Whaley, a Rice University graduate, talked to me about her cooking blog, Dash of Decadence, which, "represents the idea that you can create a little bit of luxury in everyday life, especially at the table."
No advanced culinary skills are needed to enjoy this blog, since Whaley says she wants it to be a guide for any learning or experienced home chef.
Mike McGuff: What made you start writing a food blog?
Katherine Whaley: It’s fun! Food blogging is a combination of some of the activities I love most: cooking, writing, and photography. It was also practical -- people would ask for a recipe I had made, and posting to a blog was the most efficient way to share my creations with friends, family, and viewers. Because I give a little bit of background in each entry (who I was cooking for, the occasion, etc.), the blog has evolved into a journal of special memories I shared over food. Plus, it’s my blog, so I get to be the boss! How fun is that?!
How long have you been a foodie?
Being a TV reporter turned me into a foodie! The news business brought me to several cities with specific regional cuisine, and I was curious about how to cook those dishes at home. When I worked at the CBS affiliate in Lafayette, Louisiana, I picked up tips on gumbo, sweet potato pie, and fried okra. When I worked at the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas, I had the opportunity to interview chefs who made “fancy food” -- lobster bisque, foie gras, foams, powders, truffles, towers, and so on. I ate it up! But, I wasn't always an adventurous eater – I subsisted on hot dogs and PB&J until I was about ten.
How difficult are the recipes you post for the average home chef to make?
Easy…Seriously! I post pictures of all of the ingredients and steps of each recipe. It’s very visual. Some dishes are perfect for quick, healthy weeknight dinners, others are better suited for occasions where you really want to “wow” your dining companions with something sinful. I’m a “little bit of this, little bit of that” kind of cook, so blogging encouraged me to record the process.
What is your favorite dish/food type?
Tough question! I eat whatever I’m craving, and I will try just about anything. I’ve been cooking a lot of Italian lately since it is such a crowd-pleaser, but there’s rarely a week that goes by without a Tex-Mex run. I like rich food (think chocolate, red meat, and cream sauces), but I balance it out by cooking with a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially in summer. Houston boasts an abundance of innovative cuisine, so I am always on the hunt for new or undiscovered restaurants!