The "Dishing with Donna" Show is Atlanta's Only Celebrity Food, Wine and Restaurant Radio Program. Listen every Saturday @ 4:00pm on WGKA Talk 920am to hear Donna entertain listeners with celebrity interviews such as Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, or Ted Allen - as well as the exclusive inside scoop into Atlanta's very own restaurant scene.

Listen "Live" Every Saturday at 4:00pm on WGKA 920am

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God Bless Each and Every One of You!

Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'm Back!!

My favorite foodies,  although my blog site looks a little malnourished over the past month or two .... I am excited to say it is because I have been working hard on creating a whole new online image for Dishing With Donna.  Together with my branding firm,, we have almost completed constructing the new DwD website, which will have my Blog, as well as all videos and video streaming live from the studio, and also Celebrity recipes and still so much more!!!  
So please forgive me during our process .... as I have SO MUCH to blog about and update as soon as we launch the new site!!  (next week!)

Perk up those taste buds,  because I am coming right back!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

If The Coat Fits ... Wear It!

What a night!!!!  This past Friday night, I had the time of my life.  I was honored to be asked to come assist Senior Executive Chef to the Atlanta Braves, Chef Orazio LaManna, for the finale of his "Big Night Out" at the Stadium.  I was given an official chef's coat (which somebody tried to buy off of me)  and learned to cook with liquid nitrogen.  Our theme for the feast was "Sexy Southern Cuisine", and I chose to create Lobster Mac-n-cheese with exotic cheeses as my personal dish.  Little did I know .... Mr. lobster would be alive and kickin' for the demonstration!  Talk about some fresh meat.
This is how it works:  fans can pay $125 per person to come to the VIP Suite for a private cooking demonstration and included is an enormous spread of a gourmet dinner, free parking, open bar  (yes, open bar), and of course - the absolutely gorgeous and huge suite to watch the game - with private outdoor seating.  It was awesome.  I felt so blessed to be a part of it.

Talking to everyone and chatting it up is always my favorite part of any event I do.  Not only was the food simply delicious,  but we had great guests for the "Big Night Out" to enjoy the night with as well.  Unfortunately the Braves did not beat the Phillies that night ... but I am happy to now announce that we made it to the playoffs!!!  Go Braves!  So even though we had some Phillie fans in the suite with us ... it did not deter from our overall fabulous night of food, wine, fun, and fireworks!  Next season, I hope to be asked to come back again.  I was even given the full tour of the SunTrust Club  (30K per year per person to be a member) as well as the players Clubhouse, and got onto the field to watch batting practice before our culinary night began!  For dozens of more pictures - please go to the Dishing with Donna Facebook page.

There's only one thing that could have made this night better .... and that's being able to fit into my Braves chef's coat!!

- see Facebook for more details and pictures.
World Series ............. here we come!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Food Hypnosis

I'd like to think that I am adventurous and experimental.  I'm not afraid to try anything atleast once.  (ok... well maybe not "anything"!)  I don't think I could ever muster up enough courage to eat even a fraction of what Andrew Zimmerman tries on his tv show - Bizarre Foods.  -Yeah, I'll pass on the temporarily paralyzed live scorpions in a tangy soup broth,  or the fried pellet feces of some rare rodent!  Some extreme foodies may not be afraid to go there .... but this southern chica will admit defeat when my dish to taste contains potential DEATH in its ingredients!
However .... I'll still try more new things than the average person.  Which is why I thought it would be adventurous to step out of my box of failed attempts to try and lose weight.  Back in spring, I tried to lose 30lbs in 3 months.  I hired a personal trainer and everything.  -- Yeah.  That didn't work.
And along with a million other ideas  (yes, a million)  I never have been able to kick my bad habit of running to sweets-n-grease for comfort food and snacking.   It's my vice.  - Then I met Sean Wheeler of Pure Hypnosis.  He is an esteemed hypnotist who helps people overcome their addictions through hypno-therapy.  Which includes food addictions and over eating problems.
I have never been a believer of such practices .... so I thought I would bring him onto my radio show and learn more about his successful profession -- for my own selfish curiosity.  :-)

