Hope Simmons

Marketing geek by trade; food blogger/enthusiast/explorer by passion. Aficionado of all sorts of Italian-American comfort food--pepper and egg grinder, anyone? Or maybe a Sicilian stuffed meatloaf? Check out these recipes and more at https://kattyskitchen.wordpress.com/. Hometown: Middletown, CT. Tended bar in my family's restaurant before I was old enough to drive. Won a memorable game of hide-and-seek in basement of said establishment by hiding in the dirty rag bag. Nice. 

My current food cravings are:  Neil's Donuts (Wallingford)--Boston cream all the way! And a chocolate glazed for the next day, please.

The only fast food I will eat is:  Only? HA HA. I have a soft spot for McDonald's sausage McMuffin with a hash brown slid in for good measure.

If I could be any Iron Chef, I would be:  I'd rather be some combination of Tyler Florence and Lidia Bastianich than any Iron Chef.

My favorite local restaurants:  King and I Thai (Manchester and Hartford locations, both), Sayulita (Glastonbury), Ginza (Rocky Hill), Napoli Pizza (Meriden) for best calzones anywhere!

My favorite restaurant in all of Connecticut is: La Tavola in Waterbury is right up there, even if I don't get there as often as I like, as is Sharpe Hill Vineyard in Pomfret. Matunuck Oyster Bar is my favorite new destination dining spot (South Kingstown, RI).

Restaurant dish I wish I could make at home: I've been figuring these things out in my kitchen for years. I prefer to go out for things I'd never have the patience to attempt at home.

My go-to dinner party entrée is:  I make a killer Bolognese and clams casino capellini (alla me!), but if I make broccoli scacciata, we can call that a party, too. It's a Middletown thinG.

When I’m not eating, I’m…. cooking, baking, walking, hanging with my fam, thinking about cooking, baking ...

Prepared food I have let people think was home-made…  No way,NEVER!

I’d rather pick (pumpkins, apples, strawberries)  Cherries or raspberries--we have lots to pick in Connecticut, why limit? :)

The last book I enjoyed was:  The Art of Racing in the Rain

My favorite movie of all time is:  Goodfellas

My favorite food related movie of all time is:  Goodfellas is a pretty great food-related movie, too--don't you want to slice garlic like Paulie? Though, I thoroughly enjoyed Chef and made my own mojo and Cubanos after seeing it last year!