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by Borderstan.com — August 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm 0

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos or email him at luis[AT]borderstan.com.

Author’s Note: At Borderstan.com you’ll always get food news from writers who actually eat in our neighborhood. They know where to find the newest rooftop bars, the brunch with unlimited Mimosas, and the best vegetarian options in the city. That’s why we’re giving you a chance to get to know the writers who bring you the best eats Borderstan has to offer. So, grab your fork and take a seat at our table.

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"food"

Ashley Lusk is one of Borderstan’s food writers. (Courtesy Ashley Lusk)

Ashley Lusk is a food writer for Borderstan.

What’s the best restaurant in DC? Why?

Lusk: The best restaurants in DC are the ones that are owned by people who live here. If you’re in the mood for good, humble American-style food, you can’t beat Open City in Woodley Park. But, if you’ve got some cash in your pocket and want a solid dining experience, head over to Cashion’s Eat Place in Adams Morgan. Not only will you get an aesthetically beautiful meal, it will be one you won’t soon forget.

Describe your food writing style; what kind of story are you looking to tell?

Lusk: Every meal has a story and some of my favorite interviews or recommendations find a way at getting to the heart of food. The best blogs and cookbooks convey the story of what it took to get the food to the table–the burned pie crust, or the laughter at spilled flour. I love that. One of my favorite stories for Borderstan was an interview with Chef Edam McQuaid and Chef Alex Vallcorba; when we met they described their love of the perfect pizza dough…you can taste that love in the food.

Which food writers are inspiring you right now? Who do you look to for food news?

Lusk: I’m loyal to a few food writers who dominate my Google reader and they are largely female writers: Deb at Smitten Kitchen, Ree Drummond at The Pioneer Woman, and vegetarian bloggers Alex and Sonia at A Couple Cooks. I live and die by FoodGawker. I love looking at food that I could actually make and feed to friends.

What is your version of comfort food?

Lusk: I became pescetarian two years ago and so many of the foods I associated with comfort — fried chicken, pork chops, bacon — were off the table. Today, my cravings fall more towards hearty pasta, white bean soup and this ridiculously good tofu dish from Veggie Belly. But, if you’re not of the vegetarian variety, you can’t go wrong making my mom’s signature dish: Melt In Your Mouth Chicken Pot Pie. You’re welcome for that one.

What is the cooking tool you can’t live without?

Lusk: How anyone ever got any cooking done without a spatula is beyond me.

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by Borderstan.com — July 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm 0

From Ashley Lusk. Check out her blog, Metropoetrylis. Find her on Twitter @arlusk or email her at ashley[AT]borderstan.com.

Author’s Note: At Borderstan.com you’ll always get food news from writers who actually eat in our neighborhood. They know where to find the newest rooftop bars, the brunch with unlimited Mimosas, and the best vegetarian options in the city. That’s why we’re giving you a chance to get to know the writers who bring you the best eats Borderstan has to offer. So, grab your fork and take a seat at our table.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

"Namita Koppa"

Namita Koppa is one of Borderstan’s food writers. (Courtesy Namita Koppa)

Namita Koppa is a food writer for Borderstan.

What’s the best resto in DC? Why?

Dino’s in Cleveland Park. I was introduced to it a few years ago during Restaurant Week, and now I go back every single year at the same time. The food is delicious, locally sourced unless it’s straight from Italy, and to my palate, as tasty on the tongue as anything I’ve had in Italy.

Describe your food writing style; what kind of story are you looking to tell?

The stories I like to share are about people, about connection and about food as nourishment for our lives. I love food, making friends and the quirkiness of everyday life. For me, food is very intimate and, therefore, a perfect excuse to cultivate relationships and shared adventures. Food is a tie that binds – anyone, everyone in the world can relate to cuisine, whether it’s gourmet Kobe-style beef or delicious, humble, homemade lentils.

Which food writers/photographers are inspiring you right now? Who do you look to for food news?

 My first hat tip goes to my very talented friend Sala, who authors Veggie Belly. Because I know Sala in real life, I can also see how her blog represents whom she is in so many ways. Her photographs and recipes are gorgeous, and much like her, very graceful in placement, presentation and purpose.

Locally, I regularly check Alicia Sokol’s Weekly Greens. I had the pleasure of randomly meeting her in a Mt. Pleasant coffee shop over a year ago. I was quite taken by her commitment to public health both in her career and personal life, and how effortlessly she seemed to choose kale over cakes (a battle that would be difficult for me!).

Other writers and photographers I follow include Nick at Macheesmo, Hannah at Honey and Jam and Tara at Seven Spoons. How can you not love a blog called Macheesmo?! I love how Nick breaks down his recipes in an easy-to-follow format, plus I find him hilarious. Hannah’s writing and photos about the seasons take me back to my childhood in South Carolina. Tara’s website has been active since 2005, and it’s incredible to read her stories as she transitioned from a lady with a boyfriend to a mother with two children. Her photography is beautiful as well, and she has a way of chronicling life events with exactly the right recipe.

What is your version of comfort food?

I grew up in a South Indian family in South Carolina, so my staples for no-good-very-bad-days are curd rice with tender mango pickle, savory pongal and peach cobbler. Nothing else will satisfy.

What is the cooking tool you can’t live without?

Easy – my rice cooker with attached steamer basket. I’ve made everything from bao to cakes!

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