D.C.'s celebrity Chef Huda speaks on being CW's newest chef blogger, her favorite foods and how she's on her way to becoming the next Martha Stewart.
When did you first fall in love with the idea of being a chef? I started cooking when I was six years old. My mother owned a health food store so I was always around food growing up. When I started venturing into the workforce and relationships, food was also my stress reliever. When I finished school at the University of Maryland, College Park, I decided to go to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu College, started my own catering company, Pretty and Delicious, LLC, and it's taken off from there.
Do you remember the first dish you ever made? I was actually supposed to be taking a nap with my mom, but I snuck into the kitchen and decided I was going to bake a piece of fish. I put butter on it, and I really thought it was the best thing ever!
What's a day in the life like of a celebrity chef? I like to do yoga and Pilates in the morning. I pray and usually read or watch something that’s related to food I write a menu for the evening, head to the grocery store and then it's prep time. There's a lot to do, you’re planning for someone else to eat, but I love it.
I'm sure as a chef you receive a great deal of compliments on your food. What's the best one you've ever gotten? Well, one time I was cooking for someone who wasn't so nice at first. I made him a soul food dish and he said it reminded him of his mother's. His mother had passed away, so that meant a lot.
There are tons of reality shows out there about food now. Would you do a reality show that was centered around your life? I would definitely have to find the right fit for me if I was ever going to do one, but if you're passionate about something and able to express that on a national forum, then more power to you!
Tell us more about your CW blog , "A Happy Food Place." I’m very excited about my new food blog on their website. They have food bloggers, but I’m the only one in the area. We do a segment called “What’s for Dinner?” Wednesday, where I walked readers on what's fast, easy and delicious to make during the middle of the week. People can look forward to learning more about food in the area, cooking tips and some of my favorite recipes.
Where are some of your favorite places to eat in Washington D.C.? I love Eatonsville, Bond 45 and Filomena. Each restaurant has something unique and different about them. I especially love Italian food and a good noodle.
Who do you look up to in the food industry and in life? Emeril Lagasse and Marcus Samuelsson. Oh, and I absolutely adore Paula Deen. She'll put butter on anything. She just does what she wants and I love that. In life, I look up to my mother. I grew up in a single family home, and she just worked so hard. She's amazing and I appreciate her so much.
If you were to cook a dish for the first family what would it be? I'd definitely make something healthy like a herbal chicken, cous cous with grilled vegetable zucchini. It would be a summer dish, but fun.
Looking down the road 10 years, where do you hope to be? I want to have my own restaurant in D.C., and I want to be the next Martha Stewart. Well, the next Martha Stewart with more food and fashion of course. I want to do it all!
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