An Interview with Diana Hsue, Queen of "Guess Where?"
|Diana, at what I believe to be the old location of Peter's Gourmade Grill...|
One of our favorite posts here is Guess Where?, where we put up photos of where we eat and ask ustedes to, well, guess where we eat. Doesn't get the most blog hits, but always awesome to see who knows their food and reward folks with small prizes.
The great thing about the feature is that all sorts of people win--that is, unless Diana Hsue decides to throw her hat in the ring. The Irvine resident is the undisputed champeen of Guess Where?--I stopped counting how many times she won after victory #7 (and those are just the ones under my reign administering this contest). The next closest competitor? I think it's 909Jeff, who has maybe 3--not even close.
Diana's great, and I asked her to respond to a couple of questions about her mastery of us.
What's your food background?
I have no food background other than being an avid patron and food adventurer. I love to eat and I love to try new things to eat. I also love to cook and bake and try my hand at amateur blogging (shameless plug: chompingboard.blogspot.com). I enjoy looking at food pictures and reading all things about food--restaurant reviews, chef stories, cooking techniques. That said, I am constantly thinking about the next restaurant (I have a Google map dedicated to restaurants to explore!) or recipe to try. I even plan my travels around food, certainly the highlight of any trip!
How the hell do you know where we eat so damn much???
I follow you. Each and every one of you. Just kidding, that would be creepy. But if it meant I was out there eating everywhere you do, I just might consider it! Let's just say I have a good eye for recognizing food. From reading your blog and other food sites, I've learned to identify and notice distinctions from one similar dish to the next. Taking all those observations, it's just the process of elimination to figure out where you might have eaten.
What advice would you give others who want to win?
Eat more, be observant of what you're eating and be familiar with the OC food scene. Gut reaction answers to the pictures are often inaccurate. Notice the details. And of course, faithfully read Stick A Fork In It!
What are some of your favorite restaurants in OC?
Favorites are hard to come by, especially when I'd rather try a new restaurant than stick to a handful. I do find myself returning to certain places for specific items--Rutabegorz (for their Garlic Chicken Salad), Kohryu (for their spicy miso kohryu ramen), Plum's Cafe (for their smoked salmon hash), Dat Thanh (for their spring rolls and coffee), and Hamada-Ya (for their green tea soft serve ice cream).
We've given you every possible gift we have to the point we can't give you much any more--why do you continue to play?
It's the challenge of it all! I enjoy looking at your pictures of food and the thrill of winning. I've been introduced to many new restaurants as a result of your blog and weekly challenge. Plus, I have hopes that one day I will receive some extraordinary prize in the mail...like tuition for culinary school...dinner at The French Laundry or Alinea...or plane tickets to go eat in Japan. A hungry girl can dream (Gustavo note: Um...how about busfare to Break of Dawn?).