Born and raised in the Bronx, and now living in Los Angeles, Victoria Thomas says her writing career began when she was 17.
"I was hired as a college campus stringer to write for Rolling Stone magazine through a nephew of Atlantic Records mogul Ahmet Ertegun," says Victoria. "I interviewed Keith Richards in the swimming pool of the Brown Palace Hotel in Colorado Springs, and it’s been one adventure after another ever since."
Because she covered rock and roll artists and was backstage, in the green room and at the after-parties, Victoria became friendly with the hairdressers, makeup artists and stylists who travelled with the bands.
She says that all of those connections led to her writing about style and beauty for The Guardian, The New York Times, Vogue, Allure, Nylon, Jane, and many other publications.
Those stories subsequently led to her becoming a publicist and copywriter for many beauty brands including MAC, Stila and Jo Malone. "I also had the incredible luck to write branding content and public relations material for Alexander McQueen early in his career," says Victoria. "Specifically his 'Highland Rape' collection and tour."
Today, Victoria says she writes digital content about culture, in expressions as varied as macarons vs. macaroons, and high jewelry.
Do you focus on healthy foods?
Our house is diabetes2-friendly. Meaning, we have banished the white man’s white poisons — white flour and white sugar. Little to no pasta, cereal, bread, tortillas, rice, crackers, noodles, sugar, cookies, sweets, and ditto on those big, fluffy Idaho potatoes, so far removed from their purple-blue Andean ancestors.
We eat lean protein and greens, primarily. It is austere. We were vegan for a long time, and vegetarian for an even longer time, but there is no way to reconcile what I have just described with veganism and vegetarianism, which is comprised mostly of carbs. I don’t even favor legumes and beans, since they are high in carbs, although they are a good protein source.
Do you have any desire to write about food?
My big idea, and I hope they read this and take me up on it: "The Home Depot Cookbook." They sell the Big Green Egg, etc. It’s a natural, and I’m the only person on earth who can write it.
Do you have any favorite cookbooks, chefs, or restaurants?
“Arabesque” by Claudia Rodin, and anything by the delicious Nigella Lawson. Also, “The Naked Chef,” an early Jamie Oliver classic!
Chef Jamie is still on the scene, and his Fantastic Fish Pie is indeed that (though of course it relies on potato crust — I will make an exception).
Nigella is absent. Blustery, bellowing, red-faced Chef Gordon (I always say “Gorgon”, ha ha!) Ramsey dominates the scene now, and I do enjoy the cruel, ridiculous, gladiatorial circus he presents season after season on “Hell’s Kitchen” and the like.
His restaurants are mediocre, but I respond to him as a character of battering, battered (though not in the culinary sense), Shakespearean and tragic proportions. My mantra: “The chicken is RAW ! You’re trying to KILL ME!”
I loved Chef Anthony Bourdain, another massive, tragic persona. I loved his sensuality and intelligence, and I am sorry he’s gone.
My two favorite meals in Los Angeles: the garlic chicken #6 at Versailles (incredible Cubano lime, orange, vinegar, garlic marinade, chicken skin crisped, served with morros y cristianitos, black beans and rice, y tostones, fried plantains!), and fried chicken and waffles at Roscoe’s. Sadly, I can’t indulge since COVID19 — no dining service.
Do you snack on deadline?
I don’t snack. Period. If I am actually hungry, I’ll make a salad or grab a piece of chicken I’ve cooked. The exception, of course, was when I was traveling. Then I ate all sorts of stuff for all sorts of reasons, often out of desperation, including skewers of roasted giant waterbugs and crispy salted scorpions in the night markets of Bangkok. Yum.
The food I crave and virtually never have: big, warm toasted poppyseed bagel, split, shmeared with Philadelphia cream cheese, stacked with Nova Lox, topped with raw red onion rings, scattered with capers, accompanied by 5-6 or more good-sized Kosher dill spears.
Any favorite products?
My must-have product: Cavender’s Greek Seasoning. It is packaged in a shaker in the supermarket. It is not “Greek” at all. It’s mostly salt. But I will tell you this: lay down a solid layer of Cavender’s over chicken or turkey, put the bird or its parts into a blazing 500F degree oven for 15-20 minutes, then reduce to 400F or so for as long as it takes, and you will have the most succulent, tender, moist poultry you can ask for. Cavender’s seems very low-brow, I’m sure, but the proof is in the proverbial pudding.