CA: Who are the people behind Small Chicks Big Eats?
Jessica: That’s Alex and I’m Jessica
Alex: I’m Alex and that’s Jessica (both laugh). We also have an Internet Media Associate whose name is Erica. To be clear SCBE isn’t just us, it is everyone who engages in it. Anyone who takes a recipe and recreates it from us, they’re apart of SCBE. The people who support us and help us do things to evolve, they’re apart of SCBE. For us, Jessica is very artsy and creative and I’m just very business savvy. That’s what makes the team work so well.
Jessica: And we both know how to cook really good.
CA: Why the name Small Chicks Big Eats?
Jessica: I’m 5’2”
Alex: And I’m almost 5’2”
Jessica: Alex is one of those people in denial who go to the DMV saying she is 5’3.5”. She got the fraction on the ID (she is one of those people).
Alex: ….And I’m almost 5’2. We’re 5’2”. The reason why I got it because I needed something fun and creative. The big eats wasn’t for just the meals but how the abundance of where you’re going and what you’re doing with food. It was putting two little things together and that is what ended up coming from it. I just wanted something fun and creative. It is not only dedicated to small girls.
CA: How did you even fall into the idea of blogging about your love for food?
Jessica: Alex started it and we have been roommates for about two years now. I would say about a year ago, she introduced it to me and asked me if I wanted to be apart of it. It initially started because we would come home and cook all the time. We moved to California and we wanted to relaunch it to make it more us. That is when it started being both of ours. The creation of it was all Alex.
Alex: It started in 2012 and it was just because of the love of food. It branched out from my personal blog. I thought food was a big category so let me do something bigger with it. I have some old posts of what it was in 2012. If I show you that versus what it is now, you would be really amazed by what it has become. It has turned into something beautiful. I am very proud of what it’s turned into and when you have a good team, it makes it easy. Everyone brings their own personality to the table and makes people want to be more involved and engaged. It is nice to know it was this at one point, it got revamped, and things moved over. There were some changes and where its at now is not where I imagined it to be when it got started two years.
CA: How long have you been cooking?
Alex: My mom taught me how to cook when I was younger and then her second husband continued the teachings. I would have to feed myself and everybody else. The creativity level changes when you have a blog entirely. Normally, you would feed yourself and say alright I’ll make this for this week and might do it next week. Now, I have to switch it up. I have to think on a creative level what people are going to like and how people are going to enjoy what you do. This is followed by what do I like that I can share with everybody else. The creativity level changed when the food blog started more for me than anything because I have to consider everybody else not just myself.
Jessica: I moved out of my house at 17. Cooking for me was like if I don’t cook, I’m eating McDonald’s everyday and become a fat lard. That is not what I wanted because I am 5’2”. So being a little ball is not exactly what I wanted for my life. Cooking was a necessity and my father raised me. He was a man who knows how to make spaghetti and that is about it. I wanted to make a little bit more than spaghetti. Once I realized I had to do it, I wanted to learn more about it. Then people started eating my food and saying wow you are kind of good at this. I started looking at recipes and actually caring about it more. It definitely came from survival.
CA: You have done a lot of traveling inside and outside of the country which means you have a wide range of experiences in food. What are your top 3 places in regards to food?
Jessica: There is no place like NY when it comes to culture of food. Everything is there for you because these people from their homeland brought it with them. New York is a place you can go to experience genuine food without spending thousands of dollars to travel. Ideally, I want to go back to my homeland which is Italy and go eat over there. I can eat in Dominican Republic for the rest of my life (laughs).
Alex: I like the Jamaican culture. They culture is dope and their food is unbelievable. You could taste the love in what they do. They’re about their people and being proud of where they are from despite the poverty level. They know what to do to make people happy whether it is through music or food. I do love being in DR, I love the food in DR. My family is from there and they throw it down. Every chance I get to eat Dominican food now, I am beyond grateful. There is nothing in California. I love Costa Rica’s coffee and their coffee I actually enjoy. It is sweet and tasted great. They are similar to Jamaica who are really about their culture and food. Very peaceful people. You get that vibe of relaxation there. To wake up in the morning to have a sweet delicious coffee, it really was pure bliss.
CA: Do you have a favorite recipe? If you can’t choose only one, pick your top 3
Jessica: If I could transform myself into a buffalo wing and eat myself, I would be so happy. Wings are my favorite thing to eat, hands down! Any type of wing, I’m with it.
Alex: I am going to go with the wing recipes. I love salads and vegetables don’t get me wrong. If I have to go with one, I will go with the wings.
CA: Do you have any food blogs or food personalities on television who might be a sort of inspiration to you?
Jessica: All of pinterest (laughs). We have food blogger friends because we have been to conferences. Alex has been to one in LA and Vegas. We both went to one in Seattle. We are trying to get more foodie friends as we go. Most of an inspiration would be the classes we just took. The school is called Chef Tech Cooking School. Our teacher Chef Terri, who is a professional chef, provided us with so much knowledge. Recipes upon recipes. Her favorite quote is “think like a chef”. I try to apply that every single time I cook. If I was in a restaurant, what would I do?