Sean offered to treat me to a hypnosis session, in order to help my subconscience NOT crave the fattening yumminess that I always run to.   I was game.  Bring it on.
But when I got there... my sense of adventure turned into an unexpected fear.  Shoot, I've never been hypnotized!  What if my brain gets STUCK like that????  And I cluck like a chicken for the rest of my life!  - I suddenly found myself nervous and not wanting to give up control of my mind.  In case you've never met me,  I happen to be rather a control freak.  So to "let go" into a mental state of subconscious suggestion .... my brain chose to be stubborn!  What can I say .... it's got a mind of it's on!
  (hahaha,  pun intended!)
To make a long story short,  I was there for over 2 hours, and I think I disappointed Sean when he realized I never 'went under', after all his hard work.  He said I wasn't 'open to the process'.  So technically, it didn't work. 
HOWEVER ... luckily, Sean records your sessions.  Now --- I can lay in the comfort of my own room at home, put the CD in, and let myself truly go and experience this surprisingly realistic and interesting exercise for myself.  The more you listen to the CD and practice these 'suggestions' ... the stronger it will effect your brain, and thus .... creating a new and improved mental YOU!  For whatever your addictions may be.

So.  As you are my witness ... starting tomorrow ... I am going to hypnotize myself  (-- that sounds funny)  every single day for one week.  -- Look at the date of this blog.   In one week from now .... you will have another Blog to read about it,  detailing the changes I've noticed and it's success for my life.  I have seen it work in other people and have heard amazing stories about this kind of therapy!!   I'm actually really excited.

I hate the gym.  So why not try hypnosis!   --- Hmmmm,  let's see .... drive to gym and be bored and miserable on some torture nazi machine ..... or lay in my bed and dream it to reality!!
Gee.  There's a hard decision.

 ----  Now where did I put my piece of pizza . . . . . . .

Monday, September 20, 2010

My "Big Night Out"

On Friday, October 1st ... I have been invited to be the "celebrity-guest" for the Atlanta Braves "Big Night Out"!  This is an icredible VIP evening which you can actually go and purchase tickets for yourself!  -- Right now.  :-)    Here's what I am so excited about .... the "Big Night Out" includes:
1.  Luxury Suite game Tickets
2.  Free Parking
3.  A private cooking demonstration by the Atlanta Braves Senior Executive Chef, Orazio LaManna  (and Me!)
4.  Gourmet Dinner
5.  Open Bar all night
6.  Lots of fun goodies!!

This is a special one night a month event that Chef LaManna created and October is the last one to be held for this entire year.  I am honored to be the "FINALE" guest for 2010.  This is going to be so much fun!! 
Our theme is "Sexy Southern Cuisine"  and I get to create lobster macaroni and cheese ... but here's the twist .... we're killing the lobsters right there in front of you, and thus using the freshest meat you can find.  It is going to be beyond delicious,  and I'm salivating just thinking about it already!  (not so excited about killing the lobsters in front of an audience)
Also,  Chef informed me we will be 'playing' with liquid nitrogen!  Even more fun!!!  It is a growing popular technique for cooking dessert foods especially like ice cream - milkshakes - popcorn balls - etc....  But it's dangerous!  - It's not like every morning you wake up and think to yourself, "Hmmmm,  I think I'm in the mood for some liquid nitrogen today".  I've seen it on TV -- shows like Top Chef and even Next Food Network Star ... and I know Richard Blais here in Atlanta serves liquid nitrogen milkshakes from his restaurant in Midtown called FLIP ..... but I've still never seen it done in person before.  Much less get to play in it all by myself!

As I write this blog,  there are only 10 tickets left to sell.  After that,  the private cooking suite is over capacity and tickets will no longer be available.    It's $125.00 per person and just click on the link below to order.
Buen Provecho and can't wait to see you lucky 10 on October 1st!!
Fireworks Extravaganze to follow!!!   Finally!!

(pictures will definitely be coming)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sweet Potato Salad - Restaurant Style!

If memory serves me correctly, this may just be the very first recipe to ever hit this DwD Blog.  I couldn't resist it ... after last weekend's Recipe Showdown, my stomach hasn't stopped craving this delicious and most popular side dish from one of Historic Roswell's hot spots - INDIGO.   Chef Todd Hogan proudly created this dish and if you love some great southern flair .... then try this winner next time you are looking to impress even your own taste buds!


3 large Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
3/4 cup Red onion, diced
2/3 cup Celery, diced
1 tbsp Ginger root, peeled and grated
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 tbsp Parsley
1/2 cup raisins
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp pepper

* Cook potatoes in salted water until tender.  Cool on sheet tray
* While potatoes cool, place all other ingredients in mixing bowl and mix together
* Fold in cooked potatoes and allow to sit for at least 4 hours before serving.
(optional:  you can serve this warmed as well .... Mmmmm!)

Not only does this dish capture the sassiness of the south,  but it will have your kitchen smelling like a southern dream.  Happy Cooking and let me know how it turns out for ya.

