Meet Brian Johnson, aka the Hungry Lobbyist.
Johnson runs the popular food and lifestyle blog, The Hungry Lobbyist, where you can read about the sequester while browsing for the perfect power lunch spot. FamousDC is also lucky enough to have him write a bi-weekly column, Feasting Famously, where he interviews folks around the District about their favorite meals, what they cook and the weirdest things in their fridge. With a site redesign and several new content areas, we thought it was prime time to introduce you to the Hungry Lobbyist – a tax lobbyist with a mean set of kitchen skills.
*Photo by Victoria Ruan Photography
1. For those who don’t know, can you tell us what made you decide to start the blog?
The name, “hungry lobbyist” was created after I left an event for a Member of Congress. I commented to a friend that I was starving and they were surprised, as they simply assumed lobbyists were wined and dined. After I explained that due to ethics rules and gifting bans we can’t eat anything that essentially isn’t served on a toothpick, the name hungry lobbyist sort of stuck. So that’s the name, the blog started because I needed to work-out the left side of brain, and because I love to cook and think food is one thing that can actually bring everyone together – so why not share my thoughts about food, restaurants, and more on the online interwebs.
2. Where do you see the Hungry Lobbyist brand going in 2013?
Well, the site has been through about six thousand re-designs and I’m pretty happy with the layout now, so I’ve been focusing on content. I added the “Lobbyist Lifestyle” section to branch out into clothing and product reviews, so expect to see more of that. I want to partner with more restaurants and places around town for events, and likely bring on additional writers. I mean, blogging is fun and all, but it doesn’t keep the lights on. Also, a book might be in the works down the road.
3. If you’re throwing an impromptu dinner party, what’s your go to dish?
Who throws impromptu dinner parties? Wouldn’t that just be, “dinner?” My rule is you don’t want to be in the kitchen the whole time, you want to mingle with your guests. So unless it’s a group cooking thing, prep as much as you can ahead of time, and stick with something that you can walk away from. For me; ribs, anything on my smoker, herb-lemon roast chicken with fresh vegetables and homemade au jus, anything with Italian red gravy, certainly nothing new or crazy unless you know your guests are adventurous eaters. Oh, and a frittata for brunch, super easy.
4. What is your favorite thing about the District?
Being a lobbyist, I love the Holiday party circuit here in DC. Tons of trade associations, non-profits, and other businesses throw amazing Holiday parties, great food, open bars, and you get to mingle with colleagues with Christmas music playing and tinsel everywhere. I mean, who doesn’t like Christmas? It’s basically the only time where everyone in DC is happy and getting along (credit the bourbon cider most likely).
5. So tell us, if Obama called and wanted to kick it for a day in DC, what would you guys do?
Hahahah. It would definitely involve Joe Biden, adult beverages, and Marine One. I know he likes cheeseburgers with mustard, so we have that in common. Maybe use his Secret Service to get Michel Richard to tell me the recipe for his fried chicken at Central, because that stuff’s like crack. Chicken crack.