Toledo According To…Saundra Irvine

. June 19, 2018.
Chef Saundra with Cavalier Distributing GM Bobby DeSeyn.
Chef Saundra with Cavalier Distributing GM Bobby DeSeyn.

Saundra Irvine

Married with two great kids.

Years lived in Toledo: 10 years. Lived in the Washington, DC / Chesapeake Bay area for 26 years before we moved back to the midwest.
Occupation: Chef, Producer/Writer/Host of The Fat Cat Radio Cooking Show on iHeart Radio Fox Sports (257 one-hour episodes), member of the Board of Directors for Food For Thought, Business Development for Salts of the 7 Seas imported salt company.

My story, in one sentence: So much to do and so little time to do it in.

One song lyric to describe my ideal self: “Don’t give in, Don’t you dare quit so easy, Give all that you’ve got for the soul……Don’t fall on your sword, Just follow your instinct, Like an old lesson learned, Like an old lesson learned.” Snow Patrol, “Don’t Give In.”

Most people know me for: My irreverent sense of humor and willingness to always help others.

I wish more people knew me for: “Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings while the dawn is still dark.” (Rabindranath Tagore)

The best thing I’ve ever eaten in Toledo was: A grilled 1 lb. lobster tail from Erie Fish Market on Telegraph Road with lime-garlic butter. It literally sung to me while I ate it. Also, Japanese Red Yams that I dug up last summer and cooked from Gust Farm ‘You-Pick-It’ (pictured). Incredible.

Gust Farms.

Gust Farms.

The street I drive on/walk on most often is: Running through Wildwood Preserve Metropark.

The best time I ever had in Toledo: Teaching cooking classes to over 1,600 Toledoans at The Andersons Cooking School for over 5 1/2 years and forming ongoing relationships with so many wonderful people in their pursuit of understanding, buying and cooking great food. I was inspired by people of all ages wanting to expand their world and know more about food and learn new ways to cook. And, all the local chefs would come as well and share their talents. I really value that.

If I knew I could get away with it, I would: Camp overnight with friends at Wildwood Preserve Metropark.

The best view in Toledo: Kayaking on the Maumee River!kayaking-on-the-Maumee-River

When I’m craving pizza, I go to: M’ Osteria for their thin crust double cheese pizza with old-school double ‘cupping style’ mini-pepperoni that chars crisp around the edges and pools lightly with greasy goodness. It’s a calorie monster, but there’s nothing better when you have to have it!M’-Osteria-for-their-thin-crust-double-cheese-pizza

The Toledoan I most admire: Cindy Bench of Bench Farms because of her true passion/appreciation and enthusiasm for farming and growing beautiful food. When Cindy starts telling you something specific about a variety of produce they are growing you become transfixed by her authenticity and girlish enthusiasm. I love interviewing her for the radio show. She’s a ‘one question’ interview. You ask her a question and she just takes off like a jet and delivers like a virtuoso.

Cindy Bench of Bench Farms.

Cindy Bench of Bench Farms.