Meet the FoodTriber – John Battersby
Let's ask John some questions...
Welcome back to Meet the FoodTriber, the series of posts which introduce you to some of the amazing content creators here on FoodTribe. A few questions give you the chance to know a little more closely the people behind the posts you read and love.
Anyone can be interviewed, just leave a comment and I'll reach out to you as soon as possible. Speaking of, I'm terribly sorry for this long break. I'm back on track and ready to give some visibility to everyone who already submitted for this series.
Today my guest is John Battersby, who often leaves our mouths watering with his delicious meals, full of well-grilled juicy meat. Now let's start with the questions.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I'm originally from New Jersey, grew up a little everywhere, and now live outside of Atlanta, GA. Where I'm from and where I've been have really influenced what kind of foods I like. I love cheesesteaks and pizza because of my time in New Jersey. I love bangers and mash and other English foods because of my time in England. And now I'm in the South and I've grown an appreciation for southern food, like BBQ and biscuits.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I'm a cop. I am a supervisor over a shift at a precinct for a sheriff's office. I get to go out and patrol a big area of the county with a couple of guys working with me.
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER FOODTRIBE?
I've been a huge fan of Top Gear for a long time. When the guys split with the BBC, I was relieved to see The Grand Tour start up. Following the shows, I saw DRIVETRIBE start up and joined that immediately. There is not much for me to participate with, in DRIVETRIBE. I follow it but can't really contribute there. But then I saw FOODTRIBE was starting up through a news article online, and I got excited. I had already started a food blog and saw that I could possibly contribute a little something with DRIVETRIBE.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES?
I've got WAY too many hobbies. I have my 2014 Ford Mustang GT; it's all modified and features a supercharger. It's VERY fast, putting down 582 RWHP. I just recently bought a 2019 Ford Ranger 4x4; I can't wait to take it out for some mild off-roading. I have a boat, and a cabin at the lake nearby. I love being out by the water, or on the water. It's fun and relaxing. I enjoy shooting and it used to be a huge hobby for me, but it's become a much smaller hobby these days. I did a seven year stint as a training officer at the sheriff's office I work at and I taught a lot of firearms stuff. It became more work and less hobby, but it's still something I really enjoy.
And I love food. Cooking and eating is a big hobby with me. I love to grill and BBQ. About nine years ago I couldn't cook worth sh--! But I met the woman I would eventually end up marrying and I learned to cook trying to impress her. It turned into a HUGE hobby for me. My wife is my inspiration. My food muse! Now I'm a member of a competition BBQ team and have a lot of fun with that as well. And one more hobby to mention; I love traveling with my wife. We've been to some pretty neat places like Moscow and Sydney. We love traveling and especially love going on cruises! I love eating food in the different places we visit and really getting immerse myself in that aspect of a place's culture.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ITALIAN DISH?
PIZZA!!! I love pizza! And I really enjoy making it on the grill. I've started trying to make my own pizza dough, and I wanna turn the tomatoes my wife grows into sauce. I love building up a pizza with different toppings but I also don't mind a frozen pizza backed in the oven. Because it's still pizza!
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COCKTAIL?
I have two, equally favorite cocktails. I used to drink Gin & Tonic like crazy until I went on a cruise of the Baltic. Visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg got me onto Vodka. So now I drink a lot of Vodka Tonics with green olives and a splash of the brine from the olives. The other cocktail I really enjoy is more of my Spring and Summer drink; Jack Daniel's Honey with ginger ale and a fresh squeezed wedge of lime. On a hot day out at the cabin by the lake it is very refreshing!
BEER OR WINE?
Beer! I love a cheaper American beer called Pabst Blue Ribbon. I started drinking PBR when I was really poor, just out of college. I used to be able to get a cold six-pack for $2.69. Now I keep a beer fridge behind out basement bar stocked with a variety of beers, but PBR is still me go-to beer.
SAVORY SNACKS OR SWEETS?
Savory snacks are where it's at. I need to stay away from snacks these days as my bad dietary choices are catching up to me now that I'm 40 years old. But I love potato chips, crackers with cheese, jerky, and snack mixes.
TELL US A FOOD-RELATED CHILDHOOD MEMORY...
