I first stumbled upon Alana’s blog Fix Feast Flair through Twitter, and was immediately charmed. I loved her minimalist yet beautiful photographs and approachable voice, and knew the woman behind this blog must have major style (turns out I was right – gotta love a gal who can accessorize with a banana). A Hawaiian transplant currently living in Los Angeles, Alana is a talented baker (check out her 12 Days of Cookies!) and she gets crafty, too. Read on for our Q&A and get to know my newest Favorite Foodie!
What was your motivation for starting Fix Feast Flair?
From an early age, my father taught me to appreciate good food, the process of creating a great dish, and the value of presentation. A few years ago, I really started to fall in love with food blogs and the bloggers behind them. I loved getting to know them through the stories they told, both their recipes and their daily lives. I casually mentioned to my new boyfriend at the time (still my boyfriend) that I might start a blog. He asked me what I might like to call it and I came back with Fix Feast Flair. That year for Christmas, he gifted me these cookbooks, the URL, as well as the promise of helping me design my brand new food blog. After about two and a half years of waiting for the third component to be delivered, I was chatting with a coworker about a cupcake I had given him. It was of course packaged up in my typical style and topped with nasturtium petals from the rooftop garden of our old apartment. He asked what I wanted to do with all my baking/packaging, and I replied that I had been thinking about a blog for a few years. He told me I needed to start it that minute and the rest is history!
Where do you get inspiration and ideas for your posts?
I’m inspired by the incredible food blogging community, local bars and restaurants, visits to the farmer’s market, and most importantly family and friends. If I hear someone just had an awesome cocktail, I’m probing away asking what was in it, do they think it had this much of this or that much of that and then immediately getting in the kitchen to try to create something like it, that hopefully ends up being even better. A lot of my recipes are influenced by all the foods I grew up eating in Hawaii. I’m also half Japanese and like to explore that side of my heritage as well.
Describe a vivid childhood food memory.
I can vividly recall making my first Pommes Anna (my dad renamed it Pommes Alana) with my father. I can remember carefully slicing the potatoes using a mandoline, rinsing them, patting them dry, and then layering them, generously brushing on truffle butter and sprinkling salt and pepper between each layer. The sense of accomplishment I had after taking it out of the oven and tasting that first bite was indescribable.
Favorite music to cook to:
Gosh, that changes daily, but right now I’m all about The New Basement Tapes. Have you seen the special on HBO that documents all those talented artists putting [Bob] Dylan’s lost lyrics to music? It’s pretty brilliant and when I play it, I feel like I’m part of this group, creating something special.
Favorite food moment in a movie:
There are too many. But one of my favorites is Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, eating pizza margarita in Napoli, proclaiming she’s in love and having a relationship with her pizza. I fall in love with food on a daily basis, so I get the sentiment.
Fantasy dinner party guests (dead or alive):
Yotam Ottolenghi, Rene Redzepi, Christina Tosi, Chrissy Teigan, Audrey Hepburn, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake (but only if Jimmy Fallon is attending), David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash.
My ideal last supper would be… a mega feast of ahi sashimi salad, kalua pig, lomi salmon, piping hot rice, Hanalei poi, and a chocolate soufflé. My ideal sashimi salad looks like this: ahi sashimi (caught same day by a local fisherman on Maui) over a bed of napa cabbage, watercress, pohole ferns, dotted with wasabi goat cheese, sprinkled with sesame seeds, then lightly dressed in a sesame vinaigrette. Kalua pig is pork smoked and cooked in an underground oven, and lomi salmon is basically a fresh tomato and salmon salad with Maui onions, green onions and a sprinkle of Hawaiian salt. Hanalei poi is pounded taro root from Hanalei in Kauai.
The best thing I cooked lately was… actually baked, and it was these Brown Butter Thyme Shortbread Cookies.
An ingredient I’m intimidated by is… duck fat because… I’m sure it’s fantastic but I’m not a fan of eating duck and to think of cooking with its fat is just, errr… it repulses me just a little…?
What I love most about blogging… is the interaction between other bloggers and readers. I love how supportive the food blogging community is and how warm and inviting they all are. Not only are they all of that but they’re all extremely talented, creative, and funny as hell. As for the readers, there’s nothing quite like a reader posting a photo on Instagram, sharing the cake they made using one of my recipes, or commenting on how inspired they are to get in the kitchen. It’s magical.