Get to Know Guy's Grocery Games Judge G. Garvin
Chef, cookbook author and TV host G. Garvin is a regular judge on Guy's Grocery Games. Now G. is the chef at Low Country in Atlanta, his hometown. But before that G. was responsible for launching numerous restaurants in Los Angeles, where he cooked for celebrities and world dignitaries alike. When G.'s not hosting his Cooking Channel show Road Trip with G. Garvin or judging on Triple G, he's developing his product lines, or taking time to mentor kids interested in culinary careers.
Get to know this Triple G judge, and tune in to watch G. on Guy's Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.
Do you prefer shopping in a small market or in a supermarket?
Garvin: It depends on what I'm looking for. I love, sometimes, the smaller market offerings, because they are really detailed, so rather than do a lot of things average, they will oftentimes have fewer things, of great quality. When it comes to larger markets, clearly if you're doing entertaining, home events, it's easier because you can just go to one place.
Do you prefer self-checkout, online ordering or a real person?
GG: A real person. Absolutely. For sure, a real person. … I think shopping is really important. Food is oftentimes an extension of who you are — if you're cooking for people … I think there's a certain personal element that you should never lose, and online shopping (while convenient), it's very impersonal.
Is there one thing you can't leave a grocery store without?
GG: Olive oil. I can never walk out of a grocery store without a really good olive oil. Not for cooking, but for salads or for my smoked salmon, my vinaigrettes. Absolutely.
What's the one thing you love/hate most about grocery shopping?
GG: The one thing I hate about grocery shopping is the attempt to rogue-shop. I'm a list guy, so when I forget my list I rogue-shop, which puts me over budget, which makes me purchase things I don't need to be purchasing (like lots of sweets). I'm up and down aisles, and it takes me longer to be in the store. When I got my list, I love it, because I'm in, I'm out, no sweat.
Give me five ingredients or less in coming up with your best dish.
GG: I would say salmon, corn, scallions, olive oil and arugula. And what I would do is I would quickly saute my salmon and I'd do a really quick saute of my corn (take it off the cob). So I'd do really a corn salad, if you would. I'd top it with the salmon and then I'd put a little bit of arugula right on top of it.
GG: I really like the ABC game. I love the possibility of pulling out a letter that could really throw you but makes you think about what you really get. The P is a really great example. When you think of P, you think "Huh?" But then you think of petrale sole, parsley, pear, pineapple, Parmesan cheese, pasta. So there's a lot of great things that come from the letter P, but you have to think about it.
GG: Popcorn, all day long. I'm a guy who works out six days a week (minimum), but I tell you, if I smell a bag of open popcorn, I'm done. I'm going to finish the bag.
GG: My first food memory was my mother. Even though I was probably 10 or 11, this is what stood out to me, was Spaghetti Meatball Fridays. So every Friday, my mother would make a big pot of spaghetti, homemade meatballs, homemade sauce and garlic bread. Then we would watch Good Times or The Jeffersons and go to bed.
GG: Well, you know, I don't want to think about my last dinner, because I plan on sticking around for a while.
What's the most-surprising or oddest thing we'd find in your fridge, food or otherwise?
GG: Yuzukosho. It's a Japanese citrus that is sort of fermented and sort of cooked down. You can only get it in really great sushi restaurants, but it's a really great ingredient and really, really expensive.
Where do you see dining trends going? Do you have one you absolutely love or hate?
GG: I think that dining trends are going towards the communal eating, which I think does a lot for the country. I think people need to be a lot nicer to each other, and I think communal seating really helps that. You're sitting next to people you would probably not usually sit next to, end up in great conversations — talk about food, life. So I'm absolutely with that, and I think that's where it's going.
GG: I just introduced a really great gourmet cookie line. I've got some really great flavors: caramel and sea salt, triple chocolate, brownie cookie, butter toffee … . That line is really important to me. Plus I've got my own sea salts from all over the world, and spices.
Quickfire (Name the first thing that comes to mind)
Favorite sweet or dessert: Candied bacon with caramel on it
Favorite salty snack: Popcorn with caramel on it. Sorry, it's good.
Tune in to Guy's Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.