate people about food and nutrition, but I personally gain so much from each food professional I meet. Each of them have influenced the way I cook, eat, taste flavor and texture, and even do business. Two chefs stick out in my mind. My first interview with Arlington Whole Foods’ Store Chef Michael Kiss proved to me what I’ve known for a long time: having the courage to blaze your own trail in life, regardless of what critics say, is the true path to happiness:  
Photo by Emily Clack (Chef Daniel Giusti is one of my favorites, too!)

And Chef Daniel Giusti of 1789 changed the way I think about fine dining:

Who are your culinary inspirations?
I’m inspired by each chef I interview, and I learn so much from each of them. But my original culinary mentor is my 95-year-old grandmother, Tillie. Her brisket, matzo ball soup, kugel and pumpkin bread recipes are legendary. She recently gave me a cookbook printed in the 1950s by a Rochester, NY, Hadassah chapter, and it’s one of my favorites. I keep finding her notes in the margins. Mama Tillie also gave me a Hot Shoppes cookbook that has a fantastic rice recipe with almonds and raisins. Here’s her “ice box ice cream” recipe – sweet, fruity and simple to make!

How long have you lived in DC and how did you end up here?
I was born in the District, raised in Montgomery County, got my bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland  - College Park, and moved to Capitol Hill to work as a press secretary in the House and Senate. Following a life in public affairs, including a job as a national spokesman for the seafood community, I began studying photography a few years ago at Northern Virginia Community College.  I’ve found my calling, as a food and portrait photographer and Virginian.  A new homeowner, I am deeply invested in my Arlington community. I live with my husband, Luis, of five years and our two-year-old French bulldog, Tchotchke.

What is your favorite local restaurant and why?
My favorite restaurant is Maruko Sushi, which recently changed its name/ownership from Matuba Sushi. Located at 2915 Columbia Pike in Arlington, it’s the same sushi, service and employees I’ve come to expect over the past several years. I like to go out for food that I don’t prepare at home, and I’d never make a raw fish meal on my own. Maruko has the freshest sushi at the best prices in D.C. (I can neither confirm nor deny that I purchased my Arlington Heights home because it is within walking distance to Maruko Sushi.)

What are your most exciting challenges right now?
Building a business is an exciting challenge. Consider that an understatement. My business (Best Light Communications - is all about the journey – meeting chefs, restaurateurs, families with their own food businesses, and so many others – and working with them to picture in the best light their food and the people who create it.  Photography is my business, but it’s also an art. The same is true for the chefs with whom I work. The best compliment is hearing, “Stacey, your photo is making me so hungry!” I want people to look at my photos and think, “I want to eat that!” or “I can make that in my own kitchen.” Delicious food can be accessible to people of all skill levels in the kitchen. I hope to inspire that confidence in others and make ‘em hungry for more!

No comments: