Blogs about: Top Chef, food porn
Carina Ost moves fast. As an avid follower (read: voyeur) of her ever-buzzing Twitter feed will tell you, it seems Carina is always flitting about the chicest restaurants and staying out way past bedtime, all while spurning legions of suitors and watching countless hours of reality TV. Our meal of dolma sandwiches and shawerma at Truly Mediterranean was brief, but I absorbed enough frenetic information to fill 10 blogger profiles.
Jesse: What's your relationship with food?
Carina: My mom tells me I've always been emotional about what I eat. I remember this story from when I was in high school and my neighbor Buzz was a little kid. I wanted eggs with mushrooms, and Buzz said his family could give me some. When I found out later they didn't have any mushrooms, I blew up and started yelling at him about "making false promises" and "the value of his word."
Has anything changed since then?
Not so much. The other day I was making salad, and I wanted to use hearts of palm from these big jars I had. My cravings were pretty intense. When I couldn't get the jars to open, I launched into full-on panic mode. This is the biggest reason for me to get married, so I can get a husband to open jars (and prevent meltdowns).
When did you think you could turn food into a career?
In college, I went to Europe with this girl I barely knew. Before the plane ride was over, we discovered important common interests: eating and meeting people. We had your standard wild adventures in Europe, staying in hostels with masturbating Australians sleeping below us, spending $400 on lunch at Alain Ducasse's restaurant while wearing cheap skirts from H&M. That's when we got the idea for the Uncouth Gourmands.
Tell me more.
We were two girls living in L.A .at a time when the food scene was taking off, and we basically created a brand for ourselves. We would show up at restaurants and food events and be like, "The UGs are here!" Then we wrote about our adventures in the first person, not holding anything back. It actually caught on. We had investors and an agent, and wanted to spin it into a TV show.
Sounds like you were living the L.A. dream. How'd you end up here?
I'm from Santa Cruz originally. I realized my grandfather was 90 and my brother was 9 and I wanted to be near them. I was also excited to explore a new food city. I already knew the game. It was just a matter of applying my skills here, in a scene with less pressure.
What do you miss about the Los Angeles food scene?
L.A. does low-end food really well. I know there's good street food here, but I'm talking about dollar tacos, Chinese beef rolls, pork and leek dumplings. I miss that. I also get bored here sometimes. There are so many mid-to-high-end restaurants and they're all doing organic, seasonal, blah blah. It's not bad, it's just the same wherever you go. I hope to god sunchokes go out of season soon; I'm so sick of seeing them on every menu!
Who are your food heroes?
I adore Ruth Reichl, even though she takes herself a little seriously. Garlic and Sapphires was beautifully written, but sometimes I'm like, "C'mon now, Ruth." Also, she wears the same shirt in like, every interview. It's this flowy Indian purple/blue-green thing that changes with the light. Very Berkeley.
I'm also crazy about Gael Greene. I read her memoir and absolutely fell in love. This is a woman who spent the night with Elvis Presley, then didn't know if she was supposed to leave the hotel room when they were done. He actually asked Gael to order him a sandwich. Can you imagine? Now she's old but you can tell she's still superfun. I want her life.Other blogger profiles : -Lou Bustamante -Tamara Palmer -Alex Hochman -Laura Beck