Read this Extraordinary Site for Chefs, Recipes, and Travel Food Tips

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Food - it's a passion of mine. I love to cook, garden, visit farmer's markets, get new recipes from food artisans when I travel, talk with chefs, eat out, peruse cookbooks (I have thousands), dream about food, plan the next meal. It's not too crazy to say that when I find similarly-minded foodies, I embrace them and talk food. 

That's why I am so excited to share an excellent foodie site with you today. Called i8tonite, it's a gem of a site that has my tastebuds humming, my interest piqued, my brain satisfied. Brian Garrido, the genius who publishes the site, is a fellow foodie - and one with a great platform to showcase all of the things we love about food, from recipes to chefs, from thoughtful commentaries to dining inspiration. i8tonight is a site that I dig into, read, and then get inspired to head to the kitchen. It's a look inside professional cooking (thank you, chefs!), and also gives travel tips for where to eat. I'm writing a series on Newfoundland Chefs and the amazing food movement there for i8tonite - so stay tuned!

I know you'll love this site as much as I do, and look forward to each new article. It's on my top favorites list, along with smitten kitchen, David Liebovitz, and Orangette. YAHOO!

We were lucky enough to catch up with Brian, to not only thank him for his amazing work, but to get the backstory for you - inspiration, food as a connector, and more. His last answer? Goosebumps. Here's what he had to say... 

Brian Garrido, genius behind the delectable food site, i8tonite

Please tell us about your site, i8tonite... 

The site originally started as a blog promoting my public relation and marketing services; then I moved to Phoenix from Los Angeles. I decided not to pursue clients anymore and to work on my website. Also – truthfully, cooking has been a big part of my life. My first job was in restaurants. I waited tables. I bartended. For a summer in high school, I was a short order cook in a diner. Then, I became a public relations professional and have worked primarily as a marketer of hospitality – restaurants and hotels. This seems like a natural extension.

What inspired you to create this site? 

It was borne from a couple of things which I didn’t see in the publishing marketplace both in digital and print. I saw lots of round-ups and “best of…” but nothing about the chef which was quick and concise. I like to call it “bus-stop” reading. Things that aren’t that deep but can provoke a certain response… a call-to-action, such as cooking or maybe trying a food you haven’t eaten before. That’s what the “i8tonite with …” is about - chefs, how they cook for their customer, and then what they cook for themselves.

The section called “i8tonite in…” came from my travels. Its purpose was two-fold. I know that I don’t personally get to dine to all the places I want to eat in a single destination. So I wanted to highlight a specific area in a location, such as New York City’s West Village. In that piece, I talk about places that are tried-and-true and highlight four eateries or bars. In each, I give my recommendation on what to order. The last part was born from the current crop of servers and when queried about their recommendations for dining, their response was, “I am a vegan/ vegetarian/ pescetarian and I don’t eat half of what’s on the menu. However, I understand that the meat/pork/ fish is good…but I haven’t tried it.”  I found it annoying. Also, I’ve been to all the destinations that I’m recommending.

Food is such a connector, personally and culturally. Why do you think that is? 

Well, without food and water, you really can’t do anything, can you? You can’t have sex if you haven’t eaten…so procreation is out. If you haven’t had food with nutrients, you become ill. Shelter is difficult to find as you are looking for water. I think it binds all things. Everything has to eat and drink water. From plants to people.
For me --- and just for me, my mother was a single mother. My father left me and her while he raised another family. There were dark periods were there wasn’t any food. I mean none. So food for me is a complicated matter. As soon as I could, I started working so I could put food on the table for both of us. That was by working in a fast food joint called Wings-n-Things in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. I had to have permission to work under the age of 13. That was a very difficult period, but I learned. That experience of not having enough to eat stays with you for your entire life. It never, ever goes away. I understand hunger and the need to know where your food comes from. Good, bad, indifferent…it’s an important thing.
As I grew up, I realized that there was a whole world of food out there. Things to experience. That’s why I love food tourism like Arizona’s Salsa Trail or Paris’ Rue de Montorgueil, a street that’s completely dedicated to food.  

What do you love sharing most with your readers? 

I think I love sharing two things. First, the can-do spirit of the chefs. Cooking is very independent and the chefs are mostly entrepreneurs. Secondly, I love sharing the idea of cooking at home. Again, for me – it goes back to not having enough to eat as a child.

Brian Garrido, the genius behind the food site, i8tonite, cooking at home.

Your chef interviews are fantastic! What is the biggest surprise you've found, in doing them? 

Thanks. It’s nice to know you like them. I think that there isn’t any repetition in them. I was worried about the what’s your favorite kitchen tool question, thinking that I would get knives all the time. Nope. I’ve had colanders, mashers, wine-openers, butcher blocks…mine is a spatula. Weird, huh?

What's up next for you? 

I’m going to continue doing the website. Monetize it. Because it’s mine and it’s my third company I’ve started. I can control both process and growth. I’m having a series of pieces written on Newfoundland chefs and how to create a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture.)

Is there anything else you'd like to share? 

Become a part of your food world. It can take you places you’ve never been. I’ve been to 26 different countries and going on 180 cities soon. I can tell you more about what I’ve eaten than what I saw. I can tell you about the experience of sharing a meal instead of standing on a crowded bus. Our food is our history.

Learn more about this delectable site:




Photos courtesy and copyright Brian Garrido