A memory that makes me smile is of my grandmother, when she would come to visit us at our house. I was the only person in my house that liked fish, and in particular I loved Fried Flounder. The only time I would ever get it is when my grandmother would visit. I would hang out in the kitchen with her and she would make Fried Flounder from scratch (and tartare sauce), just for me. My grandmother and I would be the only two eating it for dinner. It was sooooooooooo good. Fresh and hot out of the frying pan. I appreciated it back then, because it was good food and she made it special for me. But now that she has passed away, I really appreciate the memory of it.
WHAT'S THE DISH YOU COOK THE BEST?
Steak! This was something I learned how to cook to impress my wife, very early on. My wife got to eat out at work dinners at top-of-the-line steak houses all the time. I'm talking, she was eating steak dinners that were nearly $200 a person. I really worked hard on learning how to cook up good steaks, and I knew I got it down when she told me that she preferred my steaks to the steak houses. That made my head really big. And the big bonus is I get to eat steak too.
TELL US ABOUT A FOOD FAILURE...
One food failure that really sticks out is one I recently wrote a FOODTRIBE article about. It was a dish called Shit On a Shingle, or S.O.S. for short. It's an old military meal that consists of salt cured beef being cooked with a white gravy and then served over toast. My grandfather, being an old school military man, used to make this for me when I was little, and I continued to enjoy it growing up in New Jersey as it is pretty common on the menus of several diners. I decided to make it and it came out HORRIBLE. It was sooooooo damn salty. It was pretty much unpalatable.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD?
A really good cheeseburger. There is something about the smells and flavors of a cheeseburger, especially from a cook-out, that make me so happy. I think back to early cheeseburger memories and I think of my family cooking out on a charcoal grill. These days burgers at the cabin at the lake are one of my favorites.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PETS?
We have two dogs. One is an older German Shepherd dog named Nika. She's a total sweetheart and follows my wife around all day. About a week and a half ago we adopted a crazy dog from the pound named Mojo; but we call him Momo or Mo. He's very big and very energetic but he's also a sweetheart and seems to have taken a shine to me.
DO YOU LIKE LISTENING TO MUSIC WHILE COOKING? IF YES, WHAT KIND OF MUSIC?
I love listening to music in the kitchen, and my taste in music can be a bit eclectic. I love the old Blues music. The stuff with a lot of soul in it it. I also love the Mumford and Sons station on Amazon. Classic rock also gets it done, especially with the Rolling Stones.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE COOKING SHOW?
Not particularly. I enjoy Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives; Guy Fieri always hits restaurants I think I would love to eat at. I used to loved Anthony Bourdain's shows. I never liked it when his political leanings became a part of the show, but he showed me a lot about food all over the world in Parts Unknown. I was sad and even angry at him when he passed away. I would have loved to have sat with him for a meal. I also like Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations with Andrew Zimmern. His show, while not as deep as Parts Unknown, is great because I have a lot of interest in international cuisine.
WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE CHEF?
My favorite chef is Aaron Franklin. This man makes the BEST brisket I've ever tasted. I became obsessed with trying Aaron Franklin's brisket after seeing a clip of Anthony Bourdain eating there. Franklin BBQ is a pretty common topic on a lot of the BBQ forums online. A couple of years ago I finally got to eat at Franklin BBQ and there hasn't been a day that has passed that I haven't thought about that brisket.
WHAT'S THE CRAZIEST THING YOU HAVE DONE BECAUSE OF FOOD?
The craziest thing I've done because of food was actually eat at Franklin BBQ. We had to get up REALLY early in the morning to drive to this place, about 1.5 hours away from where we were visiting relatives, so we could be in line around 7AM. They opened at noon for lunch, and we sat in line for hours just to eat lunch. I drank a lot of beer in line that morning. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPING?
I love sausage and onion on my pizzas. But I also like spinach and shrimp with an Alfredo style sauce.
TELL US SOMETHING FOOD-RELATED THAT YOU CAN'T STAND...
I can't stand carrots. I've never been able to eat them. Well, I don't mind the little shaved carrot bits that sometimes come on a salad or in an egg roll. But that's about it.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF FOODTRIBE?
I love FOODTRIBE. I enjoying sharing my love for food with others and seeing what other people enjoy making and eating. I especially love the international flavor of FOODTRIBE. Now I have a lot of new foods I want to try.
Thanks to John for being a volunteer for this interview. If you missed the previous posts, down here you can find Hayley Stanway and Valentina Testa's interviews.