Who are you and what do you do for a living?
My name is Samantha and I have a blog called The Little Ferraro Kitchen. Ferraro is married name which is funny because I do a lot of Jewish food on there. People often ask me, “What is Ferraro? Isn’t it Italian?”
Blogging for me really is just a fun hobby that I love which happens to also bring money in. I graduated college a few years ago in an unrelated field. And I thought, I need an outlet and I like cooking. I started cooking and thought, I want to share this.
I still don’t know anything about technology. I am lucky I can maintain a blog. I just kind of started it. I put recipes and photos up and have been doing that for a few years. It’s fun.
I imagine that is a job that moves with you. I hear you are from New York but have moved all over.
It does. Yeah.
I started the blog when I was in California. California is really culture-diverse. I really got my feel for everything there. Down the road from me was really good mexican food and close by was a large Cambodian population. I think my knowledge of culture grew there. Although I am still trying to learn more, that’s kind of what helped started it.
I also am trying to touch my roots. I ask my mom and other family members for recipes.
I get to just feed people—that’s cool.
What’s your favorite dish?
I love to make Mediterranean food.
My mom’s side is Turkish—they are Sephardic. And my dad’s side is Ashkenazi. So they are both Jewish but they are Jews from different parts of the world.
I seem to be more connected to the Sephardic side—lot’s of lemons, olives, rice, olive oil, saffron, rose water, fruits and things like that.
My mom made this dish called keftikas, which is really just leeks and meat and it’s formed into a patty and you put some lemon juice on it. It sounds crazy but it works.
There’s another dish called fasulye. It’s a beef or lamb stew with tomatoes and green beans. It’s really good. Things like that I love. It’s simple. It’s homemade. You know, you just throw it in a pot and eat it—good stuff.
Living in Bellingham is relatively new for you. How long have you been here?
Wow. What is your favorite spot that you have found so far?
We frequent the farmer’s market. I’ve never seen so many local fruits and veggies. Oh, it’s amazing!
I have started drinking a lot of beer. [laughs] Because there are five breweries right here.
And they are all great!
They are awesome!
I love Mt. Bakery. They have really good breakfast.
Old Town was the first place we went when we came here.
We drove down to Bow and stopped by Bow Hill Blueberries. We stopped by Samish Bay Cheese and they were so nice. They let us try a bunch of cheese.
We stopped by Bellewood Acres recently—nice people, really cool people.
Yeah. Everyone has been amazing and the food is awesome here.
So has your move to Washington state influenced your cooking in any way?
Yes. It has.
I notice that we are cooking seasonally and more local. Whatever is in season is what we cook. When we first moved here I think it was salmon season. We just went crazy. We were grilling it, roasting it—we just could not believe how delicious the wild salmon is here.
When we moved here the farmer’s market was just starting up they had a few things but when the summer hit—I have never seen so much beautiful produce in my life. And they people that grow and sell food there are so passionate about what they do.
Yes. A lot of seasonal eating and local eating. We are absolutely loving it.
What do people most often misunderstand about being a food blogger? Is there a misconception you encounter over and over?
I get asked a lot about how much I make. Which is a little personal, I think. I wouldn’t walk up to say a doctor and ask them how much they make.
Yeah. That is a personal question.
Do you think that they assume because you are inviting people into your kitchen—which is kind of a private space—you are going to be public with everything?
Maybe. I never thought of it that way. I like to keep the blog food focused
It is kind of a weird thing. They will also ask me how many views I get. I am doing this because I love to do it and if one person views a recipe and makes it then my job is done. That’s pretty awesome you know?
For me I like to keep the blog food focused. I like to say, here is an amazing recipe. Here’s the background on it. Here is why I made it. If you want to make it too. Go for it.
My goal really is to get people excited about food from other cultures. Or maybe foods that they just haven’t tried before.
I have a few Jewish readers who say something like, “Oh, I haven’t had this dish since I was little. My grandma used to make it, and yada yada.”
Something interesting happened about a year ago. There was a lady who followed my blog who was living in Australia by way of Hong Kong. She knew from reading my blog that Asian cuisine is the one cuisine that I am least familiar with and want to learn about. She mailed me a little green papaya tool, a cookbook and handwritten note. That’s it right there.
So did you then make a recipe with green papaya?
Oh, yeah. I made a green papaya salad. That is what it is about to me.
So what does Bellingham need? What do you wish you could get in Bellingham but can’t?
Oh, I love Bellingham.
Though I was just talking with someone and I was saying it would be cool if Bellingham had a really cool, old school Jewish deli. Or maybe a bakery that makes challah bread and babka.
Do you think people would be receptive of that here?
You know that is an excellent question and it would be worth exploring. Bellingham does seem to like food from other cultures.
There are certain cultures that are well represented in the food sphere here. There are lot’s of Thai restaurants.
I noticed that. Lot’s of Thai, and some Vietnamese.
Some of that is probably West Coast or geographical. But I love Mediterranean food. I wish there was more of that here.
Ok. I need to make you my falafel. I make the best falafel. [laughs] No really, I make the best falafel.
I would not say no! [laughs]
I mean who knows. Maybe in a few years we’ll open something here in town.
So what are you most excited about for the future of your website?
Well, I would love to continue doing what I am doing—creating an audience and being creative with it.
On a more professional, local level. I would love to get more involved with Bellingham, introducing Jewish food and culture to B’hamers. I think that would be really fun.
I love keeping it simple, true and honest. I cook. I take a photo of it and I put it on the world wide web. [laughs] That’s my current idea and that’s what I am going to stick with for now.
I am so excited to be here. I am really excited to connect with Bellingham, the people that live here and other food lovers.
I have plans to maybe connect with the farmer’s market. I think it would be really fun to do some demos and cooking classes next year.
I also messaged the local temple. At lot of Jewish holidays are coming up right now. We just had Rosh Hashanah. Yom Kippur and Hanukkah are coming up. If I can do something to showcase those that would be great!