Thank you Chef Todd Hogan (and Owner) of Indigo Restaurant.
Buen Provecho!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Recipe Showcase

I know, I know.  I was bad last week and didn't update the blog.  I will be honest and say that I have had a rough past 2 weeks.  Forgive me for the delay ... I was in a car accident which totalled my car 2 weeks ago and then had to go off to South Carolina to be the "Hope Speaker" at a women's motivational conference this past week.  (a blog about that is coming!!)  When I think all along,  I was the one who needed the motivation.  - God and his timing.  Doesn't he just have such the sense of humor!

I barely made it to my radio show this past Saturday.  I came flying in from South Carolina, straight to the studios, and running down the hallway, exploding into the Live studio like a tornado -- threw on my headphones, and in one nano second .... had just enough time to take one breath before immediatly saying  "Hello and Welcome to the Dishing With Donna Show".   And this is no exaggeration!!  I have witnesses.  It turned out to be quite hysterical!  - Gotta love Live radio.
My show for the day was RECIPE SHOWDOWN, with noted chefs and restauranteurs around Atlanta coming in and sharing the actual recipe of one of their most popular menu dishes.   It was delicious!  I had the pleasure of having Gus Tselios, owner of Marietta Fish Market/Marietta Diner/Cherokee Cattle Co./Pasta Bella  (whew!) give us the recipe to his famous all-seafood hearty stew in a tomato base.  I had Todd Rushing, a long time friend of the show, from Concentrics Restaurants  (One Midtown Kitchen, Two Urban Licks, Parish, Tap, Stats, Room, Lobby, etc.....)  break down the techniques of braising vs. brining - with so many ideas and tips for each.  Then I was also excited to finally have Chef Todd Hogan, owner of Indigo in the quaint and gorgeous Historic Roswell, come and offer his prized recipe for Sweet Potato Salad from his restaurant.  - I think the entire studio was salivating by the end of the hour!   Great show.

Hard to believe I just flew in at 90mph (literally) and made it in my seat with less than a millisecond to air.  Thank you to my guests who were all equally fabulous and made me very hungry.  Thank you for the recipes,  WHICH, ... should be uploaded to the DwD Website on my Recipes page within 24 hours from now.   So make sure you go up and click on my tab to the website and go try these amazing recipes for yourself!  Straight from the menu of their restaurants to the table in your own kitchen.
 . . . . I don't know about you,  but that Sweet Potato Salad is calling my name . . . . . and its quick and easy to whip up!  And ofcourse,  what kind of host would I be if I didn't tell you to GO TO THESE RESTAURANTS.  Support our local culinary visionaries.  Your taste buds depend on it.

- Mine do! 
Ho hum,  what a hard job .... but somebody's got to do it!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Food and Fireworks @ the Stadium

I can't help it!  I just HAVE to say it again ..... I'm sorry,  I know I say it all the time ... but .... I LOVE MY JOB!  Especially the 'perks' I get to experience are so wonderful with such wonderful people involved, that it just fills me with enormous gratitude and wonderment.  I know I am blessed
And what a terrific night I had last Friday at the Braves game with my special friends and guests as Chef LaManna invited us for dinner at the 755 Club, along with fabulous seats for the game, and a private tour of the "Big Night Out" event he hosts every month.  Which I will be by his side on October 1st during the hour long cooking demo as his bouncy sous chef!  - (More information on that coming soon ....)  -Should be a deliciously unpredictable demo!

My friends for the night were Todd Rushing, of Concentrics Restaurant Group, and his adorable wife Laurie, as well as Dan Hott who is my Director of Operations and who accompanies me on most all DwD events and outings.  The four of us are good friends together and the night was fabulous.  At dinner, I enjoyed the special seafood of the night which was fresh flounder coated in crab and shrimp and yumminess.  And Chef LaManna treated us to a beautiful sample dish of several desserts, which I could not say no to of course!  That would be so rude of me not to eat every last little morsel of crumb on the dessert plate .... right???  ;-)

The only thing that I didn't get to do was watch the fireworks.  BUMMED ME OUT,  I can't even explain.  I had talked about not seeing fireworks in years and years and how cool it was going to be to see them in person for the first time in ages and obviously I was excited!  Well.  As the very loud fireworks were going off for nearly 10-15 minutes outside .... I was in a hallway inside walking towards the doors to leave. -- Listening to the crashes right above my head and the explosions I so badly wanted to see!  We were chatting with Chef LaManna - which was great - but I couldn't understand why we weren't talking outside?!?!?!?!?  Lol,  I have to admit -- it was killing me. I felt like a kid.  Dan knows and would laugh telling you the story from his angle, I'm sure!
So,  Chef -- on October 1st,  if that's a Friday night ... I am SO watching the fireworks!!!    ;-)

(I only blow dried my hair out ... why are people going crazy over this?)


