I'm really enjoying this series of women in food interviews, and I hope you are too! So far we've talked with women who started food businesses that sell product to consumers but today we're talking with the general manager of a four start restaurant in NYC who also runs a catering business. Oh, and she's 25. She's a bad ass.
Danielle Marullo was actually recommended to me as the next women and food interview subject by someone on Instagram. Which is just another example of why social media is so cool. On that note, if you can only read one answer in this interview, make it question seven about the 'hashtag' advice. Brilliant.
1. Tell us about yourself and your business.
My name is Danielle Marullo and I am a prime example of the saying “age is just a number.” At the age of 25 I am the General Manager of a fine dining restaurant in a 5 star hotel In New York City, a food blogger, the owner of a catering business and finally an aspiring cooking television host. My website Gotroomformore.com as well as my Instagram @gotroomformore is my way of sharing my passion for food as well as my original recipes and instructional cooking videos with viewers all over the world.
2. If you could define your food philosophy in one sentence it would be….
Food is what brings communities together, whether it be people from different ethnicities, religions or backgrounds, it is the one commonality that every culture shares, and I think that is such a beautiful thing.
3. What are your 3 must have foods in your kitchen?
My 3 must have foods in my kitchen are 0% fat plain Fage Greek Yogurt, Honey and lemons. Greek yogurt is a low calorie, fat free substitute for ingredients like mayo, sour cream, heavy cream, creme fraische and more! Honey is a delicious and natural way to add a little sweetness to both savory and sweet dishes. I love to add it to things like guacamole to balance out the spiciness and to add an unexpected pop of floral/sweet flavor. Just a tiny drop of lemon in almost any dish amplifies the flavor and seasoning. Almost every recipe needs the right amount of acid to really brighten it up and balance the flavors.
4. It’s your birthday. What are you eating?
I am eating a very large cheese plate full of all kinds of cheese, from goat to La Tur, Cheddar to Smoked Gouda accompanied by nuts, dried fruits, honey comb and fresh toasted baguette. On my birthday (or any day for that matter) I will always finish my meal with an extremely rich chocolate dessert.
5. Signature cocktail?
I love any cocktail with ginger in it! I love me a Moscow Mule!
6.Food you can’t like no matter how hard you try?
Most types of Curry. Unless it is a small amount of yellow curry in a Thai style dish or something involving coconut milk..I usually pass up on it. I have an aversion to the smell, but I am working on it. I am determined to like it! I did that with raw oysters and now I LOVE them.
7. What are your go-to resources for all things food (websites/magazines/groceries etc)?
When I am creating new recipes for my website, I like to go to local markets like Eataly and even Whole Foods and roam through aisles, the produce section and the butcher/seafood section. The produce section alone always inspires me because it changes with the seasons, so new things are always popping up. When something is in season like Black Mission Figs for example, I will put them in the front of my shopping cart and then stroll up and down the isles looking for inspiration until I come up with a new and innovative way to utilize them in a dish. Another way I like to get inspiration is by going to the search bar on Instagram and typing in one ingredient under “Hashtag.” I did it the other day with Squash Blossoms and 8,000 photos came up showing amazing and inspired dishes from all over the world that utilize Squash Blossoms. It is a great way to discover new food bloggers as well as to find new combinations of ingredients and flavors that you wouldn’t normally think of yourself.
8. Food fad you wish would die a horrible death? Cupcakes!
I make a mean cupcake and I can’t say I don’t enjoy one once in a while but common, it is so overdone! I am bored!
9. Must have kitchen tool:
A Wooden Spoon. Growing up in an Italian American household, I was always in the kitchen with my mother and grandmothers, especially on Sundays. I have so many fond memories of them hovering over a huge pot of sauce or homemade soup with an old, worn out, partially burnt, wooden spoon in hand. I just always felt like the wooden spoon made everything taste better. Everything always seemed more rustic, more authentic and more from the heart. So here i am, now a professional chef and restaurant manager, and next to my beautiful new tools in my knife bag is my grandma’s old wooden spoon. Funny story- I once used my spoon in culinary school and my Chef instructor told me to put it away, as it was a ridiculous and small tool to be using in a professional kitchen, but there was no way I was putting that thing down. If it was my grandma in the kitchen, she may have slapped the chef in the tush with the spoon..they are great for that too.
10. What’s the one thing you learned this year that changed the way you think about food?
Waste should be minimal in the kitchen. I had the opportunity to breakdown a whole pig this year and utilized every single piece of it, head, trotters and all! Whether it be animals or fruits and vegetables, you can get more for your money if you just get a little creative and open your mind to new flavors and textures. You may be pleasantly surprised, I know I was!
Dietitian Nutritionist and cookbook author sharing flavor-forward recipes and simplified science-driven wellness.