Longtime Tucson resident and Rincon High alum, Kim M. Bayne is a business tech writer turned food scribe, currently as a correspondent for the Food Network's Eat St. blog. She has recently decided to start her own Tucson food truck called "Griddler on the Roof," featuring multicultural Jewish-style fusion. For upcoming launch news, follow @griddlertruck on Twitter and throw a like to facebook.com/griddlertruck.
What was the first dish you had that changed your perspective on food?
More than 10 years ago, I made my first matzo ball soup with Japanese seasoning. I spotted a small tin of miso spice in the pantry and I felt the need to punch up my chicken stock. After tasting the newly seasoned broth, I realized I had become so apathetic about cooking that I was phoning it in. I'm now a big fan of food shows that champion culinary risk-taking.
What are you eating these days?
I would love to claim I'm chowing down on super foods, like kale, quinoa and chia seeds, but my friends and family know me better. Seriously? Huge chopped summer salads are incredibly satisfying. Nothing is off-limits for toppings, as far as I'm concerned. OK, I guess there's room on my salad for quinoa marinated in vinaigrette. Don't ever invite me to your house for a salad bar. I'll clean out your fridge.
What was the first dish you remember cooking?
English muffin pizzas with my mom. These days, my mini-pizzas sport different breads, sauces, cheeses and toppings. Last week, I spread basil pesto on an open-face King's Hawaiian sweet dinner roll and topped it with havarti and grilled peach slices. A little under the broiler then yum!
What concept, ingredient or food trend does everyone seem to love, but you just can't stomach?
How about mile-high sandwiches that require you to unhinge your jaw like an anaconda before you can take a bite? They're often stuffed with a double order of greasy fries. On TV, I'm always seeing customers at some dive somewhere fawning over how wonderful these monster sammies taste. To me, it's pretty repulsive.
What chef, with us or passed on, would you most like to cook or eat dinner with?
American chef and Slow Food Vice President Alice Waters comes to mind. Alice is a grassroots activist for organic food, sustainable foods and local produce. I could use a good mentor in those areas. As for the slow food movement, I'm not quite sold on consuming insects as a regular source of protein, even if they're sautéed right.
What city, other than Tucson, is your favorite place to eat?
That would be Munich. In college, I participated in a German Study Abroad program. We traveled all over Germany and Austria so I got to experience the real deal. Oh, no! I shouldn't have said anything. Now I need to find a beef bratwurst and an apfelstrudel.
Speaking in junk food terms, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
I'm still a child at heart. PBJs, Rice Krispies, and graham crackers with milk are my go-to late night snacks. Shhh. Keep it under your hat.
Top three Tucson restaurants?
Fini's Landing for the atmosphere, Cafe Poca Cosa for the margaritas, and Opa! Greek Cuisine for everything on their menu. My husband and I dined at Opa! for the first time last week. I was so delighted that I nearly inhaled my food. We ordered an extra chocolate layer cake to go.
With a figurative electric chair in your immediate future, what is your last meal?
The Treyf Buffet. If I'm going by electric chair, then I'm a bad person, so what the heck? I might as well chow down on every food restricted by Jewish dietary laws, starting with a huge serving of BBQ pork ribs.