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Atlanta Braves - Chef LaManna

I was tempted to put a different picture up as my first attention-grabbing photo for this blog ... but if I want to maintain any sense of dignity ... I'll save the embarassing ones for later.  - I can't help it, when there's good food around, I just get so excited!  Especially when it is brought to me by surprise, like this past Saturday when Atlanta Braves Executive Chef, Orazio LaManna, showed up to my studio and unveiled one of his favorite dishes on the 755 Club menu.  This delicious waffle sandwich is called "The Hammer": southern-fried chicken breast on toasted waffles with apple-smoked bacon, fried onions, pepper jack cheese and pecan-maple mayonnaise.  Not only did this excite me to taste, but between every commercial break -- my other returning guest, Herb Mesa, and I could not stop shoveling them down our mouth before we had to come back on air!

Also on the show this week,  to one very special lucky caller -- we had a fabulous giveaway live on air for 4 tickets to an Atlanta Braves baseball game, along with a dinner for 4 in the 755 Club. 
Wow!!!  Chef LaManna told us a couple funny foodie stories about Bobby Cox as well as Brian McCann - and learned what really does go on at these exquisite banquets of feasting for the players every single game.  - Yes ... every single game!  The players get to feast like gods on lobster, filet mignon, sea bass, shrimp and crab legs, prime rib, hams, etc..etc.. each and every single game.  It was fascinating!   And ofcourse, Herb was there cracking jokes the whole way through.

It was definitely a chow down day in the studios. 
I am happy to say that Chef LaManna has invited me to do a VIP demonstration with him behind the scenes at Turner Field on October 1st.  This day is perfect since it's an end of the season home game against the evil Phillies.  ;-)  I couldn't be more excited!   I am so very blessed to do what I do, and had an excellent time with my featured guest.  And ok ok ok ......  here is the one picture of me first taken as Chef unveiled the yummy food .... this was my initial reaction:

Chicken and waffles.  Never thought I'd say this ..... but MAN is that good soul food!  Who would have ever thought to put that together? -- I guess kind of like cinnamon buns and chili.  Bet you didn't know that when mixed all together in a bowl .... you have just created fabulosity.  Think outside the box people.  It's okay to play with your food.

Friday, August 20, 2010


The "Dishing With Donna" Show has MOVED!!!

Starting immediately, DwD is now officially aired at 4:00pm,   no longer 2pm. 
ALSO,  if you missed it,  you can catch a replay of the show again on Sunday @ 6:00pm!

Then additionally, DwD has been picked up by another radio station too! 
The new 1190am THE BIZ will now play DwD on Saturdays @ 5:00pm.

................ Please make a note of the changes and join us in our excitement. 
Many new things to start happening as well!  STAY TUNED!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The End. -- Or is it??

This is officially my last blog about Next Food Network Star.  I have loved this season so much and have had the opportunity to truly be involved all along.  But as all good things must come to an end  (including buffets)  this season ended on Sunday night with what I am calling, the Big Bang Let Down.
The viewing party for Herb Mesa was held at Via restaurant and lounge in the heart of Buckhead.  He rented out the entire venue just for his friends and family to watch the very last episode.  The finale!   I was invited to attend - as well as teach a salsa dance class.  Where did that come from???  And the party itself was a smashing success!!  A Big Bang!!  Entirely way too much energetic fun!   (is there really such a thing as 'too much fun'??)  I don't know,  maybe we should ask Herb.

Atlanta finalist, Herb Mesa, during one of his many announcements throughout the night.  (I think he likes the microphone!)

The evening was filled with music and fabulous food . . . . and of course, Food Network. 
Former finalist Brianna Jenkins joins the party!

Yeah, I was rockin' the big hair.

As the big screens were playing the finale of the show,  Via was sitting on pins and needles waiting to see who Food Network would announce as the winner.  Was it going to be Herb??  Did he do it??  I mean,  his adorable little mother flew in all the way from Puerto Rico just for the show, as well as out of town friends.  His wife was on his arm, his 2 little girls were there ready for their own cameo .... everything looked like it was going in Herb's favor.  Even the tv judges were singing his praises!

