December 2021 Spotlight: Heidi B.
We are so excited to introduce our December spotlight of the month: Heidi Billotto. Heidi is a food & travel writer, has multiple food and travel segments on local TV, she is the creator and organizer of NC state-wide culinary competitions, a James Beard Foundation judge and just so much more. Despite all her achievements, she is one of the most humble, down to earth and kind people you'd ever meet.
Here's what Sana Siddiqui, 1Eatz Founder, has to say about Heidi:
"It’s amazing how sometimes you come across people that end up making a huge impact in your life! Heidi is that person to me. She is an inspiration and an influencer in the true sense!
Being new to the food industry, there was so much I didn’t know. When I first spoke with her, she welcomed me to her domain with open arms and introduced me to opportunities that I otherwise wouldn't have known.
There is so much to be said about her and all that she has done for 1Eatz; From including 1Eatz in her TV segment to inviting me to do a live cooking demo alongside her at the NC State Fair.
Thank you, Heidi, for everything! You are simply the best. I am honored that we got to work together this year and look forward to more of it in the years to come!"
Check out Heidi's blog.
Hear from Heidi:
- Tell us something that might surprise us about you?
I was fortunate enough to be able to interview my culinary hero, Julia Child, twice!
- What is your motto or personal mantra?
She believed she could do it, and so she did!
- If you could be any fictional character, who would be and why?
Dory, from Finding Nemo. She is sweet, kind and caring, doesn't see anyone's flaws or imperfections as anything bad or ugly and only wants to help. And, I love that she is always encouraging us to " Keep on Swimming." She is a great role model for us all.
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
To stop hate, prejudice and jealousyv.
- Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
I love what I do. My career has been an unlikely combination of lots of things I love. I started out as a kindergarten teacher, then I owned a kitchen shop where I sold all kinds of cool kitchen gadgets and equipment and taught cooking classes to children and adults. That morphed into being a food writer which led to television, radio and everything I do now.
I am so fortunate to be able to run my own business, to say what , who and when; and to do a different thing - writing, cooking, social media, catering, travel - every day. None of that would be possible without the support of my husband, Tom Billotto. Tom is a Charlotte-based full time musician ( fingerstyle guitar and vocals.)
Often we work together at private parties, providing "food and mood" as a package deal. With the pandemic, although I have been doing some private cooking classes and some catering, my regular "At Home with Heidi" and "On the Farm" cooking classes have been put on hold, but I plan to start those again at the first of the year.
I cook and cater with locally grown and locally sourced products that I buy at area farmers markets, farm stores and directly from local producers; and on any given Saturday morning, you will find me at 3-4 different farmers markets in and around Charlotte. People can find my recipes, videos, restaurant info and food-centric travel guides at HeidiBillottoFood.com.
I love that I can use my forum and my skill to teach and to help shine a spotlight on all the cool things local chefs, farmers and producers are doing and always like to remind people how easy it is to eat and drink locally by reminding them to #TellThemHeidiSentYou.