This week we sit down with Dara, the creator and editor of The Skinny Pig, a local NYC-based food blog covering restaurant reviews, recipes, and events. Dara writes about a variety of topics including food, cooking, cocktails, and dating for blogs, brands, and online publications. So pour a bacon-infused Old Fashioned and relax while we pig out with Dara.
NightOwl: Tell us what inspired you to start your blog Theskinnypignyc.com, and what’s your favorite thing about blogging?
Dara: After a very bad car accident in 2001, my leg was severely damaged and I was in the hospital for a month, completely bedridden. I was 17 years old and a dancer, so any shot at a dance career was ruined. While in the hospital and on bedrest for months after, I watched the Food Network all the time. I virtually learned knife skills from Bobby Flay and how to make perfect meatballs from Giada. Once I was able to stand, I would hop around the kitchen on one foot and sit by the stove and cook their recipes. I still use Giada’s risotto recipe to this day! Years later, right after college, I was working at a temp job and desperately needed a creative outlet. That’s when The Skinny Pig was born. This was also a nickname for me in high school because I had a ferocious appetite and would never gain weight. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to learn how to portion control.
My favorite thing about blogging is that it’s my own voice. No one tells me what to do, what to say, or what to write. I have complete creative control. And I get to meet some of the best chefs in the country and eat their food. How could you hate that? It’s an honor and I don’t take it for granted.
NightOwl: In your never ending quest for anything with bacon and delicious deep-fried food, which bars, lounges, or clubs best satisfy your craving?
- Vandal – Beef tartare on a pretzel
- The VNYL – Jerk Chicken Tacos
- Lavo – Fried Oreos and Giant Meatball with Whipped Ricotta
- E’s Bar – Cheddar Balls
- Ainsworth – Mac n Cheese Burger
NightOwl: It’s been said that you know how to sling a spatula and can create a bacon-laced casserole in a heartbeat; after a delicious Friday night meal, where would you take a date for drinks in Brooklyn?
Dara: Maison Premiere – they have a great space and an amazing cocktail program. Absinthe cocktail after dinner? Don’t mind if I do.
The Counting Room – dark and sexy, this place makes a great, stiff Old Fashioned.
NightOwl: What super-hero talent would you like to have and what would you do with it?
Dara: The ability to fly, purely to save money on travel and it also would probably help in drunken rooftop situations.
NightOwl: Which two celebrities would you love to invite over for a cocktail party? What would you serve?
Dara: Billy Joel, hands down. He’s my all time favorite and I’d probably serve something simple yet delicious, like a DIY mac and cheese bar. Billy seems like he’d be a mac and cheese fan. And I’d also probably throw in a bottle of white and a bottle of red… HA
I’d also invite Tina Fey. She’s hilarious and I feel like we would be best friends. For her I would serve something like tacos and tequila. Not sure why, but I imagine us getting drunk and then inhaling tacos. Because that’s what I do with my best friends.
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