1. Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
I think what changed or influenced the way I think about food the most was a month-long trip to Paris I took when I was in college. I love the simplicity of really wonderful, high quality ingredients they use. One of my favorite things to get was a 3-cheese sandwich on a fresh baguette; really good cheese and really good bread. Every few days I would get the same sandwich with smoked salmon just to switch it up.
2. What's your least favorite food?
Fennel. Really any food with a strong liquorice flavor.
3. What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
One of my favorite things to make is roasted sausage and tomatoes. It's no-fail meal that lasts for days.
4. Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
I made a pork roast with carrots, parsnips, potatoes, etc. I'm not sure if the parsnips were not ripe, over ripe or just didn't mesh with some other ingredients, but they were one of the most bitter things I've ever tasted. Not only did the parsnips themselves taste bitter, but it permeated the entire dish and rendered it inedible.
5. What is your idea of comfort food?
Any kind of braised meat is the best comfort food, in my opinion. Plus macaroni and cheese.
6. Apron or no apron?
I never remember to put on an apron until I've splattered food on my shirt!
7. What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
The scene in Chocolat where Vianne first opens her chocolaterie. Pretty much any scene in Chocolat; chocolate is one of my four major food groups.
8. If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
Anthony Bourdain. I met him a few years ago at a talk he did in Columbus. I think I was too nervous to even say "hello" to the man. I would love to be able actually have a conversation with him.
9. You prefer to cook: a) alone; b) with others; c) it depends on your mood
I prefer to cook alone. I'm a bit of a control freak 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 combination of all three, really. If I'm making something complicated, with a lot of pots and pans or several courses, I will clean as I cook. If it's something simple I will do all the dishes once I've finished cooking and eating. Sometimes my husband will surprise me and clean the kitchen if I've fallen asleep on the couch after dinner.