As Herb was explaining to everybody here in this picture .... despite the fact that he did not win the show, nor his own show, he is still overwhelmed and blessed and grateful to have had this entire experience.  It was bittersweet.  And the fact that Aarti was in fact the winner - that didn't stop Herb from cranking up the salsa music and dancing the night away --- Latin style!!  Before leaving the swanky little shindig,  Herb and I stole a moment outside together for a quick 5 minute on camera interview which should be uploaded on YouTube a little later this week.  Make sure you go and check it out!! 

-- But please excuse the fact that we are both sopping wet from sweat -- we probably put a glare on your screen from it!  But what are ya gonna do!?!?  That's what happens when you get 2 latinos on a dancefloor together . . . the party never ends!  And Herb,  I believe your party is just beginning.  Congratulations.

(hey,  who's brilliant idea was it to do our camera interview at the END of the night anyhow???)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Herbalicious Times TWO

Ladies and gentlemen .. he did it again!  Herb Mesa from Atlanta is going to the finale of Next Food Network Star!!  As the previous blogs have been detailing,  our friend Herb is continuing to wow the Food Network judges and after all these weeks of intense yet entertaining competition ... it has come to this.  The last episode.  The finale.  Who will win their own new Food Network tv show???  -- Well many people came to TWO Urban Licks in downtown last Sunday night to find out.  Every Sunday night is a viewing party for Herb  (and originally for Brianna as well)  (Team Sexy!) and I went yet again this past weekend.  - And ofcourse,  with the famous "Herbalicious" drink in my hand -  we all had too much fun.

(Hi Brianna!)

This upcoming Sunday is the grand finale being held at HAVANA CLUB in Buckhead.  I will be there actually teaching a Salsa class!  Salsa the dance,  not salsa the food.  So please do come out and meet me, meet Herb and all his posse over at Havana for a great celebration night, open to all. Just $10.00 to get in.  I'm sure there will be plenty of "Herbalicious" to go around.    (plus an open bar)  Then after this Sunday night ... it's all over.  No more reporting on The Next Food Network Star.  Ho Hum.

---- Well,  until next season that is!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hungry for High School?

Ok, I debated and debated whether or not to write about my recent high school reunion, held informally at Fado's in Buckhead.  I chose not to attend my 5 year reunion.  I chose not to attend the formal 10 year reunion.  And for the 15th reunion . . . . there was no reunion.  But then someone had the brilliant idea of hosting a "Fashionably Late" reunion to make up for it,  thus creating ... the first ever, 16 Year Reuinion for Roswell High School, Class of 1994.  An informal social gathering for happy hour at Fado's just 2 weeks ago.

(there was not enough room for a full group photo ... this is the closest we could get)
Luckily, thanks to Facebook - many of us have already reconnected and rekindled friendships.  Otherwise, this would be the first time I have seen anybody in nearly 20 years.  What I found shocking was how many of my old friends are still living .............. in Roswell.  And yet I can't pick on them,  because so am I.  Funny how the world works.  My date for the evening was actually a middle school friend of mine, Megan, and we were the first to arrive!!  (should that be embarassing?)

I know I am a foodie show and my blog is supposed to center around all things food-entertainment.  So I will just interject briefly to include that the stuffed mushrooms with a 3 cheese blend and bacon was absolutely delicious.  - There.  Now can this be constituted as a food blog??  ;-)
Honestly,  these moments are just a picture in your life to be remembered - and I thought it was worthy to include for the world to see here on this blog.  (-- plus, I've had school people asking me to post something!)  So this for all you aggressive Hornets who just want to see more of your own pictures online.  Haha.  A big thank you to Fado's, Mandy Stokely Russell, and Nicole Hausleiter Davis.  Also to my date Meggie, and my life long friend Carrie - for making the evening so delicious.  Cheers to all of you!

I thought we were 35 now, but it looks like here we're still stuck at 15! 
Now, let me preface and tell you that I am NOT a drinker,  unless it starts with W and ends in 'ine'.  And on the  rare occassion that I would drink anything other than wine or diet coke ... it is certainly not shots.  I graduated from doing shots before I ever graduated from college.  -- However,  when I'm surrounded by old friends asking me to try something called CHRISTMAS IN YOUR MOUTH ... and they are paying for it ..... shoot,  sometimes - it's just time for a holiday.

I gave a new meaning to Big Bang Theory! -- But hey,  my bangs were tame in comparison to the everlasting walls of hairspray created by other girls.  This was 'nuthin!
I promise to all my fellow foodie readers, FOOD is about to be served.  Stay tuned and keep reading.
- Until then,  Go Hornets!  Sting 'Em!!!