Get to Know Guy's Grocery Games Judge Duskie Estes
Viewers may remember Duskie Estes from seasons 3 and 5 of The Next Iron Chef as the pigtailed, pig-loving, snout-to-tail chef. Duskie, who lives in Northern California with her family, runs Zazu Kitchen + Farm, Black Pig Meat Co. and MacBryde Farm with her husband. She also makes regular appearances as a judge on Guy's Grocery Games. And she's currently serving as a judge on the special All-Stars episodes. FN Dish caught up with the chef to chat about grocery stores — those different from Flavortown Market — as well as some of her favorite things when it comes to food.
Get to know this Triple G judge, and tune in to watch Duskie on Guy's Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.
Do you prefer shopping in a small market or a supermarket?
Duskie Estes : We prefer to grow our own food or buy direct from farmers. We are lucky in Sonoma County that we can. I like markets that have local artisan products. We like Oliver’s, Big John’s, Andy’s, Pacific, Shed, Bi-Rite, Farmshop and Pasta Shop.
Do you prefer self-checkout, online ordering or buying goods from a real person?
DE: A real person! I can’t handle self-checkout — my kids love it.
Is there one thing you can't leave a grocery store without?
DE: It’s-it (an ice cream sandwich made in San Francisco with oatmeal cookies and vanilla ice cream that’s chocolate dipped) or coconut peanut butter.
What's the one thing you love or hate most about grocery shopping?
DE: My husband, John, does most of the shopping for our family. I get overwhelmed; I end up just buying cheese.
Give me five ingredients or less in coming up with your best dish. What would your dish be called?
DE: Rabbit, corn tortillas, avocado, lime, cilantro (plus spices). Lucky rabbit tacos.
DE: I like ... [when] all the ingredients have to start with the same letter, or when Guy pulls the cart swap — it’s so harsh and hilarious.
DE: Making my grandfather’s birthday cake in the Easy Bake Oven when I was 5
DE: I'd want a BLT with our bacon and Tabasco aioli — as long as tomatoes are in season when I am dying.
What's the most-surprising or oddest thing we'd find in your fridge, food or otherwise?
DE: Pig heads or the rooster that John killed because it crowed too early
Where do you see dining trends going? Do you have one you absolutely love or hate?
DE: Sous vide is wasteful and takes the talent out of chefs, and foams don’t taste good. I hope [dining trends are going toward] more knowledge about where [food] comes from and more responsibility for the impact of our choices.
DE: Lard lather soap and lip lardo lip balm to use up all the lard that comes from making our bacon. We are also working on bacon hot links, pig face bacon and salumi. For summer and fall, we have a u-pick BLT truck in Healdsburg at Davis Family Vineyards.
Quickfire (Name the first thing that comes to mind):
Favorite holiday: Thanksgiving. It used to be my least favorite, because I don’t really like the traditional foods. But we redesigned the holiday a few years ago and cook our turkey the day before and have BLT (our bacon, lettuce, turkey, avocado and Tabasco aioli) sandwiches, and tons and tons of different chips, and we have a spinach dip contest.
Favorite kitchen tool: A good knife — not a gadget gal
Favorite sweet or dessert: Maple-and-bacon doughnut
Favorite salty snack: Red Hot Blues chips and cottage cheese
Tune in to Guy's Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.