As a youngster growing up in a Portuguese household with a large and hungry family, Paula Costa had been exposed to food her entire life and in the process, has learned to cook with a traditional mindset. Her culinary journey started in the humble city of Kitchener, where after years of watching her parents cook and it was time to leave the nest, she adopted her family’s cooking talents very adaptively.
Paula started her first blog, Dragon’s Kitchen, as a way to share recipes with friends and family and also surprise strangers who just happened to stumble upon her site. She has been featured in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life and The New York Post for her now famously prepared dinner: the recreation of the Titanic’s 11-course dinner menu, the night the ship sank.
Her blog is a testament to anything and everything she has experienced, created, cooked and tasted. Let’s hear what else she has to say….
When did you first start writing about food?
I started my blog, the Dragon’s Kitchen, back in 2008, as a way to share recipes with friends and family, but was pleasantly surprised when strangers began visiting the blog and leaving comments. It encouraged me to continue blogging and expand my online content.
What do you love most about food?
I love the way food comforts and unites people. We all have to eat so why not eat what we love and share it with others?
What do you do when you aren’t writing about or eating food?
I’m a computer systems analyst. Yes, I’m a total computer geek.
Do you cook? If so, what’s your speciality? If not, why?
Yes, I love to cook and bake. My speciality is Portuguese food and I make a pretty mean Portuguese custard tart, just sayin’. *winks*
What’s your favourite type of food(s) and where do you go to get it?
Don’t make me choose! I love all types of food but if I had to pick one, then I’d go with Mediterranean food. I love the foods of many countries so its hard to just choose one. Shame on you for making me try.
What’s your hidden gem?
My favourite hidden gem is Cameron Chinese Seafood Restaurant in Kitchener, ON. They serve the best dim sum I’ve ever tasted!
What’s your go-to restaurant?
I’m really craving La Carnita right now… and can’t wait to get there again as soon as I can.
What’s the most memorable meal you’ve ever had?
The most memorable meal I’ve ever had was this past April when I recreated the entire first class dinner menu that was served on the Titanic, the night the ship sank. The eleven course dinner commemorated the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated voyage. I prepared it in my home for a group of friends. It was a labour of love that left me exhausted and exhilarated.
What’s the one restaurant you have to try before you die?
I’m a big fan of Thomas Keller and hope to some day dine at the French Laundry in California.
What’s your biggest restaurant pet peeves? (play nice)
My biggest restaurant pet peeves are inattentive and/or rude staff.