Actor Richard Kiel is perhaps best known as the villain Jaws from two James Bond movies in the 1970s. And now he can be known as the 51st person to be interviewed for Dining With Strangers. It’s like winning an Oscar!
All right, it’s nothing like winning an Oscar.
Nevertheless, Richard agreed to have dinner with me during his recent visit to Washington, DC. He was in town to appear at a Bond-themed party, and over a three-course meal at the Old Ebbitt Grill he told me about his career before and after 007, and what he does when he’s not in front of the camera, including writing an extensively-researched book about anti-slavery crusader and American politician Cassius Clay.
on December 3, 2013, 12:45 am,
Apparently I’m a fan of alliteration in these post titles.
Anyway, to make sure the lead matches the headline, let me apologize to my handful of readers for the total lack of updates in November. That should hopefully change later this week when I upload interview #51, my dinner with a James Bond villain.
Stay tuned for an article you can really sink your teeth into. Ahem.
The second of my two recent(ish) interviews in New Orleans is online!
Late in August — yes, I realize that my turnaround time on these articles is awfully slow — I had lunch with Josh and Natalie Harvey, owners of the custom design t-shirt company Storyville based in the Crescent City.
Full disclosure: this is not an impartial interview because I love Storyville’s t-shirts. But once you get over your shock at the bias in this article, click on the picture above or right here to read about what inspired the Harveys to launch the company.
Today’s article is my dinner with New Orleans restaurant critic Tom Fitzmorris, the host of a long-running radio show dedicated solely to talking about food, in a city famed for its great restaurants. He also operates TheNew Orleans Menu website that’s overflowing with reviews and other information about the city’s cuisine.
When I do these interviews I just leave a tape recorder on the dining table rather than taking notes throughout the meal and breaking up the conversation flow. One of the benefits of doing this is that transcribing the conversation can be a real pleasure because it brings back fond memories of particularly fun dinners.
That was the case when replaying my night out with Tom. He was great company at our meal and had plenty to say about dining — along with pushing me to try some new dishes for the first time — and you can read about him here.
And a special shout-out to Tommy Andrade, owner of Tommy’s Cuisine where we had dinner. He’s a true gentlemen and first-rate restaurateur.
on September 9, 2013, 10:58 am,
Community activist Bryan Weaver — my 25th dinner interviewee — is running again for the Ward One seat on the D.C. Council.
Bryan, originally from Oregon, long ago made the capital city his home and at our dinner almost three years ago he spoke fondly about his adopted hometown, and enthusiastically on the issues of politics, reforming the council and improving the lives of the District’s residents. Here’s my interview with Bryan, which took place at the ever-popular restaurant Marvin near U Street.
According to Bryan’s campaign website, last month he posted stellar fundraising numbers despite vowing not to take corporate contributions.
Meanwhile, interviews #49 and #50 are in the bag (not that I carry an interview bag around with me) and just need to be written. I’m halfway through writing the 49th interview, the first of two from my recent trip to New Orleans. Expect it online within the week. Finally, a real update coming!
on August 19, 2013, 6:01 pm,
under Travel Plans.
Well this site has certainly not achieved anything resembling regular updates this year. Whoops. Efforts to correct that are underway, with a possible interview this weekend in Chicago and a definite interview later this month in New Orleans.
I’m kind of obsessed with the New Orleans-set 1980s movie The Big Easy, featuring Dennis Quaid as a cop with an atrociously stereotypical N’awlins accent (think lots of use of the word “cher” to end every sentence, for example). So I was surprised to read online that it was originally going to be set in Chicago and called Windy City.
Fascinating, right? Okay, maybe not so much. But it gives me an a marvelously clumsy transition to saying I’ll be visiting Chicago twice in the coming months. I’ve updated my travel plans page but the dates are June 28 to July 1 and then August 23 to 25.
Live in Chicago? Want a free meal? Care to help me out and be the first new interview since — whoops — February?
Last weekend I was in New York and had an enjoyable lunch with David Rogers-Berry, the drummer for the band O’Death. Over plates of Mexican food in Brooklyn, he told me about how he got into music from an early age and his goals for the band.
There’s much more to David’s story — including a bout with bone cancer, stories from his band travels on the road, and his creative endeavors outside of O’Death. To find out more about all of that, click here or on the picture above to read my interview with him.
on February 26, 2013, 5:07 pm,
A quick update to give a shout-out to British musician Lorraine Bowen (interview #47) who has updated her website with all kinds of bells and whistles. Give it a visit and listen to some of her quirky and catchy tunes.
I can highly recommend a listen to “The Burger Song” which I’ve handily cut-and-pasted below in all its YouTube glory. As I mentioned in my interview with Lorraine, it’s a very fitting song for the times given the scandal in Europe over horse meat cropping up in everything from burgers to IKEA meatballs.
Meanwhile, my 48th interview should be online later this week. Check back before the weekend for a chat with a musician living in Brooklyn.
on February 1, 2013, 1:06 pm,
Sad news out of New York City: former Mayor Ed Koch has died.
In October 2011, I spent an hour or so with Mr. Koch in his corner-room office at the law firm where he worked each day. We shared coffee and cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, and I quizzed him about his tenure as the city’s 105th mayor; his views on present day New York; favorite dining spots; hobbies; and various other topics.
The interview was more formal than the typical meals with strangers, mostly by virtue of it taking place across an office desk, both of us in suits. But it was still an interesting 60 minutes in which I learned plenty about the city and about Mr. Koch.