It could be the Texas heat, but foodie Deana Saukam places the utmost importance on proper hydration. “I probably drink AT LEAST a gallon of water a day,” she says. “I think I was a fish in my past life. Or a mermaid.” Maybe so, but in this life Deana is the PR/Media/Events Director for Paul Qui, qui, and East Side King, in addition to being Paul Qui’s fiancé and partner in crime. Not surprisingly, this duo travels a lot for work. This year they are heading to (and eating in) Hong Kong, Alaska, Vancouver, Copenhagen, San Francisco, Portland and New York. And of course, they will be picking up treats and condiments from all the places they visit to stock their fridge in Austin.
It goes without saying, that these days, Deana is keeping busy… but not too busy to enjoy the simple pleasure of cooking. She says, “Whether it’s cooking something new and challenging or quick and easy, or even enjoying take-out, it should always be something you’re excited about eating.” On that note, the Saukam/Qui pantry is well stocked with convenient, delicious bites to grab quickly while heading out the door to their next adventure. Here are some of the other favorites Deana always has on hand:
1. Paul Qui Eater Award— Paul won an Eater National Award for “The Most Winningest Winner.” The trophy is an actual can of tomatoes with the award printed on the label. Somehow it ended up in our pantry, where it stays to this day.
2. Kit Kat Sakura Matcha (Cherry Blossom Green Tea) from Japan — Our good friend Bonjwing Lee brought us a huge box of limited edition Cherry Blossom Green Tea flavored Kit Kats from Japan after his last trip. They are only available in Japan during cherry blossom season, difficult to find, and are insanely amazing.
3. Jeni’s Ice Cream/Jeni’s Ice Cream Sandwiches — Obsessed. My most recent addition to our freezer: Pineapple Upside Down Cake Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt. My favorite Jeni’s ice cream sandwich is the Orchid Vanilla: vanilla bean ice cream and black currant jam sandwiched between almond macaroon cookies. OMG.
4. Champagne — Bubbles always make everything better. Champagne goes with everything and every occasion, and is the perfect accessory. My current favorite is Billecart-Salmon. I really love the pink bubbles!
5. Phrik Naam Som — These vinegar soaked thai chiles are super spicy and the tangy vinegar really brings out the best flavors of every dish. I could just pour the vinegar all over everything.
6. Leftovers — I eat out a lot, and I love checking out new places and ordering everything on the menu. Sometimes (a lot of times) I bite off more than I can chew, and end up with a fridge full of leftovers.
7. Polaroid Film — Paul and I travel and lot and we have gotten really into snapping Polaroid pictures. The film lasts the longest if you keep it in the fridge.
8. Harmless Harvest Coconut Water — This is the next best thing to cracking open a fresh coconut and letting the juice pour over your face while standing on the beach. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a bottle with naturally pink coconut water. (Most of the time the coconut juice is clear.)
9. Topo Chico Bottles — Tiny bubbles. All day. Every day.