What currently fills your days and can you tell us a little bit about your journey to get there?
My day starts early - I generally workout at 5:30am because it's the most quiet time of day around our house & I can run all the stop signs to get there on time (kidding!). I have 2 boys - ages 6 & 3 - that fill the day with fun & chaos. Once they are out the door to school, my day job as the Sales Director for a luxury jewelry company, Penny Preville, gets going. After sitting at the computer or traveling for work, I love to round out each day with a 20 minute Peleton ride, home cooked meal, time with my family, followed by loungewear & a Yogi bedtime tea while I finalize content for my Instagram account, Shugart & Spice. True story - my middle name is Shugart (pronounced, SUGAR), so it's only fitting I was born to love food & cooking!
Who or where do you look for inspiration?
I love cooking & have tons of family recipes I love to make & reinvent - often with the goal of a healthier version. I also love a good old fashioned cookbook to get inspiration or guidance on what or how to cook something. Oh & Instagram provides so many fun ideas for cooking - it's a culinary rabbit hole that can be hard to get out of!
Where will you be on your next day off?
If in Atlanta - working out at Fit 9 or Stellar Bodies into the Remede Spa @ The St. Regis into a late lunch/dinner at Houston's with the spinach dip trio (of course!) & the thai steak & noodle salad. If we're not in Atlanta we're on the white sand beaches of the Gulf taking in turquoise waters, ice cold beer & lots of local seafood!
What is Atlanta’s food scene missing?
Atlanta's dining scene has certainly become more & more robust in the 11 years that I have lived here. I would love to see more off the beaten path, hole-in-the-wall restaurants that have both charm & amazing food. Think of all the quaint little dining spots in NYC that make it unique, special & interesting - more of those little culinary hideaways down here.
What elements do you look for in a great dining experience?
SO many things to consider when dining out! If it's just adults, I want to be able to grab a cocktail (martini, extra dirty, blue cheese olives) at a beautiful bar before we are seated. The ambiance & acoustics are super important - I love the buzz of a crowded restaurant but I also like a little space between tables so you're not on top of your neighbor. I also want to conversate & laugh without yelling! If we're dining out with kids - anywhere that will tolerate our circus! Usually somewhere casual, with simple foods for the kids & an element of entertainment for them (game machines, popsicles for dessert or chips & cheese dip)!
Cobb salad with red wine vinaigrette @ Howell's on Howell Mill. My favorite hearty (but healthy) salad!