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.

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Proverbs 3:5-6

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hector Santiago ... Representing!

"Lovin' Latin Food"
Saludos!  Bienvenidos!  I had a great radio show this weekend.  I themed it:  "Lovin Latin Food",  focusing on my own culture, Puerto Rico.   My spotlight guest was Hector Santiago of Top Chef, Season 6, and also a Puerto Rico native.   I went to eat at Pura Vida, his restaurant in the cozy Virginia Highlands, the night before our interview and was salivating over the tapas that we ordered.  (pictures are coming)  We got to speak with Hector that night, and I'm not going to lie -- I was a little nervous about him coming on to the radio program because he seemed so quiet and passive and ... a man of few words.  Now - I'm in radio.  It's all about bringing a huge personality to life to satisfy listeners over the airwaves!  So since Hector seemed quite passive and potentially shy,  I completely over-compensated in my preparation!  I knew I needed substantially more content to talk about in order to keep the conversation alive the next day on air. 

Luckily,  I was WRONG.
Hector came into the studios ready to rock n roll!!  He brought a fantastic dynamic onto air - because he was enjoyable, he was likeable, we laughed alot - talked candidly about his personal experiences and opinions about being on Top Chef .....

Hector gave away a couple free dinners at Pura Vida to some lucky callers,  talked about some great food of course, and found out some personal secrets as to what makes Hector Santiago,  Hector Santiago!


Have I mentioned yet how much I love my job??
I also had on the "Lovin Latin Food" show an intriguing Puerto Rican woman named Eris Garriga.  She is a multi-international-award winning cookbook author and just finished her new editions of both an English version and a Spanish version of her cookbook called "Homestyle Puerto Rican Cooking".  She is so warm and so lovely and so lively.  We had an enlightening discussion about latin cuisines in comparison to mexican food, and specific ingredients and spices which make the extreme differentiation.   It was delicious conversation!
This episode of "Dishing With Donna" brought a sweet and spicy recipe to radio!  I was so hungry by the end of this taping that I was immediately inspired to go home and try another round of Asopao  (a traditional puerto rican soup/stew dish).   The last time I tried to make this was during the SuperBowl,  and got so sidetracked with the game, that I screwed up my Asopao and let all the water boil out.   (go see my previous Superbowl blog!)

And of course, we can't leave out my wonderful sponsor - We Sell Restaurants - the nations largest restaurant brokerage firm, right here in Atlanta.   The presidents are Eric and Robin Gagnon ... who I'm enjoying more and more as every month goes by.

All the guests together:  Robin and Eric Gagnon, Eris Garriga, and HECTOR SANTIAGO.

In case you wonder what I'm always saying to close my show,  it's "Buen Provecho".  Which is the same thing as Bon Apetit.  (if I even spelled that right)  - but in Spanish.  I actually started saying Buen Provecho when I lived in Miami and was spending a lot of time learning the culture, the language, and the food from my Puerto Rican family there.   And in the spanish culture ....  everyone is family!!   
 So to you, all my listening family .....  BUEN PROVECHO!

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