Q&A: Adrienne Hasty

  • Photo by Alysia Burton
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From the March 15, 2012 edition

Good nutrition is a tenet of Adrienne Hasty’s life. In her childhood home there was wheat bread, not white.

Last November, Hasty released her first cookbook, “Positively Cooking,” after years of developing healthy, easy recipes for her blog. She’s now working on her second edition.

While the healthful side of the work came as naturally to Hasty as whole grains, actually cooking was another story.

I had no idea how to cook until I was 22 years old. My boyfriend’s mom — she raised four boys — is from Virginia and is a fantastic cook. One time she asked me, “Can you help me cut this pepper?” I had no idea how to even chop a pepper. I cut the stem and she looked at me like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ I was like, I better learn how to do this.

I felt really vulnerable when the cookbook was about to come out. I think for a lot of artists or other people who put themselves out there, it’s hard to keep yourself going.

I was really active as a kid with sports. I was a gymnast, played soccer, did ballet. In my adult life now it makes sense that I go to work full time, write a cookbook, keep up my blog. That’s just how I’m wired.

I love surprising people. I do have a brain underneath the blonde hair. And then I’ll say, ‘Oh yeah and I wrote a cookbook, and I teach spinning, and I work in a medical lab.’ That really drives me.

Cooking is my me time. When you cook for somebody and they sit down and eat it, 100 percent of the time they’re appreciative even if they don’t say it. I love that feeling.

When I go out I always order a side of fries. You have to indulge a little bit. Why did Girl Scout cookies come out right after Lent? I was going to give up sweets, and I changed it in the middle. Now I don’t text, Tweet or Facebook while driving.

If I could have a meal with three people, living or dead: Ellen DeGeneres, because she’s funny as hell; Lady Gaga, her mind is so interesting and you know when she talks it’s authentic so I’d love to learn about creating yourself from her; and, finally, it’s a tie between Rob Dyrdek and Dr. Drew.

This is just the beginning. I am capable of more, and I want to do more. People like the cookbook and people cook from it, and that is really good to hear. We’ll see where it goes. I’m just along for the ride.