Q&A With Daina Falk

As you know, one of my favorite parts of game day is the tailgate.  So I was absolutely honored to get the opportunity to talk game day with celebrity cook, cookbook author, creator of HungryFan.com and the Hungry Fan App, Daina Falk.  Sure her dad is a legend in the sports business, but Daina is cooking up her own path.  We chatted game day, sports, food and she even shared a new recipe from her book, The Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook, which comes out in August. Spoiler Alert: The book is a MUST BUY.

Diana Falk
Daina Falk

The Sports Brat: How did you get your start?

Daina Falk: I was working as a TV producer in LA in 2006 and I had a fun idea for a TV show concept. When I pitched the show to producer friends of mine, they sort of patted me on the head (as you would a child) and suggested I didn’t so much have the makings for a TV personality. They suggested that I start a blog first and grow a following before I attempted to get into TV.  So I took their advice and launched HungryFan.com in 2011.

TSB: You also launched one of my favorite apps, Hungry Fan.

DF: Thanks! Yes, Hungry Fan App is pretty handy for finding what you want to eat on game day. I launched it in November of 2013.  It’s awesome because it aggregates menus from bars/kiosks/concession stands at stadiums, ballparks, arenas and speedways in North America. That said, it’s hard to maintain.  And for some reason, while we do different things, many of the pro sports teams see the app as competition (perhaps, yes, for eyeballs) so they’re not super helpful in furnishing menus. Most of the menus on the app are crowd sourced. I welcome fans who want to help with edits and updates with (wide) open arms. (Hint, hint).

TSB: Let’s talk sports….who are your teams?

DF: Growing up in the Falk Household, we weren’t allowed to root for teams. On any given game day, it’d be client v. client, so we just rooted for the players. With what I do now, I worry about alienating people. So I just continue to root for players. That said, when it comes to the Olympics or other international competitions, though, I’m totally pro-Team USA. And when applicable, because I went there, I root for Duke. (Don’t hate me).

TSB: Totally understandable, so who are some of your favorite players?

DF: I played tennis growing up—so I really admire tennis players such as Roger Federer. He plays with such finesse and he’s all class. I respect that. Serena Williams. She is so strong. Tennis aside,  I do have a special memory from childhood. I used to measure myself against Muggsy Bogues (he’s 5’3’’). When I eventually reached 5’3”, it was a big deal for me.

Diana and her father, David Falk
Daina and her father, David Falk

TSB: Did your dad’s career have any influence on your goals to work in sports?

DF: Yes. Totally. I’m a lot like him and one of the things I respect so much about my dad is that he was a trail blazer. One of my goals is to blaze my own path in sports just like he did.  Having worked for teams, seen the agent side and the player side, I always thought the most exciting part of sports was getting to be the sports fan. The whole game day sports fan experience is just so fun and it inspired me to launch Hungry Fan. Having grown up around sports and been around it my whole life, it’s what I truly know, it’s genuine and authentic and it feels right.

TSB: What are your go to tailgate foods? What has to be there at every game?

DF: Guacamole.  And every time I make it I try to make it differently.  I’ve done bacon, crickets, grasshoppers, you name it.  Buffalo wings are also a personal weakness; I have no control. I will eat every single one you put in front of me.

Hungry Fan's Game Day Cookbook
Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook

TSB:  You have a cookbook coming out! Tell us more!

DF: Yes, it’s called The Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook and it comes out on August 23rd.  Most of the recipes are new so that’s super fun.  It’s actually available for presale on Amazon now.

TSB: Can you share any of your favorite recipes from the blog or from the book?

DF:  Yes, there’s one on the site for Buffalo Chicken Dip that’s pretty decadent.  And I created one that I call “Blind Dates“. Totally worth a try.  As for the book, definitely look out for the cake pops recipe. They’re perfect for any tailgate or sports-watching event. {SPOILER ALERT: Daina shared the recipe with me and I’m making them and sharing them later this week so stay tuned!}

TSB: And what would you wash all this yummy food down with?

DF: I’m a cider girl. I don’t loooove beer. But just a little cider is perfect. Or a cocktail. Just depends on what I’m eating or serving.

TSB: Do you have a favorite sports venue?

DF: There’s just nothing like Cameron Indoor Stadium. It’s hard to top.

Diana Falk
Daina Falk

TSB: And what is your go-to game day outfit?

DF: I like to be comfortable so probably my boyfriend jeans, a J-crew tee and a little zip-up because I’m always chilly.  And closed toe shoes are a must.

TSB: I’m fascinated by walk-up songs in baseball right now. What would yours be?

DF: “Let it Rock” by Kevin Rudolf.

Thank you so much, Daina, for taking the time to chat with me! You all can go and pre order her cookbook (trust me it’s a MUST) on Amazon now! Make sure you visit HungryFan.com and follow her on social (@thehungryfan on all platforms) for some great recipes and game day ideas.

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