As all of you fabulous readers know, I love to surf the web and social media for all things food. Whether is be a prominent news feed or a Instagramer uploading amazing drool worthy food pics, surfing the web has become my everyday thing. I met April Wardlaw via social media and we have been keeping up with each other though likes and retweets. I kept my eye on April as she owns her own food business, is a food contributor for a popular magazine, and also holds one of the hardest jobs in the world, being a teacher. April was featured in my Foodie Holiday Gift Guide for Christmas, but I had other plans for April as I wanted to pick her brain about the food she cooks,her philosophies, and what made her take the leap and start her own business.
CS - Where did you get your education?
April Wardlaw - My tag line is that I'm a teacher by day, serious home cook and food entrepreneur by night. Therefore, I am proud to say I hold two degrees in Education: a BFA in Theatre and Education from Howard University and an MA in Educational Theatre from New York University. I've received no formal training in cooking. Everything I know was either passed down to me from the amazing cooks in my family or learned from lots of practice as well as reading and watching professional/celebrity chefs.
CS - Where did you get your experience?
AW - My experience in cooking comes from, like I said, lots and lots of practice. I love cooking at home and because I cook 3-4 times a week, that has given me lots of time to hone my skills. However, I also cannot discredit the experience I received, as a teen, working under my grandfather at The Alibi Club, one of Washington, DC's most prestigious men's clubs. Women, even to this day, are not allowed to serve food or bar-tend, so when I worked there I assisted my grandfather in the kitchen and washed the dishes. At the time, I thought it was hard work and I was encouraged to get an eduction so that I wouldn't have to work in anyone's kitchen. Though now I know that a love for cooking was instilled in me back then and alot of skills that I have now, I learned from my grandfather at the Alibi.
CS - Current job title?
AW - Job title 1: 10th Grade English Teacher for DC Public Schools
Job title 2: CEO of Popcorn Queens, a Gourmet Caramel Popcorn Company that I started with my Mom.
CS - What's 1 ingredient you have in your home at all times?
AW - I have lot's of ingredients that sneak their way into so many of my dishes but if I had to narrow it down to one thing that's a must have, it's Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Almost every dish, especially when cooking healthy, starts with EVOO. I like to buy it in bulk and when I'm getting low, it goes at the top of the list so that I'm never without it.