Cook Spotlight


By • May 2, 2011 • 30 Comments

monkeymom  Wishbone Roast Chicken with Herb Butter

What's in a name? A whole lot in the case monkeymom, a San Francisco Bay Area scientist whose ability to monkey about her kitchen (with her kids, no less) is truly awe-inspiring. With numerous contest wins under her toque, monkeymom rises to the challenge of any theme we dream up. Dumplings? No problem -- she's got Scallop Potstickers up her sleeve. Dinner rolls? Even better -- her Heavenly Oatmeal Molasses Rolls take the win.

Monkeymom has been an active presence on food52 for as long as we can remember (check out the shots of her in a slideshow from the first ever food52 potluck in the Bay Area -- more please!). A rare and fabulous quality of her cooking (for her children especially) is that everything, and we mean everything, looks flat-out delicious -- from pizza to panna cotta to pozole

Try out her Caramelized Pork Bành Mì and Wishbone Roast Chicken with Herb Butter and you'll see: monkeymom has a way of taking traditional comfort foods and tweaking them with a special technique or creative twist that heightens them to the apotheosis of what they should be. And yet, she knows there's always room for a subtle but sophisticated finish to a meal, like her Holiday Sables, little chocolate cookies iced with ganache and sprinkled with peppermint. Perfect.

Read monkeymom's profile Q&A below:

  • What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
    Sea cucumber...yuck. Weird taste and texture.

  • What do you cook when home alone?
    Salad with bacon and an over easy egg on top.

  • Your most treasured kitchen possession:
    My big red Le Creuset pot.

  • Your ideal meal:
    A home cooked meal from great cooks with all the family around.

  • Something you'd like a chance to eat or cook:
    So many choices, so little time...the French Laundry maybe?

  • The number of bottles of wine you own:
    I can never really keep track.

  • The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:
    Around here 8 adults usually come attached with 8 kids so I guess that means 16!

  • Kitchen pet peeve:
    Inefficient dishwasher loading irks me.

  • Your favorite cookbook:
    I am obsessed with Tartine Bread. I also love Pei Mei's Chinese Cook book and Keller's Ad Hoc.


Jump to Comments (30)

Comments (30)


over 3 years ago Fairmount_market

Congratulations monkeymom. Your Banh Mi recipe is what first led me to food52. Thanks!


over 3 years ago Daphne

So much fun to see your smiling face looking out at me, monkeymom. Love your food and your fun personality. Happy Spring, thinking we may be having a pot luck soon! : )


over 3 years ago Sagegreen

So nice to see you featured. Admire your recipes!


over 3 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Great to see you featured monkeymom, I love your recipes! So many still unmade though....


over 3 years ago TiggyBee

monkeymom, congrats!! I love your recipes!!


over 3 years ago Waverly

So nice to see you in the spotlight! I am a fan - especially love your rolls!


over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Wooohoo monkeymom!!!! What a great spotlight! Your recipes have been so inspirational to me and taught me so much. Thank you, and keep it up!!!


over 3 years ago lapadia

How wonderful to see you shining in the spotlight, monkeymom! Congratulations...


over 3 years ago monkeymom

Thanks again to all of you wonderful friends for commenting on this post! It really made my week!


over 3 years ago mcs3000

so awesome to see @monkeymom featured! bombing recipes. btw: ditto on the tartine bread (once had someone offer me $20 for a tartine loaf on muni. nope, didn't sell it.).


over 3 years ago monkeymom

A loaf of that bread is like gold. good call!


over 3 years ago TasteFood

Yay, monkeymom! Miss you - let's plan another get together this spring!


over 3 years ago monkeymom

Thanks food52! I'm so very happy to be among the great crowd of fantastic cooks here. I have learned so much from each of you guys and cooked so many of your recipes too. Finding food52 has really made a huge impact in my life. Such an inspiring and fun place to hang out!


over 3 years ago betteirene

It takes one to know one!


over 3 years ago phyllis

Congratulations!! Well deserved spotlight!!


over 3 years ago melissav

Well deserved. Monkeymom - I love your recipes. So many are now part of our weekly rotation!


over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yippeeee, monkeymom! So nice to see you in the spotlight!


over 3 years ago nannydeb

Congratulations monkeymon! Great to see you in the spotlight!


over 3 years ago Burnt Offerings

Congrats! I made your chicken this past weekend - always a hit.


over 3 years ago thirschfeld

monkeymom is the bomb, and as if exhibit A wasn't enough how about exhibit B


over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

nice rhyming, thirschfeld!


over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Yay, monkeymom! So great to see you in the spotlight. I ? your recipes!


over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hurrah for MonkeyMom! I have made a bunch of your recipes and they are delicious every time, without fail!