Winner's Q&A

Winner of Your Best Mangoes

By • May 23, 2012 • 40 Comments

Congratulations to boulangere whose Cambodian-Style Spring Rolls won this week's contest for Your Best Mangoes!

 

1. Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.

The first time I ever prepared a "meal" myself was when I was 7 years old. My mother had gotten me a Betty Crocker children's cookbook and I thought the photo of carefully sectioned grapefruit with a maraschino cherry was the most exotic thing in the world. It took me a couple of hours to make them for my parents and sisters, and I don't recall that anyone complained about the wait. But then, it's entirely possible my mother was sneaking real food to them. I think that may have been the only time in our lives that my mother bought maraschino cherries.

2. What's your least favorite food?  
I'm just not crazy about squid, even when it calls itself calamari.

3. What is the best thing you've made so far this year?  
First Night in Florence Spaghetti!  

4. Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.  
There have been so many, but this one stands out as an example of "if at first you don't succeed, erase all evidence of ever having tried." Culinary school is ripe with I Love Lucy moments. One night, 2 classmates and I were in a kitchen upstairs from our usual one at the time, making an exponentially increased batch of chocolate mousse. That probably gives you an idea where this is going. We were using a 120-quart Hobart mixer to whip the cream. I'd left the kitchen briefly, and when I returned, it was clear that a mathematical error had been made. The first thing I noticed was whipped cream sloshing up over the edge of the hot-tub-sized bowl and plopping all around the mixer. Then I realized that Bridget and Jamie were shrieking as they dodged blobs of whipped cream that were being lobbed around like mortars. It was so hysterically funny that I literally collapsed on the floor laughing while they furiously inched their way to the mixer to shut it off.  Even as we rushed to clean up the considerable mess, I'd periodically come apart all over again. I still do whenever I think about it.  

5. What is your idea of comfort food?  
Softly scrambled eggs with some just-snipped chives.

6. Apron or no apron?  
It depends, but I'm not sure on what.  

7. What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?  
Oh, easy!  The scene in The Seduction of Joe Tynan with Meryl Streep and Alan Alda where they're sitting in bed with a massive, overflowing tray of fruit that he's wolfing down and she says, "Why can't you just smoke like other men?"

8. If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?  
Richard Olney. His Simple French Food is on my night stand right now, as I reread it yet again.  

9. You prefer to cook: a) alone; b) with others; c) it depends on your mood
I always cook alone, but I love entertaining and having house guests so I have others in the kitchen.

10. 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.
A, definitely. Especially whipped cream.

Jump to Comments (40)

Tags: winner's q&a, contest, your best mango recipe, spring rolls

Comments (40)

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Buddhacat

about 2 years ago SKK

I don't know where I have been to have missed this amazing recipe! Congratulations on your win, another well deserved win. Boulanger, I love this photo of you! You are more beautiful that your kitties.

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about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You are so kind, SKK. That may be the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me. But I don't think the cats should know.

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about 2 years ago jenniebgood

boulangere - I love your description of your kitchen mishap above - I was giggling as I read it! Congratulations on winning the mango contest -these spring rolls sound amazing and I can't wait to try them!

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about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, jennie! It was truly a sight to behold.

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about 2 years ago creamtea

Congratulations, boulangere! These look great. Your whole q & a and everyone's responses have me still chuckling.

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about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much!

Sausage2

about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats again B! Your whipped cream story is the funniest EVER!

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about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You really should have seen it!

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over 2 years ago deanna1001

Congratulations on this fabulous winner! Making it this weekend for sure.

Loooooooosie - you got some 'splainin to do... Thanks for the belly laugh. That story reminded me of watching my mother attempt to make chocolate sauce in a blender, with the spoon in it. All over the ceiling, kids, kitchen....same idea, different color. I'm still laughing many years later...

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

OMG, I am laughing my head off! Fantastic image! Have a wonderful weekend!

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over 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

BIG Congrats B! These look fantastic! LOVE the Q&A as well. You are a great cook AND funny!!

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you Ab! The ability to laugh at oneself will help get past many of life's messes, don't you think?

Smokin_tokyo

over 2 years ago BoulderGalinTokyo

So nice to meet the person behind such inspiring recipes!

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you very kindly. And watch out for whipped cream - it'll get you if you're not watching!

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over 2 years ago dymnyno

Congratulations! You concocted a great recipe which I will be making soon! I love spring rolls and the mango addition is perfect. Whew!!! This week was a hard one to pick...you both were winners.

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

The whole batch contained marvelous recipes. Thanks for your kind words!

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over 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations, boulangere! I love that you even turned your winner's interview into a perfect story with a wonderful circular ending. Both your writing and your recipes inspire me. XO

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much, DrB, and thank you profoundly for your help with my eyes the other night!

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

Congratulations, boulangere! I've been traveling all week but was delighted to turn on my phone in Denver airport yesterday to see that your lovely recipe won. I can't wait to try it.

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, Gingerroot, and welcome home!

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over 2 years ago Katie

Congratulations! I loved reading about your hilarious kitchen disaster; it makes me feel better about my many "miscalculations" in cooking. I look forward to trying your spring rolls- they look mouthwatering!

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, we've all been there! Thank you, Katie.

Meg_b_f52

over 2 years ago meganvt01

Your I Love Lucy story made me laugh out loud! I love it. Congrats on an inspiring dish that I will be making this weekend (despite my trepidation about creating the ugliest spring rolls on the planet :)

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I only wish I had pictures! If I could get the hang of these, I'm sure you can, too. Fortunately, rice paper wrappers are inexpensive, so buy extra, and if one tears, dump out the filling and start over. Persevere!

Gator_cake

over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congratulations, b! You're catastrophe could've been an episode of I Love Lucy!!

Dscn2212

over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, hla. I still see it vividly in my mind. I think it may have been a first for that kitchen.

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over 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Congratulations - these are in my weekend plans! Someday I'll buy a round the world ticket and travel 'Food52' - stopping in every US state, enjoying scones, jams, and wonderful foods from food52ers. Till then I remain in awe of the love, the friendships the support we all give and share.

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Travel52 - I love it! This is a remarkable place that opens us to all sorts of possibilities. Have a wonderful weekend!

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

Warm congrats on your win -- very happy for you!

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks, EmilyC!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations, I'm in stitches over that whipped cream fiasco, I can just see it. It truly is straight out of an I Love Lucy episode. I can just see Lucy and Ethel battling the projectile cream. So thrilled to see you in the spot light it is so well deserved.

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, sdb. It was one of those unforgettable experiences.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yay, boulangere! So happy to see you in the winner's circle.

And what IS it about whipped cream?? I have experienced similar disaster scenarios involving said ingredient, minus the Hobart, plus one husband.

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

SO glad to know I'm not alone! Just imagine 120 quarts of it. I'll honestly never forget it. Glad you got a husband out of the deal!

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over 2 years ago Bevi

It's just great that you are recognized for your inspiring food, which you always present with the best stories and advice.

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You're a doll Bevi; thank you so much!

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over 2 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!! You're such an inspired, lives-with-zest woman!

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much, Em. I'm very surprised.

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

What a sweet thing to say, thank you!

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over 2 years ago calendargirl

Congratulations, boulangere! Love your voice and cannot wait to try these.