Owner of Sinful Subs & Black and Blue Diner
RVM: What’s your go to Thanksgiving dinner meal look like?
CVV: It used to be the traditional Italian- –meaning the classic American Thanksgiving with the lasagna on the side. But now half the table does not want turkey and is anti-turkey. So, we keep all the classic sides, but the main attraction is good old classic “prime rib”. And of course, we start the meal off with my mother’s yellow onion soup with homemade croutons.
RVM: And for Christmas dinner?
CVV: Funny to say, we never have “Christmas dinner”. We have Christmas breakfast, but we are so full from the classic Italian 7 fishes the night before on Christmas Eve, it’s all about the gifts and the breakfast with some good leftovers on Christmas Day. The “Christmas Eve Italian 7 fishes” is the Italian version of 7 of your favorite shellfish dishes with a few other classic Italian seafood items in between. It’s such a big feast where there isn’t anybody cooking but pancakes, eggs and all the breakfast goods on the day of Christmas.
RVM: What is your favorite holiday side dish?
CVV: Definitely the homemade stuffing/dressing. Because there are no 2 alike and the 1, we have is almost “holy” – from my grandmother’s hands to our stomachs! It’s some of the greatest stuffing on this earth.
RVM: What entree/ dessert would you bring to a work holiday party?
Usually, if I’m not cooking the meal at someone’s house, most likely I am “asked” to bring some trays of “Sinful Subs” from SinfulSubs.com.
RVM: Eggnog or hot chocolate?
CVV: Hot chocolate all year, but a good solid week in December, I will go for the nog. Plus, there’s nothing like eggnog bread pudding.
RVM: What’s the first thing you purchase when preparing for a big holiday dinner?
CVV: Disposable pans people! Disposable pans! You will not regret it, lol – (Nothing like cleaning after a turkey coma)!
RVM: What are necessary kitchen tools for the holidays?
CVV: A good carving knife because everyone usually has the basic essentials but the nicer you can slice that protein, the better it’s going to be for the entire meal.
RVM: What’s your least favorite holiday foods?
CVV: That is a tough one… Ok, my least favorite holiday foods are….. “pass” lol!
RVM: What do you expect to be the biggest culinary trends for this holiday season?
CVV: Definitely the “no turkey”, nontraditional Thanksgiving that people are doing. Especially many of the local chefs doing amazing, twisted meals that are not Thanksgiving-ish that still fulfills the Thanksgiving palette.
RVM: Most underrated seasoning in the kitchen?
CVV: Granulated garlic! Many people think garlic powder is where it’s at. Please toss your garlic powder and get yourself some granulated garlic today!
RVM: What do you do with your holiday leftovers?
CVV: I’d say a good 2 days of eating it… Putting it on bread, dipping it in gravy, maybe making a soup. But definitely a good 2 days of simply “eating it”.
RVM: Best cooking tip for the holidays?
CVV: Start prepping 2 days before and try to clean as soon as you can!
RVM: If you could have any other chef help you make the perfect holiday dinner who would it be?
CVV: I know a lot of the known chefs out there and love many, but I’m going to say “Gordon”, lol. Would have to have Ramsey over at the house. He would have a good time! Plus, I don’t think they would hear his yelling over the yelling in my house especially with the elders join us.
RVM: What makes food so important to you?
CVV: I have a 100+ answers to this, as food is my life, but I will simply that food is the 1 thing we all have in common that can bring most people together… and I’m grateful for being heavily vested in that.
RVM: If you’re preparing a NYE meal for guests at your home, what would the menu look like?
CVV: We would have to have some caviar and champagne to further discuss this. Simply because we’d be tasting caviars and champagne that we’d be serving that night in addition to all the beautiful lobster, seafood, and dry aged meats. It’s New Year’s my friends! And we are Real Vegas people, so we have to show everyone else who we are! #VegasStrong