How would you describe your food personality?
I like social food, meaning food that draws a crowd and starts conversation. Food that keeps you coming back for more. Food that you know like family because you’ve had them so many times and creates memories. Food that you look forward to having for dinner all day long. I am not one that diets; I need exciting food in my life.
What is your favorite home cooked item? Any special story behind it?
This is not your typical home cooked food, but mine would be fried crab claws. I’m from Mobile, and when you grow up on the coast, you love seafood.
I learned to catch, cook, clean, and pick my own crabs as a young child. One of my fondest memories is sitting on our beach house deck picking crabs with my grandfather. My dad now fries crab claws every time I go home for a visit, and he’s taught my husband, Garrett, the “new trade.” Even my three-year-old son has a new love for crab claws and expects them with every trip to South Alabama.
Do you like to cook? If not, who is your favorite cook in your life?
I like to cook, but only when I have hours of free time. These days, they are far and few between. My husband has been the cook since we started having children and is getting better every day. I am the griller of the family, mainly because I love to be outside.
My favorite cook in my life would be my middle brother, Leighton. He has been a chef at several restaurants in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, New Orleans, Mobile, and now Fairhope. His specialties include seafood, especially his BBQ shrimp and grilled oysters that are my favorite. I helped him get his start where he fell in love with cooking at FIG in Tuscaloosa.
What is your favorite dish in Tuscaloosa?
It would have to be a tie between DePalma’s Shells Florentine and the Gorgonzola Filet. The Shells Florentine is simple it’s the perfect combination of sauce, pasta shells, and cheese. I also love the inclusion of spinach.
The Gorgonzola filet is the best steak in town by far. You wouldn’t think that this small Italian restaurant would offer the best steak, but it exceeds any I’ve ever had.