Featured Food Blogger

Stephanie



Stephanie is the author of Spork and Knife

Where do you live and what is your family's origin?
I currently live in Washington DC, which has been a great city to explore all types of cuisine. We have everything from El Salvadorian to Ethiopian to Korean.
My mother’s side of the family is Italian and my father’s side is Hungarian, so I have an interesting mix of culinary inspiration.

What do you do for a living?
I work at a Public Affairs firm in downtown D.C. It gives me the chance to hone my writing skills and get a bit creative.

Where do you get your culinary inspiration from?
This is so cliché, but my mother and the rest of the Vanonni family. From them I learned that it’s all about the love of the food and respect for your ingredients. I remember watching my mother spend hours rolling out the dough for fresh pasta and then devote the same amount of time to her sauce…after a full day of working. She would also search the markets for fresh in-season ingredients to inspire that nights dinner. Today, things seem to have shifted to fast and easy solutions taking out the real joy of cooking. I fear so many people have grown up with the notion that food is merely fuel and have lost all sense of the culinary adventure.

where did your blog name come from and why did you start blogging?
I’ve always had a passion and curiosity about food and everything surrounding it. I love cooking, dining, specialty grocery stores and I grew up with this love of quality food. After graduating from college I moved to Washington DC and found myself in this great city, with no money and tons of culinary adventures at my fingertips. I became an expert on finding those great restaurants that didn’t gouge your bank account and that good bottle of wine that was under $10. Not having money wasn’t going to stop me from eating well. It was a challenge, and I love challenges. Spork and Knife came from the notion that while I love high quality food and ingredients I had to improvise and find those things at a fraction of their cost. In other words, I had to be versatile. Like a spork. A spork combines two necessary utensils into one, similar to the way I combined a budget and good food.

Whats your favorite thing about cooking?
Cooking is a sensory experience. The smell of something cooking when you walk into a home, sipping on a glass of wine while listening to something simmer, the anticipation of a long awaited meal. But in the end, cooking is all about bringing people together and that’s why I love it. No matter your race, religion, gender or politics everyone loves food. Moments with family and friends at the dining table are some that I will cherish forever.

Besides cooking what is something you like do on your spare time?
Wine tasting, exploring exotic cuisine, searching for that undiscoverd product and travel to new places. I recently started volunteering at the Washington Humane Society and it has been such a joy to shower the shelter animals with love and attention and help people find that missing link to their family.

Here are some of Stephanie's favorite recipes from her blog:

Panzanella Italian Bread Salad
Party Time, A Quick and Easy Favorite