The Contests

Winner of The Recipe You Want to be Remembered For

By • May 11, 2011 • 40 Comments

Congratulations to cookinginvictoria, whose Sunday Pork Ragu won this week's contest for The Recipe You Want to be Remembered Forearning her a handsome set of Le Creuset Enameled Stoneware Canisters from Williams-Sonoma, plus big prizes from VikingOXO and Tiny Prints, and a spot in the next food52 cookbook!

Williams-Sonoma

cookinginvictoria with family  Sunday Pork Ragu

Q&A with cookinginvictoria

  • Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking. 
  • As a child, I realized that my family loved to cook and eat. I saw my Italian great-grandmother, my Mexican grandmother, and my Irish grandmother prepare the most elaborate, delicious meals in their kitchens and serve their food to loved ones with abundant grace and generosity. At their tables there was much love, laughter, and noisy camaraderie. For my grandmothers, and my mother as well, making food and serving it to the people they cared about was nothing less than a celebration -- a deeply, satisfying emotional experience -- and I think this is what I really responded to. From a young age, I loved being in the kitchen with these women, trying to learn their culinary secrets. They always welcomed my presence. My paternal grandma entrusted me with making her "secret" salad dressing, my maternal grandma let me help her roll out homemade tortillas, and my mom has given me many a lesson in making the perfect pie crust.

  • What's your least favorite food?
  • I will eat pretty much anything, but these days I have a deep aversion to heavily processed, fast food. Although I haven't eaten at McDonald's in years, I will readily admit to liking a really good burger and fries. When I lived in New York City, my husband and I loved dining alfresco at the Shake Shack. That is where my daughter first learned to love French fries!


  • Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
  • I've definitely had my share of kitchen mishaps. The one I remember best happened last year when I was making multiple batches of cupcakes for my daughter's fifth birthday party. I was sure that I had memorized the recipe, and so, as I began the last batch, I didn't bother to consult the ingredients list. Of course, I forgot to add the baking powder. The cupcakes emerged from the oven pretty flat, but it was after midnight, and I didn't have the energy to make another batch. Most of the kids at the birthday party only wanted to eat the icing off the cupcakes anyway, so I added lots and lots of extra layers of frosting and hoped that the cupcakes wouldn't be scrutinized too closely!

  • What is your idea of comfort food?
  • The foods that I grew up eating always make me feel comforted and cherished, especially pasta in any way, shape or form, my maternal grandmother's green chile, and my mother's homemade cinnamon rolls and fruit pies.

  • Daughter picking strawberries  Great Grandmother
  • cookinginvictoria's daughter, Lucy, picking strawberries; her great-grandmother who passed down the winning Sunday Pork Ragu recipe

  • Apron or no apron?
  • No apron, unless I am doing something really messy, such as deep frying or making fresh marinara sauce with vine-ripened tomatoes that need peeling and seeding.

  • What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
  • The scene in Julie & Julia when Julia Child has just arrived in Paris, and her husband takes her out for lunch, and she tastes Sole Meuniere for the first time. The look of rapture on Meryl Streep's face is unforgettable. After that meal, she is determined to learn and master French cooking. I love that scene because it shows how food can transport us and change our lives and it illustrates how powerful and suffused with emotion a perfect meal can be.

  • If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
  • There are so many chefs and food writers that I admire, but I don't think that I would feel comfortable cooking for them -- too much pressure! I would love to cook for my great-grandma. She passed away when I was a teenager, and she never really knew how much she influenced me with her food and cooking prowess. I would love to listen to her stories about growing up in Italy and learn how her recipes came to be. It would also be fun to cook for Michelle Obama and talk about school lunches, community gardens, and teaching kids healthy food habits -- all big passions of mine now.

  • You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
  • In theory I like the idea of cooking with others, but in practice my kitchen is on the small side, so if there is more than one person cooking, we are constantly bumping into each other and getting into one another's way. So I tend to shoo people out of the kitchen and do the actual cooking on my own. However, my husband says that regardless of the size of our kitchen, I can be very territorial when it comes to cooking. I think there's probably some truth to that, too.

