How does Ashley Koff order when she dines out?
It really depends a little bit if it’s just me and a companion, and we’re just going, “Hey, I want to check this out.” It’s hard for me to turn off my “work-curiosity brain.” But also a lot of times if I’m going for work or somebody knows what I do for work, then maybe the chef is going to say, “Hey, I want you to try this,” sort of thing. So sometimes I’m not ordering.
I really believe in trying something. If something is presented to me, I want to try it. That said, I also really believe that it’s very important to stand up for what your choices are and what your preferences are and what your dislikes are. I have a really strong dislike for certain textures and it’s going to ruin a meal for me if I feel like I’m having that forced upon me.
Typically, I will look at a menu. I tend to like things simpler and celebrating the quality of the ingredient, so I do scan the menu first to see if there’s something that I have never heard of. I love to ask questions. And the second thing I look for is what’s organic, what’s local, and I’m super excited. I love vegetables. It’s going to sound like such the nutritionist comment, but I happen to just love what people are doing with vegetables today, so I’ll look at that piece.
Then just as I tell my clients to do, I figure out from a menu, “Okay, I don’t want to overdo it in terms of carbohydrates,” so not just looking at foods for their nutrients, but I might make choices. If there is an amazing potato dish on there, then I’m not going to also be ordering pasta. And also I love to — without putting any pressure on my table companions — hear what they’re ordering because I know I might just want a bite of something; and if they’re ordering it, I can taste it from them and be happy with what I’m ordering. I do tend to order more in the appetizer or small-plate approach of trying many different things rather than just one dish and saying this is what I want.