Keia Mastrianni is not a native Charlottean, but she is from the deep South. Born in Santiago, Chile and raised by New York Italian parents who blessed her with a name of Hawaiian origin, Keia Mastrianni was born hungry, pen in hand. She is currently on a mission to write about the things she loves, particularly food and our connectivity to it. Keia maintains a happy food blog called The Sunnysideup where she shares recipes and culinary musings. She is a contributor at Charlotte Viewpoint and also regularly contributes to Creative Loafing and their food blog, Eat My Charlotte. With a curious mind and passion for eating local, you can find her frequenting the Davidson Farmer’s Market or taking way too many pictures of food.
What’s your favorite childhood food memory? I remember my grandmother, Grandma Liz, cooking me farina in a small saucepan on the stove which she topped off with a pinch of salt and pat of butter. It was the most comforting dish.
What’s your most memorable meal (good or bad)? I traveled to Australia in 2000 and spent time in the desert near Ayers Rock. One night we were dropped in the middle of the desert with a group of people to dine outdoors, under the stars, on crocodile, kangaroo and emu. Once in a lifetime experience, for sure.
Do you garden? Since moving to North Carolina, my fiancé and I have developed a green thumb for vegetable gardening. We have a 16x16 foot plot where we garden year round. This has also opened up new pathways for us to talk freely about worm poop, glorious worm poop.
Kitchen pet peeve? My fiancé also likes to cook which means that the ingredients I buy for a particular recipe go missing when he gets to cooking in the kitchen. Grrr.
What cookbook gets the most workout in your kitchen? That is 100%, most definitely, hands down, Super Natural Everyday by food blogger turned author, Heidi Swanson.
Pancakes or Waffles? Lemon ricotta pancakes forever.