This past month I had the pleasure of interviewing Linnyette Richardson Hall from the Style Channel and Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?
The interview is appearing in this month’s The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm ezine in its’ new magazine format. But we thought we would reprint the interview here while we are still working on the upcoming first annual Holiday Guide and all the festive products we will be featuring in the December ezine. If you are not subscribed got to http://www.marialiberati.com and become a subscriber, it’s free and you get a free excerpt from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking as a subscriber.
WHAT’S IN YOUR FRIDGE?
With a sense of good taste and unique style, the clients of wedding planner Linnyette Richardson-Hall, have come to rely on her “savvy” to make their celebrations shine! Artistic, intuitive and with a penchant for creating events that touch all five senses, Linnyette and her company, Baltimore-based Premiere Event Management, take weddings and special occasions to the next level for discerning clients locally, nationally and abroad.
Television audiences have come to know Linnyette as the out-of-the-box, no-nonsense, designing “Wedding DIVA”
on the Style Network’s hit reality series, “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?” as she showcases her flair for the unusual while sticking to the proper protocol needed at each nuptial celebration spotlighted on the show. She is also the Senior Contributing Editor and featured columnist for “Signature Bride” magazine, a wedding/lifestyle publication that is specifically designed for the African-American bride & groom.
A graduate of Western High School and the University of Maryland, Linnyette is a lifelong Baltimore resident and mother of two children, Matthew & Kamaria.
Premiere Event Management
….designers of amazing weddings & special occasions
Maria Liberati:*What is in your refrigerator now? What types of food do you like to keep on hand in your refrigerator?
Linnyette Richardson-Hall: Right now – there seems to be an abundance of veggies, turkey and fruits. I’m really trying to eat healthier, so I make sure I’ve got the right stuff on hand to keep me on track!!! I love having cheeses (all kinds), tomatoes, peppers, Vidalia onions, butter, chicken and sausage in the fridge – while I’m trying to do better with my eating…..those items help me whip up great meals for my family and friends easily and quickly!!!
ML:*What are your favorite foods?
LRH: I’m a girl with Southern roots – so I must confess to loving the beauty of perfectly fried chicken. However – I adore pasta, especially with a freshly made sauce of tomatoes and peppers, then dressed with some grilled or roasted chicken. I also love mushroom risotto, with lots of parmesan cheese and a touch of truffle oil. Last but not least – I love bacon. All of that fat just tastes so darn good
ML: *Do you stick to a special eating regimen?
LRH: I wish that I could stick to one – but I’m getting better about the choices I make. When you are knocking on the door of your 50th birthday like I am…you realize that this is really the only body you have – so take care of it. With all of that said, I’ve pretty much weaned myself off of junk food and soda – for me that was a tremendous thing! Now, I’ve definitely incorporated more veggies and fruit into my eating…as well as more seafood.
ML: *What foods do you like to indulge in?
LRH: All the things that are high calorie! The fried chicken, garlic mashed potatoes with lots of sweet, creamery butter, macaroni and cheese! But – I’m from Maryland, so if you put a table full of hot, steamed, spicy blue crabs in front of me – I’ll tear them up!!! And – make sure there’s a cold glass of beer to go along with it!!!!!
ML: *Is the kitchen an important part of your house?
LRH: The kitchen is such a central part of my home – it’s therapeutic for me to get in there and just start cooking!! There’s something relaxing about chopping, dicing, stirring and smelling the wonderful aromas that come from my dishes…and I love every moment of it! Both of my children are just as comfortable in the kitchen as I am, and when their friends come over – it’s off to the kitchen to make snacks or just hang out and watch me make something for them!!
ML:*Do you cook and/or enjoy cooking?
LRH: I LOVE TO COOK!! My family roots are in the South, so my great-grandmother had me in the kitchen with her at the age of 4 – and I haven’t grown tired of it yet!! Again – cooking is therapy for me, but I also view it as a form of art. It has such depth – and I see cooking as one way to impart my passion for life to those in my family as well as my friends. Everyone who knows me – knows that I love to cook, so dinner parties, barbeques and general get-togethers are “must do’s” whenever I extend an invitation. I so enjoy the fact that I can bring a smile to someone’s face by the mere fact that I prepared a dish that was simply wonderful!
ML: *Do you share your fridge with anyone?
LRH: Ah, yes. I share it with the rest of my household . My two kids (ages 19 and 12) as well as the matriarch of our family, my grandmother – who can still whip up a mean dish in the kitchen at the tender age of 81!!
ML: *What are your favorite things to cook?
LRH:I love to prepare chicken, seafood and pasta dishes. One of my most ‘”requested” dishes from my family and friends is a special little cornbread recipe that I’ve perfected over the years. As the weather turns colder, my phone will ring and the requests will come in from everyone – “When will the cornbread be ready?”It’s a closely guarded secret – NO ONE knows all of the ingredients, but I’ll share one with you – rendered bacon fat. High calorie – put inches on your waistline – bacon fat. But – the end result is a simply marvelous, smoky concoction that will have you begging for more!!!!!
ML: *Is there someone in particular who has influenced your cooking and/or eating habits, in what way?
LRH: I think that coming from a family that loves to cook and embraces the notion of good food has been the primary driving factor as to how I perceive my own cooking and cuisine style. However, my current eating habits have been motivated by my boyfriend – who’s definitely into preparing healthier meals and working out religiously. While I’m not as intense as he is – I have found that being around him has rubbed off on me, and as such – the components of my meals and what’s in my fridge and pantry are changing – for the better.
ML: *In your dream dinner party who would you like to invite to your home for a dinner party? (can be someone dead or alive, in the past or present)
LRH: My dream dinner party would consist of:My late mom – she was the person who introduced me to the world of entertaining at home and throwing fabulous parties. I’d love for her to see what her baby girl has learned!!!
Barack & Michelle Obama – something tells me that they would really enjoy a wonderful, home cooked meal!!
Aretha Franklin – I hear that the Queen of Soul is a legendary cook!!
For as much as I am changing my eating habits – this menu would be a straight-from-the-soul affair! How’s this for my dream menu??
Devilled Eggs – with my special crabmeat filling
Spring Green Salad with freshly made croutons and a warm honey-bacon dressing
Buttermilk Fried Chicken (lovingly prepared in my cast iron skillet!)
Delta Spiced Catfish (golden and crunchy on the outside – sweet on the inside)
Yukon Gold & Red Bliss Warm Potato Salad garnished with fresh chives
Collard Greens and Kale simmered with smoked turkey
Baked Macaroni & Cheese (I make it with 8-9 different cheeses!)
Ne-Ne’s Gourmet Cornbread (I’ve won 2 cooking competitions with this recipe!)
Lemon Meringue Pie
Peach Cobbler served a la mode with homemade vanilla ice cream
Sweet Tea and Lemonade Punch, spritzed with a sparking sweet white wine
For more great recipes ,get a copy of the bestselling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking at http://www.marialiberati.com
“Mangia Bene, Vivi Bene”