Our “Meet the Team” series continues into the new year with the introduction of David McCreary, our freelancing food writer we couldn’t live (or eat) without! A contributor to all three Cherokee Media Group publications (Main & Broad, Cary Magazine, and Wake Living), McCreary introduces readers to delicious and diverse dining options all across the Triangle — but there’s more to this team member than meets the eye (or mouth)! Read on to learn more.
Hi, everyone. I’m David McCreary, a freelance contributing writer for Cary Magazine and its sister publications, Main & Broad and Wake Living. As a longtime food aficionado, I’ve been privileged to write mostly restaurant-centric features for more than 15 years. On a more personal note, I’m a North Carolina native and an East Carolina University alumnus (1990). My wife Jenny and I live in Fuquay-Varina and will celebrate 30 years of marriage this coming May. We have two adult children, Noah and Joy.
What was your first ever job?
When I was 12 years old, I started push-mowing lawns during the summer months. It was hard, sweaty work, but I always enjoyed seeing the freshly cut grass when I finished each yard.
If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Probably sushi, since it’s healthy and delicious. I’d just have to make sure there was a lifetime supply of eel sauce for dipping purposes.
Favorite restaurant EVER?
The now defunct Tangerine Café in Cary (moment of silence, please). Words can’t adequately express how much I miss this extraordinary place, which closed late last year. Here’s what I wrote about it in Cary Magazine back in 2013: A modest 10-table Asian restaurant situated beside an Ace Hardware store, Tangerine Café is one of Cary’s best kept gastronomic secrets. Where else can you find Thai, Indian, Korean, Indonesian and Vietnamese cuisine all on the same menu?
What’s an interesting fact about yourself that I would never guess?
My first real job after college (meaning full time with benefits) was a probation and parole officer position with the NC Department of Corrections. Let’s just say it didn’t last long.
What fictional place would you like to visit?
Racket and Paddle, an indoor space featuring tennis, racquetball, squash, and pickleball courts plus table tennis all under the same roof. In case you’re thinking somewhere like this already exists, there also would be free smoothies and sushi available to everyone.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
Listen at least twice as much as you talk.
What is your 15 minutes of fame?
Does judging a local barbecue competition alongside WRAL television anchor Ken Smith and now-retired CBS-17 meteorologist Bill Reh count?
Who is your hero?
My late father, Gene McCreary, who got promoted to heaven about five months ago. He was a man of great character, faith, and integrity. Dad taught me many great life lessons, from how to fish and ride a bike to more important things like visiting prisoners, serving meals at homeless shelters, and extending generosity to others. I was honored to share a tribute to him at his memorial service.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
This is a tough question, because I love where I live now. That said, I wouldn’t mind the opportunity to live in the North Carolina mountains following retirement.
Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I’ve tried several weird foods, like warthog meatballs in South Africa and a century egg in China (Google it), but to me the weirdest thing was stingray in Singapore. The people I was with told me it had a texture similar to chicken, but I found it rather odd and didn’t particularly enjoy it.