  • When it comes to tidying up, you usually: a. clean as you cook, b. do all the dishes once you've finished cooking, c. leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.
  • I find it a real challenge to clean as I cook. I admire cooks who are organized enough to do this! On occasion, I will do the dishes after I finish cooking. But more often than not my husband gets saddled with most of them and cheerfully does them without complaining. (He just read that and laughed!) Sadly, our kitchen does not have a dishwasher -- a situation we hope to remedy soon.

 


Comments (40)

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about 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Congratulations on a great recipe. Look forward to trying it soon!

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thank you so much, healthierkitchen!

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about 3 years ago Waverly

Congratulations on your win - I enjoyed reading about you and the way you grew up associating family and love with food.

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thank you, waverly! Glad that you enjoyed the Q&A. Yes, for me food and family have been very much intertwined. Your morel crostini recipe looks wonderful, btw. I love, love morels. As soon as they make an appearance at my local green market, I intend to try your recipe.

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about 3 years ago melissav

Loved your Q&A. Can't wait to try this dish. PS - so glad that you enjoy the butternut squash.

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thank you, melissav! If you try the recipe, please let me know what you think. Another recipe of yours that is in the regular rotation in our household is your Vietnam inspired catfish. I especially love your technique of quickly pickling vegetables.

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about 3 years ago Midge

Yay civ! Loved reading your Q&A and what great pics of your family.

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thank you so much, Midge. Looking forward to trying your crab cake recipe!

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Once again, thank you all for the lovely comments, generous words of support and friendship. Today was a really wonderful day. I am still so overwhelmed and ecstatic. I never expected to be a finalist, let alone win a food52 recipe contest, so this has all been such a great ride for me. My daughter too was so excited to see photos of herself on this website. Long live food52!

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about 3 years ago Jennifer Ann

So fun to read read your q & a - congratulations on the win for your lovely recipe.

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thank you, Jennifer Ann!

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about 3 years ago TiggyBee

Such a lovely family recipe and your new Le Creuset set looks beautiful!! Big congrats to you!!

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thanks for your sweet comments, Tiggy Bee. So excited to be getting that beautiful canister set!

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about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

So clear why you want to be remembered for your lovely creation. Congratulations to you.

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thank you, boulangere! I am a big fan of yours -- love your recipes and your comments on Food Pickle. Your tips to the cook who wanted to learn how to slice a layer cake properly were wonderful!

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about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You are too sweet!

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about 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Congratulations!! So nice getting to know you, cookinginvictoria!

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thanks, mrslarkin. It's been great getting to know you, too! :)

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about 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats! Great Q&A!

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thank you fiveandspice!

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about 3 years ago nannydeb

Congratulations!

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thanks, nannydeb!

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about 3 years ago Preta75

Congratulations!! I'm looking forward to impressing my future in-laws with this recipe soon. I may have to taste test it first because I can't wait.

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Wow, that is high praise indeed that you would like to make the ragu for your future in laws, Preta75! Hope everyone enjoys it. Would love to hear your feedback after you make this recipe.

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about 3 years ago Lizthechef

A terrific recipe with family roots, a winning combo for certain - congratulations!

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thank you, lizthechef! Sounds like you have been inspired by the recipes from the women in your family as well.

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about 3 years ago Abra Bennett

Congratulations for a lovely recipe!

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thank you, Abra Bennett!

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Congratulations! Loved reading your Q & A and am looking forward to making your amazing Ragu again soon!

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thanks, gingerroot! Glad that you liked the Q&A. It was fun to answer the editors' questions. I am so happy that you gave the ragu high marks and that you would like to make it again. That is high praise indeed!

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about 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations! So nice to get to know you!

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thank you so much, drbabs! I feel like I know you already through your recipes, many of which have been enjoyed by my family. Your Shrimp Gumbo and Chocolate Orange Birthday Cake are high on my list of recipes to try.

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations, your recipe is wonderful.

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thank you, sdebrango!

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about 3 years ago wssmom

Lovely! Congrats again!

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thank you so much, wssmom!

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congrats! Great to get to "know" you, and this recipe is a beaut!

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thanks, hla! So glad that you like the sound of this recipe. I am thinking of making your Pan Fried Dandelion Flowers recipe for the children who belong to the Garden Club at my daughter's school. They just learned all about weeds, and it would be great to show them how tasty they are.

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about 3 years ago lastnightsdinner

Love your Q&A answers, and your winning recipe - congratulations!

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about 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Thank you so much, lnd!