Frequently Asked Questions
Why did you start a food blog?
- I missed food. Sure, I was cooking fancy pants dinners almost every night (the wife is very demanding 😉 ), but I didn’t feel like I was really involved with food. In fact, I was spending my days working remotely as a prop trader for a firm in Manhattan. Buy low, sell high, pork bellies and stock prices… Truth is, I wasn’t good enough at it to warrant the time and toll it took. Probably because it’s not where my true passion lies.
What makes you qualified to write about food?
- It’s in my soul – and all over my resume. I’ve worked for some of the biggest and best in the food world. I worked the floor at Gramercy Tavern in NYC where I had the good fortune to learn from both Danny Meyer and Tom Colicchio. Multi course tasting menus with wines to match were the order of the day, everyday. I only left there to go on a seven week wine tour of the greatest vineyards in France, Italy and Spain. Hey – I even worked the harvest in Burgundy. Man, that’s hard.
- After that I worked my way around the big city. Bartending for Bobby Flay, selling cheese for Terrance Brennan, hawking wine in Union Square, drinking till dawn at Blue Ribbon with Wiley Dufresne, Mario Batali and many other now famous names, and prepping and cooking and waiting and managing at another half dozen or so places that are long since gone – including my own.
- And through it all I wrote. I wrote about food and wine for Manhattan File, Decanter, IN New York, Veggie Life, Foodline, CrushGuide, CitySearch and Digital Cities/AOL. I even wrote (and produced and directed and managed a core group of 12) my very own TV show – “Peasants with Good Taste” – the world’s first sketch comedy cooking show. I think I have all 9 episodes safely tucked away under lock and key.
What’s an “optimalist”?
- An optimalist is someone who strives for perfection, but knows full well they can never reach it – and they’re totally cool with that. An optimalist eats well, but lives in reality.
Where do you get your inspiration?
- You name it. A picture in a magazine, a cool new item at the store, a long awaited seasonal staple has returned. Inspiration is all around. I think that most of the time I’ll see a single something that gets the juices flowing and I’ll build a dish around it.
How do you write your recipes and posts?
- I generally just wing it at first. I’ll take whatever has been rattling around inside my head and make it happen in the kitchen shooting pix as I go. Then I’ll go back over it and write out the recipe part – ingredients and technique. It’s generally only later, while I’m relaxing with the family that I’m apt to write the story part.
How often do you post?
- I’m aiming right now for three times a week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday – usually first thing in the morning. My posts are generally 2-3 weeks out which means that what you’re reading about today I cooked a couple of weeks ago. Which is fine, I just have to get used to cooking seasonal stuff a little earlier than I’m used to.
What kind of camera equipment do you use?
- I see this faq on lots of other blog sites so I thought I’d add my own two cents. Currently I only use my iPhone 6 along with a Lowell Ego Digital Light and I think the pix are pretty good. Funny, I used to do a lot of photography back in the day when there was still such a thing as film – even had my own darkroom, but I’m kind of in the dark as to what camera to upgrade to at the moment.
Can I use your recipes and photos on my blog?
- Recipes – no, not at this time. I respectfully ask you not to use my recipes or my posts without my prior consent.
- Photos without recipes – sure, go ahead and spread that picture love. Just make sure you credit the photos back with two links – one to the homepage and one to the recipe itself. Thanks.
- Yes I am. You can click on any of the links above or on the buttons in the upper right of the home page to take you to the respective sites.
Do you advertise on your site and use affiliate links?
- Yes I do. In fact – Please note that some links throughout my blog are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through these links.
Do you work with brands for sponsored posts or campaigns?
- I would be happy to work with any brand or product that I like and believe in. If you are a brand looking for a partnership you can email me directly at robz(at)theoptimalistkitchen(dot)com.