Yesterday via her Facebook page, nationally lauded local dining critic Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl announced that beginning March 2 she will be hosting a new radio show on WCCO Radio every Saturday at 11 a.m. We caught up with Mpls/St. Paul magazine's senior editor to find out what we can expect to hear, what kind of wine pairs with pizza, and the kind of 'tude you can expect from a onetime City Pages reporter.
The Hot Dish: How did the opportunity with WCCO come to you?
Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl: I've actually been doing 'CCO since I was knee high to a grasshopper--first with Patrick Reusse, and for the past few years with Chad Hartman. We have a ton of fun. We'll actually be doing an hour a week on Chad's show about local restaurants, gossip, microbrews -- whatever Chad is interested in at the moment.
HD: What was the inspiration for the name, Off the Menu?
Grumdahl: It's actually a name I've had in my back pocket for a couple years, I like it because it's what everyone wants, right--the off-the-menu specials? But also because it dictates the intellectual territory of the show--I'm not going to stay on the menu, I'm going to go wherever I want! A holdover of attitude from my City Pages training, no doubt.
HD: Which chefs and tastemakers can we expect to hear?
Grumdahl: Maybe everybody? With 52 weeks a year, and a couple hours a week to devote to the topic, I'm hoping to be able to get past the big trend of the week and get to more interesting, developing stories as well. On my first tryout I had Mike Brown from Travail and Johnny Michaels from La Belle Vie and everywhere--I'll definitely want to have them back. They were good luck! I'm also hoping to have farmers, food makers, marketers. Food isn't about just what's going in your piehole in the next 10 seconds (though that is important!). It's also important issues both big (are we taking adequate care of wild pollinators?) and small (what does the price of land in Wisconsin have to do with the availability of free-range eggs?)
HD: Where have you been eating recently?
Grumdahl: Parka--it's my kids' favorite new place. And I love it because I can eat fancy yuzu tobiko blah blah while they eat a Rustica croissant and homemade chicken fingers. Win win win win win!
HD: What is your ideal meal?Grumdahl: Champagne, and something someone feels proud of and loves, whether that's grilled bread pizza in a backyard or something a good deal more complicated.
HD: Can I get a wine recommendation for a couch-bound date night featuring a Galactic pizza?
Grumdahl: Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel--environmentally friendly packaging, nice spicy depths, cheap as beer.
HD: Lastly, the world needs to know: Which wig for the March 2 debut?
Grumdahl: Don't know! Black-platinum ombre has been my lucky duck lately, but when I get nervous I fall into the arms of good ol' giant red Reba McEntire. Now you know how to tell how nervous I am. Red wig at dawn, sailors be warned!