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Young and In a Hurry

5 Questions for Dave Lieberman


His TV show, "Good Deal With Dave Lieberman" spells out kitchen and shopping basics for inexperienced but enthusiastic cooks, and Lieberman will do the same for a demonstration in Richmond at Sur La Table March 2. He'll also sign copies of his first cookbook, "Young and Hungry: More Than 100 Recipes for Cooking Fresh and Affordable Food for Everyone."

Style tracked down Lieberman during a photo shoot to find out how he's navigating in the fast lane of food.

Style: What are you photographing right now?

Lieberman: It's for the drinks section of my new cookbook, and it's based on infused syrups. This particular drink is a ginger and lime caipirinha, which is spicy and intense, with rum and soda and limes served on ice.

For those who don't know much about Dave Lieberman, what's your identity?

I am trying to do creative, sophisticated food that's approachable and friendly and fun. I spend a lot of time thinking about food and recipes, constantly thinking about developing my own style. It's a creative process, and it's all about getting information out there in a way that's enjoyable, that makes people happy.

What are the difficulties about being young and in the public eye in the food business?

You've got to realize that you're in entertainment and that you're always at the mercy of ratings. It's a business, and you're subject to people's approval. Credibility and trust may be issues at first, and if people question my ability at a young age, they have to understand the position I'm in. A lot of people have been working at this for 20 years and I respect their knowledge. I hope that we will have mutual respect. I want to keep developing onwards and upwards, and keep creating.

What will you be preparing for the Richmond appearance?

I try and do a meal — mushroom crostini, beet salad, beef and polenta. I was using filet mignon but may switch to something else. I like to be able to use lesser cuts of meat because they're more interesting and cheaper. And for dessert, a merlot-poached pear with cinnamon-lemon whipped cream. People usually come with all kinds of questions about cooking in general, too. For me, the bottom line is, Is this the best-tasting I can make?

You've got quite the following among college girls in particular. Are you aware of that?

That's great. Bring 'em on!

Lieberman's cooking demonstration is sold-out, but the book signing is open to the public and runs 4:30-5:30 p.m. Books must be reserved in advance and purchased at the store. Contact Sur La Table at 272-7094 for information.

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