Tamara Reynolds' Perfect Food Day

You might already know Tamara Reynolds. She's one of the "talking heads" from The Cooking Channel show Unique Eats. We also recently read Pen & Fork's report of another Cooking Channel show tentatively titled Married with Dishes. She's also connected to the Valley in that she once lived here and even studied to be an opera singer at ASU. She's since been living in the big city, New York City that is, in Astoria, Queens and playing hostess for an underground supper club for 20 with her catering company One Ass Kitchen Productions (it must be a pretty small kitchen). You can tell from her lively and warm attitude in her writing that she's a party person. This self-taught cook/chef even co-wrote a cookbook detailing her how-tos: Forking Fantastic! Put The Party Back In Dinner Party.

We were so bummed when she told us that she had to cancel her Pop Up Lamb Roast at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market. At least with her Perfect Food Day we'll be able to get a little chance to get to know her better since she's one of those people who know how to have a good time.

Here is Tamara Reynolds' Perfect Food Day:

This perfect food day turned out to be a bit of a drag because I realize I can never have it since it requires too much travel in too little time.

Breakfast: I confess, I am not one of those wants to eat right out of the gate. SO first of all, I want about 3 cups of coffee to get the engine brewing. I drink my coffee with half and half--never milk if I can help it. By the time I am done with that, I am kind of ready for something savory; if I am home making my own breakfast, I like huevos rancheros minus the huevos--so tostados with beans, enchilada sauce, lettuce, green onions, cheese, and salsa. If I am going out, I love a couple of poached eggs with bacon and a salad. I crumble the bacon on the salad and break the poached eggs over top. Voila! Quasi Frisee et Lardons, achievable almost anywhere.

In between I would like to hang out at my favorite Phoenix pool -- at Sanctuary on Camelback. I want to hang out in the pool, drinking a chelada or two, and read the NY Times, resting it on the cool deck. Maybe swim a few laps. That sounds FABULOUS!

For Lunch I want to be back in NYC, and at the bar at Pearl Oyster Bar on Cornelia Street. I want to start out with an icy glass of sancerre and salt crusted shrimp. They are big shell-on shrimp fried in a salt crust- so crisp you just eat the whole thing, shell and all. Then I want some oysters on the half shell, preferably from Maine, with mignonette, followed by another glass of sancerre and a lobster roll with a warm buttery brioche bun. I take the roll apart and eat the lemony-mayonnaise lobster first and save the roll for last. I maybe have a couple of shoestring fries with vinegar, but usually by then I am sated and a little boozy.

If I can't time travel and be in NYC, then I want to head over to Stacy's BBQ at 17th st and Indian School Road. I want pulled pork with lots of sauce, collards, and rice with gravy. And iced tea. Lots of iced tea. Usually Stacy harasses me and asks me if I brought him any White Castle from NYC. I think it is ludicrous that he likes White Castle, but then again, when I confessed to him that the first thing I do when I hit town is pick up the rental car, and drive thru Jack in the Box for 2 tacos... he thought I was crazy too. I guess 'to each his own' applies here.

After lunch I want to head down to Revolver and spend a few hours going through records for my collection. My husband gave me a turntable last year and I have been picking up blues, old gospel, post bop jazz and 60's thru early 80's rock since then. I love it. Vinyl makes the perfect carry on!

For dinner I want to start at T. Cook's for a cocktail. My old friend Sean Donnelly is the GM there, but he makes such a perfect Manhattan that I bet I could talk him into getting behind the bar and making one for me. From there I want to head over to Rosita's. I want some old school Sonoran Mexican Food--the kind you CAN NOT get in NYC. Start off with a cheese crisp, chips and salsa, followed green chicken enchiladas or carnitas with more salsa, guacamole, and beans. Oh--and margaritas with salt.

After dinner I want to sneak off with my former brother in law, Brian (it isn't like it sounds! I promise!) and go to Pink Spot for some ice cream. He introduced me to it a couple of years ago and I try to go every time I am home. They have some delicious ice cream! If it is my PERFECT food day, they will have some dark chocolate flavor and some cherry flavor. I will eat them with a spoon out of a cup, and be thrilled to do so.

I think after all this eating, I will want some sort of a walk through a neighborhood, hopefully when the orange blossoms are in bloom and the scent is heavy in the air. I find it so intoxicating.

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