Alex: She is definitely a huge inspiration and she is completely patient. I feel we have spent so much time with her and she is someone to admire. I personally love how she takes every recipe and gives it her own touch. It is what we do on our blog. We take something that everyone normally eats and put our own twist to it. And this is what she does and that is what I love about her. She makes you feel like there is no wrong way with food.
Jessica: She kind of shined a light saying hey what you are doing is ok and I have done it and gotten this far.
Alex: She is our number one inspiration.
CA: What is your favorite kitchen tool/appliance?
Jessica: The stove (laughs). I would say my knives are my most precious tool. I didn’t notice how important knives were until I had to cut an onion with a butter knife at my boyfriend’s house. I came home and was so appreciative of my knives!
Alex: I think for me it’s the pots. I make a lot of chicken and I have this technique I love doing where I boil my chicken in a broth. It is my favorite thing to do and it adds so much flavor to chicken. If I didn’t have a pot, I would be screwed half the time. So it definitely has to be our pot.
CA: Eating clean is hard. I see your blog is committed to educating people on the benefits and ease of eating clean. When do you start the process of clean eating?
Jessica: Always. There have always been vices and we will go out on a Sunday to have wings and beers. Consciously, we are always aware of things. There are certain things in our lives which restricts how much sugar we can consume and how much fried food we can consume. With that always in the back of our mind and always wanting to better ourselves, it’s natural. When we are in the grocery store, we don’t even gear towards the unhealthy stuff. It is apart of us
Alex: The healthy thing is for people who are trying to eat cleaner. To understand that eating cleaning is not horrible. It can still taste great. If any of those recipes aren’t good, someone can come at me for them. A lot of them are a lot cleaner than what you normally eat.
Jessica: And it makes you feel better. Internally, it gives you energy. There would be days I ate like crap and I feel it in my body. Let’s go grab some tea and eat some salads for a week. I need to clean this out of my body. What we don’t do is crazy detoxes to clean out your body.
CA: Why are detoxes/juice cleanses bad for you?
Jessica: There are different types of detox teas. We are geared more towards the one you are consuming with food. It is usually a Chinese herbal remedy. Something that has been dated for hundreds of years. It is not some chemical concoctions that someone has come up with. We don’t do the juice cleanses and denying the body of what it needs and taking it out. When you feel tired from these cleanses and all you want to do is sleep because your body is not getting what it needs. We “detox” because we are cleansing our body by drinking tea and eating cleaner.
Alex: Some people detox and eat fried stuff thinking it is ok. That is not ok and it is all about moderation.
CA: In your opinion, how important is it for your spices and seasoning to be properly stocked in the kitchen?
Jessica: On a 1 to 10, like a 45.
Alex: I’ll go with a thousand. Sometimes we use the same five spices and nothing tastes the same ever.
Jessica: I would say the spices you have to have in your home: onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. We do not cook with salt. If we do very sparingly.
Alex: We have pink Himalayan salt which is almost like a sea salt. It is like a cleaner salt and only like a sprinkle.
CA: What is your biggest failure ever in the kitchen?
Jessica: When you try the recipe for the first time and it looks great. Then it ends up tasting like the floor. You really think it is going to be good and you serve it to someone else. That is embarrassing. I have been talking about cooking for an hour and it wasn’t good. Now what are you going to think about me?
Alex: I still do slip up with the sodium and put too much of it occasionally. It will taste salty. I also might get heavy handed when pouring spices which affects the flavor.
Jessica: This one time I made her crepes in the morning and I thought I was making a simple syrup to cook the berries in. I picked up salt instead of sugar and we both ate it (it was terrible)!
Alex: It is little things you grab by accident and it comes out with the wrong ingredient entirely.
CA: What is the best thing you have ever eaten? The strangest?
Jessica: I love steak and I would say the best steak I have had was in Seattle. I forgot where it was but it was so so good.
Alex: The steak wasn’t chewy, it was perfect.
Jessica: Everything about it. The flavor, the temperature it was cooked.
Alex: That place was A1. For me, the best thing was (need to ask Alex about the seafood place, couldn’t make it out in the audio)
CA: Do you have a primary goal or desired outcome of the effect SCBE has on their audience?
Jessica: We do have a lot of goals. Ideally, I want people to know cooking is not that hard. I would love for people to take a more passionate path with cooking in general. Just learning how to cook is a skill everyone should have. It brings people closer together. I want people to see our passion and to also share it with others.
Alex: That is why I like that Jess is on board. I started it and it was fun because we get to share it with people. It really is not as hard as you think it is. You want your audience to be engaged. It is just wording, photos, and who you are in representing your brand. It makes a very big difference. Being able to give that to others and they try it for it to be good. People taking that with them is important to us. This isn’t for us. At the end of the day, this is for everybody else. Feedback is essential for our growth. If there is anything we can gain from that is to continue gain followers/supporters and people who love what we do.
CA: What is your advice to someone who has a desire to start a food blog?
Jessica: Don’t think about it just do it. Start it but do your friggin research.
Alex: I’m always reading something about it
Jessica: She is the research queen and research gives my brain aneurysm. The blog wouldn’t be able to function if she wasn’t constantly on the back end. I would text her randomly thinking of making weird stuff for dinner. If you are going to do it by yourself, make sure it is something you really want to do. It is like having two full time jobs. If you don’t love it, don’t do it.