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A word with: George from I Heart Food

March 3, 2015

George & Shelby Culver

Photo courtesy of Jessica Shea Photography

When I think of food and drink in Hampton Roads, there is only one man that comes to mind. This perfectly mustached man, is George. George runs the mouthwatering local food blog I Heart Food. He is regularly out and about on the town, tasting the local fare and sipping various spirits. Yet somehow he also finds the time to cook up elaborate feasts at home with his family. He seems to be unafraid at trying new things, and my thought is, if George likes it, it’s worth a shot!

Occupation
By day I’m a Software Test Engineer, by night (and weekends, days off, whenever I can squeeze it in) I’m the local food blogger I Heart Food! It’s funny because people think I blog for a living, but I have a mortgage to pay.

Hobbies
Eating, drinking, cooking and then writing about it. I write for HR Growler magazine and contribute to several local zines and sites.

Are YOU a VB “local”?
I consider myself a “local”. I think it was about 1973 when my family moved here. I even met my future wife – Shelby – at Lynnhaven Mall when we were both 16 years old.

Favorite family activity to do in Virginia Beach
One of my favorite things to do is preparing big meals at the house. Our children are “adults” now so when we can get them both together it usually calls for a good dinner. We’ll invite family over and sit down to eat and get some quality time.

Top 5 “must have” items for going to the beach
Sun screen, big umbrella, blanket, water, and pogey bait.

A perfect date with your significant other
A relaxing dinner, trying something new; we’re easy to please.

Favorite restaurant(s)
There are so many places in Virginia Beach that we love going to, but if I had to name a few I’d say Terrapin Restaurant, Croc’s 19th Street Bistro, Tubby’s Tavern, Home Republic and Misako Sushi Bar & Grill. We always eat sushi at Misako.

Go-to drink(s) at the moment
I don’t drink too many cocktails or mixed drinks but I do love Beach Brewing Company’s Hoptopus. All the beer and wine tastings we go to at Grape & Gourmet. We love Kevin and Deb and they can answer any question you have concerning beer and wine. The last cocktail I had that I loved was the Lunaroja from Twist in Town Center. Something that never disappoints is the Jumbo, or “Yumbo” as our friend called it, margarita from El Taco Loco Mexican Restaurant.

Something you CAN’T live without
Mrs. Shelby, we’ve been together since 1988 and she’s been able to train me to be a civilized human being.

What’s on your bucket list?
This is a big one, but a very long Eurotrip starting in the U.K. then making our way through the Continent to the Mediterranean. Shelby and I would be eating and drinking our way through Europe in addition to site-seeing. We were stationed in Germany in the 90s and fell in love with it.

Local tip
Go to Mannino’s Italian Restaurant for the She-Crab Soup, you won’t regret it. If you want to go to the beach, try to access one of the government owned beaches. No crowds.

Any events in Hampton Roads that you’re looking forward to?
Yes! The East Coast She Crab Soup Classic on April 11th, don’t miss it! The next Battle of the Beers too, they’re always fun. Find a designated driver, you’re going to get drunk.

What is your motto?
Shelby gave me a mantra years ago, “Be nice George.”

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