Friday, February 5, 2010

Fabulously Fierce Friend, Sonja

To a certain degree, your friends define who you are.  You identify with them and admire them for their best traits and often take on the characteristics that you admire in them.  This series will profile some of the amazing people that I have met over my years in music and the food service industry.  I'd like to share with you how fantastic they are. Starting on the first Friday in February, I will publish a different Fabulously Fierce Friend's answers to a standardized list of questions along with a little of their backgrounds.  I think you will enjoy reading their responses as much as I have, and maybe even learn a little something along the way too.
Sonja writes: Sonja Tonnesen aka Mistress Botrytis was born and raised in New York, where she currently resides and serves as Director of Food and Beverage of the Millenium Hilton Hotel. 90 percent of her calories come from raw seafood and champagne. Sonja loves the Yankees, the novels of Tom Robbins, red and white Burgundy, and her 2 year old niece. Her ambition is to be Food and Beverage Director of the Universe, when along with Citrus Quark will spend the days educating people on the proper wine pairings for Everything Tuna with Cucumber Sauce and putting repeat offenders of the Never Order Fish and Chips policy to violent ends.
CQ: 1. Who are your role models - food related or otherwise?

Sonja: Julia Child, Andrea Immer Robinson, my mom, Deb Foster, Madeleine Triffon

CQ: 2. What is your drink of choice?

Sonja: Champagne

CQ: 3. What is your favorite cookbook or other food related book?

Sonja: Tie between Setting the Table and Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.

CQ: 4. What was your most memorable meal and why?

Sonja: March restaurant, winter 2003, 1964 Pomerol, amazing company, chef's choice of food, illegal cheese plate

CQ: 5. What is your favorite kitchen gadget or tool?

Sonja: Lime juicer, very sharp knives, Vita Prep

CQ: 6. If you had to make dinner with ingredients at your home right now, what would you make?

Sonja: What's in my fridge right now? Eeek. It would have to be either choucroute or thai chicken stir fry. I could make a decent bolognese if I was allowed to run out for heavy cream. That's about it.

CQ: 7. What kind of music do you like to listen to while you cook?

Sonja: Reggaeton or other Spanish music, Daddy Yankee, Bachata Heightz

CQ: 8. What is your philosophy on cooking and eating?

Sonja: Learn what you like and then cook and eat it whenever you like. You only live once. I ate tuna tartare for lunch every day last week. Cooking is an art, not a science, and if you don't like to do it you'll never be good at it.

CQ: 9. Are there any foods you can not stand to eat?

Sonja: Any kind of rice, hangar steak, olives

CQ: 10. If you could use any super power in the kitchen, what would it be and why?

Sonja: I would like to be able to shuck oysters using only my best evil glare.

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