Saturday, May 9, 2009

Q&A with R&F: Exclusive One on One with GB!

Ramen and Friends got a close up on a fetching-creative-intelligent-stock whip slinging Aussie, GB!

R&F: Who are you?
GB: When I've solved my existential dilemmas you'll be the first to know.

R&F: What do you do? What do you do for fun?
GB: I work in television. For fun: anything but television! Reading, writing, going to lectures on politics and economics, eating/drinking with friends, yoga, cooking, walking. I volunteer with an organisation called Musicians For Harmony, which seeks to promote peace and intercultural dialogue through music.

R&F: Where can we find you?
GB: In my cube at work 8:30-4:30 M-F. Then at the gym, at home in Greenpoint, at a bar/restaurant/music venue/theatre/friend's house.

R&F: Your blog/website?
GB: Neither. Although during the 2008 US Presidential elections, several friends suggested politely that maybe I should start blogging - instead of using every party as a soapbox opportunity.

R&F: Your favorite food/drinks?
GB: I love Thai food. And cocktails. And laksa. Give me a veggie red curry and a caipiroska and I'm a very happy woman. I also love a good chocolate martini. And if I could only find a bar in NYC that would make a Swiss Tan....

R&F: Your favorite restaurants?
GB: Tuk Tuk Thai and Bank's Thai in Sydney are old favourites. In Brooklyn: Dumont Burger, La Superior - and my roommate is a pretty good cook, I think some of my favourite meals have been ones she's made! Anyone who cooks for me scores very highly on the friend-o-metre.

R&F: Your most memorable food outing? Or any R&F outing?
GB: The most money I think I ever spent on a meal was at the Millennium Hotel in San Francisco. It's a renowned vegan restaurant, and one of my best friends from Australia and I decided to treat ourselves as a grand finale before she went back to Australia. The food was superlative and I loved the vibe in San Francisco. Favourite R&F outing: maybe Tokyo Bar night, because it was one of the first times I came along and it was great to meet so many new people.

R&F: Your most horrific food related experience?
GB: Two, and they were both self-inflicted. At a friend's cooking party I was helping with a dessert, and I mistook the salt for the sugar. The ruined dessert tasted terrible and I was mortified. And once I gave myself second degree burns making coffee.

R&F: When did you become vegetarian and why?
GB: It was my New Years resolution at the start of 2000. I object to the practice rather than the principle of eating meat: I think in our society we consume meat in a way that's not environmentally responsible, humane for the animals, or good for our bodies, so I choose not to participate. I do eat free-range eggs, and I could never give up cheese, and occasionally I will eat meat if it's organic, free range, grass fed, local, bourgeois blah blah. I used to eat kangaroo in Australia: it's native so it doesn't degrade the land; it's often wild, therefore free-range; and because it's a game meat it's usually very lean.

R&F: When did you move to the U.S.? What did you first think about American food? And what do you think about it now?
GB: I moved to the US at the beginning of 2004. I think the first thing I ate was a cheese danish from Au Bon Pain. Impressions of eating in America: I remember being astounded at the amount of packaging that goes along with eating over here, and how wasteful it seemed. That a deli will give you a plastic bag, a paper bag, an entire stack of napkins, and an individually wrapped straw when you buy a single bottle of juice seemed so unnecessary to me. I think it's more difficult to eat healthily over here, there is good quality food to be found but it's often expensive. Which is why I love R&F: I am discovering great (and sometimes healthy) cheap dining options! And the company is always superb :-) I do have a weakness for NY pizza.

R&F: Do you miss Australian food? What do you miss most about?
GB: Things I miss about food in Australia: consistent good quality fresh ingredients; excellent Thai food; fresh fruit during summer (mangoes, peaches, cherries especially); free range eggs from my dad's chickens; excellent coffee. I used to be a barista and am very particular about my coffee. Places in NY I think meet Australian standards for coffee: Think Coffee in the East and West Village; Lucky Shot in Greenpoint; Gimme Coffee in Williamsburg and Soho; Grumpy Coffee in Greenpoint and Chelsea; El Beit in Williamsburg. And I miss Vegemite!

R&F: Do you miss eating meat?
GB: Most of the time I don't miss it. I didn't really miss giving up alcohol for a month in February either, which surprised me. The one thing that trumps my self control every time is chocolate. I am powerless to resist its temptations.

R&F: Tell me what you ate and drank today.
Breakfast: Kashi Go Lean cereal with milk; Snacks: a boiled egg and some grapes; Lunch: tomato cheddar soup with half a red pepper/goat cheese wrap; More snacks: apple and banana; Dinner: ???

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