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“I want this cookbook to read more like a book of short stories, because to me that is what a recipe really is. All of the recipes have a meaning or a story behind them. Some stories are sentimental and some are a hot mess.”–Kaylor-Griffiths on I’m Not Drunk, I’m Cooking, her new cookbook.

6 Things You Don’t Know About Me…

When I was growing up, my parents made me be a kid. I was forced to play outside and eat foods I did not like. It was the best childhood. I was super blessed. My grandmother, Ruth, used to pay my sisters and I to help with chores and other things.

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That is where my love for food and cooking began. Some of the first foods I remember making with her were green bean casserole and fried apple pies.

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Not many people know this about me, but when I was younger, I tried to become a singer, a journalist, and a radio DJ. I have always had a love for the arts. When I got my first radio for my bedroom, it was over. I got in more trouble for leaving my radio on constantly than anything else. That led to a job at the local radio station in high school. I also made a neighborhood newspaper that I would force my sisters to write with me and walk it around the neighborhood. A little entrepreneur. I also hoard koozies, so there’s that.

One of my favorite life hacks is saving my vegetable and herb scraps in a gallon freezer bag. When the bag is full, I will roast a chicken and use the bones to make chicken stock. Zero waste.

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I also love to substitute stock and broth when a recipe calls for water. It just adds a little extra delicious flavor.

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One thing I know I do well (or better than most) is staying connected with people. I enjoy writing letters and dropping a random hello. Developing and maintaining good friendships takes effort, but I will put in the work.

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I would love to meet (and even have lunch with) Gordon Ramsay, Padma Lakshmi, and the Backstreet Boys. Talk about a meal!

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If I could live anywhere in the world it would be to live everywhere.

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I would love to never stop traveling. Mexico, Europe, the U.S. – you name it.

12 Food Memories that Have Impacted My Life…

When I was little, I remember cooking ramen noodles on a step stool at the stove. I had on an oversized night shirt and it caught on fire. My older sister Lisa starts is yelling, “Stop, Drop, and Roll.” I yell back, “but I am stopped.” Then my mom comes and rips off my shirt and puts out the fire.

My little sister Cindy did not like hot dogs growing up and I did not like hamburgers. So, we would swap our food under the dinner table.

Making fried apple pies with my grandmother, sisters, and friends in her kitchen.

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Watching and helping my dad, Randy, pickle vegetables.

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Going to Italy with my mom Belinda and my sister Cindy and eating at The Michelin Plate restaurant, Baia del Silenzio in Sestri Levante, Italy.

Eating with my husband Christopher at Chef Thomas Keller’s three Michelin Star restaurant The French Laundry.

Going to London with my girlfriend Stephanie and having the Burrata with Fiorano olive oil at Padella in the Borough Market in London.

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Going to cover my first wine and food festival at Charleston Wine + Food and interviewing chefs.

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Appearing on an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

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My first date with Christopher and having sake for the first time. I was so nervous and shaking. He held the tiny cup up to my lips for me.

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Sharing my love of food and wine by throwing wine parties for my friends and industry people.

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Writing and publishing, “I’m Not Drunk, I’m Cooking” – Now available on Amazon!

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Mary Ann Kaylor-Griffiths:

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“I’m Not Drunk, I’m Cooking”

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