The Contests

WEEK 14

September 30, 2009 • 0 Comments

Congratulations to this week's winners!

Kamileon won the contest for Your Best Brunch Eggs with Savory Bread Pudding.

Hotplate Gourmet won the contest for Your Best Way to Cook Greens with Linguini with Breadcrumbs and Kale.

We asked them both to answer a few questions about cooking and eating.

Kamileon

Kamileon

Describe a food memory that has influenced the way you cook or think about food.

Until I moved from Idaho to California at twenty-one, I never put much thought into food or cooking.  I ate a lot of fast food and mac and cheese.  However, as soon as I moved here, one of my older coworkers took me under his wing.  One of the first things I remember after moving was him taking me and the other junior employees on a whirlwind culinary tour of New York (on the company credit card, of course), ending up at Gramercy Tavern for dessert.  I had no idea food could be that good, or that beautiful.  After that, good food turned into a bit of an obsession.  I started cooking at home, a: because it was fun, and b: to cut down on the cost of eating out at so many good restaurants.

What's the best thing you've made recently?

Shanghai soup dumplings!  They're delicious little pockets of hot pork soup in a delicate wonton skin.  The secret is pork aspic, which melts into broth when the dumplings are steamed, but is solid when you're folding the dumplings (so it doesn't run everywhere).

What is your favorite food publication and why?

Cooks Illustrated.  I'm a scientist by profession, and I love the mix of art, chemistry, and love that goes into every issue.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster. 

I can't count the number of things I've burned, but the most spectacular must have been the middle eastern yogurt sauce that I curdled in the pan and then baked to the bottom.  We went out for Italian that night (after I managed to scrape the yogurt out.)

What's the kitchen activity that's most cathartic for you? Least cathartic?

I like doing the prep work and setting all my ingredients up in little bowls, that's always sort of fun.  Least favorite is things that need constant stirring, like risotto.

Apron or no apron?

Apron, definitely.

What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?

I pretty much love the entire movie Chocolat.  All the little nuances about chocolate making, the stories that the mother tells about the origins of chocolate, and of course, the gorgeous food.  I also like all the ramen house scenes from Tampopo, but the rest of the movie is pretty strange.

What do you listen to (if anything) in the kitchen?

Anything and everything, I'm kind of a musical omnivore.  I listen to a lot of old jazz (think Ella Fitzgerald), and dance/techno.

Your favorite cutting board is: a) wood b) plastic

Wood. So much easier to clean.

When it comes to tidying up, you prefer to: a) clean as you cook, b) do all the dishes once you've finished cooking, or c) leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.

Oh, I totally trash the kitchen.  Depending on whose turn it is to do the dishes, I either clean up after dinner, or leave them for my husband.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotplate GourmetHotplate Gourmet

Describe a food memory that has influenced the way you cook or think about food.

Watching my father make dinner.  He approximates measurements, generally only glances at recipes, and still makes wonderful meals.  His methods have given me confidence in my own tastes, and I too generally only glance at recipes.

What's the best thing you've made recently?

I think the thing I'm most proud of having made in my toaster oven recently is a buttermilk red velvet cake with cream cheese icing.  It was beautiful and a big hit!

What is your favorite food publication and why?

Bon Appetit because it consistently inspires me and delights my senses (I would love to meet their food photographer!) I tend to fall back on simpler, more comfortable meals, but Bon Appetit never fails to break me out of a cooking rut to try something new. 

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster. 

This Easter I decided I wanted to cook dinner for my parents and brother in my tiny kitchen.  I had a plan, I had all of the ingredients ready, and when it came time to put the gorgeous leg of lamb in the toaster oven, it didn't fit!  

What's the most cathartic kitchen activity for you? Least cathartic?

Chopping vegetables is an incredibly cathartic and calming activity for me - you can't think of anything else except the size of what you're cutting.

Apron or no apron?

No apron - although I do have a few.

What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?

The one that stands out for me is the scene in "Under the Tuscan Sun" when the main character realizes that she can offer something to the laborers working on her Tuscan vila - a home cooked meal!  The looks on the faces of the workers as they eat is what I strive for when cooking for a group.  It's the most satisfying feeling in the world.

What do you listen to (if anything) in the kitchen?

It really depends on my mood, the day, and the kitchen I'm in, but whatever it is, it's usually loud.

Your favorite cutting board is: a) wood b) plastic

B. Plastic, but really either, as long as there are rubber grips on the bottom to keep it in place!

When it comes to tidying up, you prefer to: a) clean as you cook, b) do all the dishes once you've finished cooking, or c) leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.

I'd like to say A, but I must admit that it's usually C.


 

 

 

 

 

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