So 2020 is officially here and I’m mostly glad to see the back of 2019.
But there were some highlights last year, including all of the strangers I met for breakfast, lunch or dinner. From an adult movie performer to two Hollywood actresses, and from several Washington, DC, restaurant owners to a former NFL player, I found each interview fascinating. In total I wrote 11 articles in 2019 featuring a total of 13 strangers (two of the meals featured more than one person).
In case you missed any of them, here’s a list of the dinner interviews from 2019 in publication order:
- #117 Jane Lynch And Kate Flannery Are Two Lost Souls (January 21, 2019): Actresses Jane Lynch (Glee) and Kate Flannery (The Office) talk in Los Angeles about how becoming friends and teaming up for a semi-regular series of concerts at Christmas and throughout the year.
- #118 Tired Old Queen At The Movies (March 17, 2019): Film buff Steve Hayes, at brunch in New York, reveals his obsession with classic movies and how his love of cinema spurred him to launch the popular YouTube review series “Tired Old Queen at the Movies.”
- #119 Mikko (April 18, 2019): Dinner at a Nordic restaurant in the District with owner Mikko Kosonen talking about his long career cooking for diplomats and operating a catering company before he decided to open his own place.
- #120 Puddin’ (May 29, 2019): DC resident Toyin Alli’ at her comfort food vendor Puddin’ shares the inspiration for her business, and discusses the many ways she’s trying to help up-and-coming chefs with advice, kitchen space, and more.
- #121 Central Intelligence Aki (June 26, 2019): In the District, former CIA analyst Aki Peritz talks about his secretive work for the agency, and how he’s now using that expertise to write, consult and teach on the issue of counterterrorism.
- #122 The Dual Lifestyles Of DeAngelo Jackson (June 29, 2019): Over a light lunch in New York, gay adult model DeAngelo Jackson, a self-described introvert, shares how he’s had to embrace the life of an extrovert for his career.
- #123 Play It Again, Jesse (September 13, 2019): A night at the piano bar Mr. Smith’s in DC’s Georgetown neighborhood, meeting resident pianist Jesse Rifkin to discuss what it’s like performing every Friday and Saturday night.
- #124 Coming Out Of The NFL (September 25, 2019): Meeting former NFL player Ryan O’Callaghan to hear his story of how being closeted almost drove him to suicide, and the book he’s written to help others struggling with their sexuality.
- #125 Sampson McCormick Is Living On His Terms (October 13, 2019) Comedian Sampson McCormick, visiting his hometown of DC, tells me about the highs and lows of a career based on trying to make people laugh.
- #126 FishScale (October 16, 2019): Chef Brandon Williams and his sister Kristal share the idea behind the launch of their restaurant in the District that offers high quality burgers made from fish.
- #127 The House Of Pendarvis (December 3, 2019): The last interview of the year is my dinner with Rayceen Pendarvis, a lifelong DC resident, activist, emcee, radio show host and so much more.
If you’d like to featured on Dining With Strangers, check out my upcoming travels to see if I’m visiting your location this year. Or simply fill out the dinner interview request form no matter where you live, as my travel plans can change.