08 Oct Monday Member Spotlight – Caitlin Cooks
Caitlin Cooks, born and raised in New Jersey, creates and hosts cooking tutorials and reviews on YouTube.com/CaitlinCooks and works for Perez Hilton on FitPerez.com. So what did Caitlin want to be when she grew up? Well, she has always loved food, and would make her Grandpa watch cooking shows with her on PBS (as Caitlin puts it…he was so patient). She danced and took acting classes. But Caitlin always wanted to host a show about food, which she says people find so weird, because she’s incredibly quiet/shy/intimidated by people, but in front of the camera she feels free! So let’s hear more…
Niche Mommy (NM): What influenced you to start blogging and why?
Caitlin Cooks (CC): It’s a funny and really long story. I tried a little bit of everything. I was doing work as an extra on the movie The Bounty Hunter at this casino in AC. It was a scene with Jennifer Aniston (she is even skinnier and prettier up close…so not fair) and Gerard Butler (so sexy in his plaid shirt). I was a cocktail girl walking across the set. I think it was $70, but I was trying to learn how the business worked. So they shoot and wrap, we’re in the craft services with 80 people. This nasty, grouchy woman (a PA) comes up to me and starts screaming “why were you in the f**** shot?!?! We don’t want you, we don’t need you, you don’t fit AT ALL with the look we’re going for!” In front of everybody, all eyes on the curvy girl that doesn’t fit in. Naturally, I told her to calm down and take her meds. The whole situation didn’t feel right, the phoniness of all the people… all staring and judging. She was right, it wasn’t for me. Food blogging was starting to blow up at the time, I always talked about starting a blog to see if anyone would actually check it out. I was so pissed, I went home that night, made a video for a contest Paula Deen was having and they sent me an e-mail 2 days later that I won. I found my thing! I always cooked anyways, so I just started filming everything I made, imperfections and all. I always say that if anything ever came out of this, it would be a miracle, but not an accident. Everything that could possibly go wrong…has. I’ve probably heard 10,000 no’s and 10 yes’s. But it’s a game to me…can I actually do it? I love everything about it!
NM: What’s your cure for writer’s block?
CC: Espresso (or wine) depending on how the day has gone. Iced coffee with a shot of espresso a little cream (no sugar) is my best thing! I sip on that, light my favorite candle, put on some music, flip through photos of food and let the creativity roll!
NM: What on your resume are you most proud of?
CC: Something that stands out was last Christmas…I spotlighted Cookies for Kids Cancer as one of my favorite charity organizations. Gretchen, who founded the organization in memory of her son, contacted me thanking me for being an advocate to children who need a voice. Thanks for making me tear up, Gretchen! That truly meant more to me than any material result. I realized in that moment that you don’t have to invest large amounts of money into your page or be the top social media influencer to spread positive energy.
NM: What are your hobbies?
CC: Besides cooking and eating? Haha! Checking out new restaurants and exploring new food is definitely my #1! But…I also love makeup (MAC/Sephora/Ulta addict), I’m not a big clothes person (I’m super budget-savvy when it comes to clothes), movies, the beach, I try to lie to myself and say I love exercise…haha…laughing…and enjoying life!
NM: What is the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?
CC: 7 years ago, I worked for Bad Boy Entertainment and to test how far I would go, Diddy’s Chief of Staff sent me to Pollen Nation 125th & Lex in Harlem to pick up some free vases from this floral shop owner they had a connection with. Free vases? They could’ve just bought them across the street somewhere on Broadway, but they got a kick out of testing me and acting like they didn’t have the extra $60 petty cash in the vault. It took me an hour to get a cab that would take me there. When I finally got to Harlem, there was a violent protest going on next door, the cab driver tried to take my money and leave me there. Then he tried dropping me off in the middle of Harlem because he didn’t want to drive through a certain area, I ended up taking the subway back to Broadway…it was a huge fiasco. I get back to the office and they tell me the event was changed, they didn’t need the vases. I would take the Port Authority by myself at 10PM every night. There were tons of episodes like this. I went back to NJ that night and my friends and family said you love food…what the hell are you doing risking your life for some vases?!
NM: Why did you join The Niche Mommy Network?
CC: As women, we have to support each other so we can reach our goals and be happy. There’s so much negativity out there, Niche Mommy is a positive alliance that I am proud to put my name behind!
NM: What’s on your bucket list?
CC: Live in Paris for a month (so romantic & I’d spend my days at Lauduree and La Maison du Chocolat) make limoncello in the Amalfi Coast (maybe David Rocco will take me one day) and create a line of cooking products based on all my travels!
NM: Where are you going on vacation in 2012?
CC: I have no plans yet, but if anyone is looking for someone to write/photograph foods in a foreign area…I have the girl!
NM: If you were a hero, what would your special power be?
CC: To be invisible, so that way I could sneak into the kitchens of Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Marco Pierre White…etc…and steal all their secrets! Muhaha!
NM: If you were transformed into any animal what would it be?
CC: A dog! No matter how much you feed them, they’re always hungry and they give tons of love!
NM: Which came first: the chicken or the egg?
CC: Hmmm…I don’t know, but have you ever had the Chik-Fil-A breakfast burrito with the eggs, peppers, Monterey Jack/cheddar cheese and the spicy salsa?! You guys totally made me crave that right now!
NM: If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring?
CC: Lip gloss, mascara and a Wusthof chef’s knife to cut up and throw down some meals!
NM: Mac or PC?
CC: Mac, mainly because the editing software never freezes up on me! I don’t have the patience.