Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer, and Food Festival
Nov 16 - 18, 2023

20 Questions…for Doug Small, President – Experience Grand Rapids

20 Questions…for Doug Small, President – Experience Grand Rapids

Photo Courtesy Of Brian Kelly

20 Questions…for Doug Small, President – Experience Grand Rapids

I try everything; other than animal intestines. Nothing scares me. I love everything about food and the beverages that pair with it. Italians are my favorite people in the world because of their attitude toward food and drink. Everything about the Italian food and drink culture is sexy.

Q1)         What is your favorite dessert?
A1)         Quite honestly, I’m not a huge dessert guy, but when I indulge, I actually like it simple; a good, moist chocolate cake with butter cream icing.

Q2)         What is your favorite ethnic cuisine (either to cook or dining out)?
A2)         Love everything Asian when dining out, but love Italian when cooking at home.

Q3)         What is your signature dish for dinner parties?
A3)         In the summer, it’s a grilled shrimp appetizer followed by grilled meat (Tomahawk steak, Baby Back Ribs or a filet). Winter; any type of pasta/sauce.

Q4)         Baking or grilling?
A4)         Grilling; I don’t bake.

Q5)         What is a perfect host / hostess beverage to give?
A5)         A good Margie or local beer in the summer and anything with bourbon at all times!

Q6)         What is the “must have” in your pantry?
A6)         Good olive oil and garlic.

Q7)         You can only have one of these items for the rest of your life…which do you choose: chocolate or cheese?
A7)         No hesitation. Cheese please!!

Q8)         What is your favorite pizza topping?
A8)         Meat(s).

Q9)         How do you like your steak…rare, medium, well-done?
A9)         A true Medium-Rare.

Q10)      What is the fresh herb you can’t live without?
A10)       Basil.

Q11)      If you could have dinner with any person (dead or alive) who would it be?
A11)       Chef Daniel Boulud or Andrew Zimmern.

Q12)      Other than tortilla chips, what do you use salsa for?
A12)       A peach or pineapple salsa over baked porch chops or on a hot dog.

Q13)      What is the most “exotic” food you’ve ever eaten?
A13)       I’ve eaten “all the animal parts” but eating a live, baby octopus at a sushi bar in Hawaii was bizarre.

Q14)      What would you rather eat: fresh lobster on the pier in Maine, fresh shucked oysters in the Pacific Northwest or fresh crawfish on the Gulf in New Orleans?
A14)       Lobster.

Q15)      Which do you prefer: sparkling, tap or flavored water?
A15)       Flavored water.

Q16)      What is your favorite foodie movie or book?
A16)       Anything Anthony Bourdain authored. Kitchen Confidential; No Reservations, Medium Raw.

Q17)      Which celebrity chef would you most want to cook with?
A17)       While not necessarily a TV star, acclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud is brilliant and would be so interesting. TV Chef: Michael Symon.

Q18)      Red, White, Rose or Sparkling?
A18)       White.

Q19)      What “family recipe” will you pass down to your children (or a younger family member)?
A19)       My red pasta sauce with Italian sausage; people eat it and ask me for the recipe.

Q20)      Stout, Porter, IPA or Lager?
A20)       Authentic German Lager or Marzen.