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Exclusive Interview with Nacho NY's Lee Frank

Shalom Life sits down with the founder of NachosNY, the world's first blog dedicated to our love of all things nachos.
By: Ashley Baylen
Published: May 2nd, 2011 in Culture » Food » Interviews
Lee Frank and the shirt that inspired the blog.Pic: NILL

Nachos. Have you ever met someone that doesn’t love them? Neither have we. There’s no greater food experience than sitting down with a group of friends and chatting over an overflowing plate of corn chips heaped with cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole and ground beef.

Lee Frank has been called a Nacho Connoisseur. His undying love for nachos prompted him to launch NachosNY, a popular blog educating New Yorkers about all the wonderful nacho plate variations throughout the city, and as a place to share recipes for guacamole, salsa and original nacho dishes such as Buffalo Chicken Nachos and Philly Cheesesteak Nachos.

It all started in 2006 when Lee was given a yellow shirt that read, “I (heart) Nachos.” He had been speaking about nachos endlessly, and after receiving this gift he was inspired to create an online space where he could share his “love and wealth of knowledge about nachos.” His friend, Rachel Anderson, moved into Lee’s apartment that he already shared with roommate, Jonathan Portinsky. The three of them founded NachosNy.com and are now a big, happy, nacho, family.

Being a nacho lover myself (and frequent reader of the site on New York trips), I was very pleased when Lee agreed to speak with me about his passion for this versatile, and always satisfying, comfort food.

AB (Ashley Baylen): Why nachos?

LF (Lee Frank): Nachos have been my favourite food since I was a kid and is arguably the best food. No one dislikes it and anyone can share a great platter.

AB: Do you have a favourite place to get nachos?

LF: I love a few places, El Maguey Y La Tuna in the Lower East Side, 5 Burro Cafe in Red Hook. I just recently fell in love with this place Coppelia in Chelsea, too.

AB: I assume you didn't think you would be making a living off nachos. What would you be doing if this hadn't been a success?

LF: I have a full-time job as a social-media strategist for luxury and media brands. But I'd love to someday make a living off of this.

AB: You might be the only Nacho Connoisseur in the world. Do you plan to use this knowledge to open a restaurant, write a book, etc?

LF: We want to write a book and we've thought about how we could open a nachos-specific restaurant. Our book would be a hybrid of essays and recipes, so delicious and interesting at the same time.

AB: When you're not eating and writing about nachos, what do you enjoy doing?

LF: I love the Brooklyn comedy scene, so I try to make it to a lot of shows whenever I can. Brooklyn is also home to amazing food events so we try to participate and attend those.

AB: Do you plan on expanding NachosNY outside of NY in the future?

LF: I'd love to expand to some other cities, but right now I'm not sure we have the time.

AB: Can you share a nacho recipe with us?

LF: I'm sorry, we don't have any homegrown nacho recipes yet. We do have some great guacamole recipes. Here’s one:

Mole Slaw by The Skint

Avocados
Tomatoes
Onions
Ginger
Jalapeño pepper
Cilantro
Fresh lime juice
Salt + pepper – to taste

Get all your non-avocado ingredients prepared: Dice tomatoes. Chop up some onions. Mince ginger. Seed and mince jalapeño peppers. Finely chop cilantro.

Mash up a few avocados. Don’t overdo it though because everyone likes a chunky guac.

Fold the non-avocado ingredients into the mashed mixture.

Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.

Proportions are up to your tastes but try throwing some ginger in there next time you’re feeling a little adventurous.

Be sure to check out www.nachosny.com.

Related articles: Lee Frank, NachosNY, Nachos, Recipes, Guacamole, Salsa, New York, Brooklyn
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