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Week 41

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ChefJune won this week's contest for Your Best Spring Lamb with Leg of Lamb with Garlic Sauce.

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DolcettoConfections won this week's contest for Your Best Almond Macaroons with Meyer Lemon Macarons.

(ChefJune with Rémi Krug, director of her favorite Champagne house)

ChefJune

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
Learning to fry chicken by first going to the hen house and choosing the chicken to be killed, killing it and completely prepping the chicken for cooking. I was 10, a Girl Scout from Chicago (on my Aunt and Uncle's farm) working on my Farmer Badge. I understood that this meat was raised for the purpose of feeding people.

What's your least favorite food?
Cottage cheese. It has always reminded me of baby spit-up.

What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
Bourride. It's the "other" Provençal Fish Stew, and my favorite. Made it last Sunday at the home of one of my longest-time friends and we had it for supper with a bottle of delicious Charles Heidsieck Brut NV. I am happy to share the recipe.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster. 
I fell asleep while cooking caramel on the stove and awoke to find the house full of smoke and the stuff burned indelibly to the pan. Fortunately, there was no fire, and the only casualty was the pot.

What is your idea of comfort food?
Different things for different seasons, but always chicken soup with matzo balls.

Apron or no apron?
Apron, since I was three!

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

Used to be the eating of ortolans in "Babette's Feast," but this summer that changed to the scene from "Julie & Julia" where Julia discovers Sole Meunière. It was SO Julia and so endearing! I could watch it over and over.

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
Do you mean a FAMOUS person? If so, President Obama. (I've already cooked for Julia Child.)

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood.

I love cooking alone, but I've been teaching cooking for more than 30 years, so I also love to cook with others.

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 a and b.

(DolcettoConfections discovered her love of cooking at a very early age)

DolcettoConfections

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
My earliest memory of cooking and baking was in the kitchen with my mother. She always allowed me to watch her working, always allowed me to "help" and never made me feel I was in her way. This same inclusion in the kitchen continued throughout my life and, naturally, became a place where I felt welcomed, creative and at home.

What's your least favorite food?
Lima beans

What is the best thing you've made so far this year?

Potato Leek Soup with Herbed Garlic Bread

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

Right before I started pastry school, I was making pancakes for my boyfriend and me. I was halving an old family recipe, one which I had made many, many times before. I messed up the measurement of one of the ingredients and my boyfriend found me crying in the kitchen, wailing, "How can I ever make it in pastry school if I can't even make pancakes?!" Not a great start to a Saturday morning. Before the first cup of coffee.

What is your idea of comfort food?
My mum's pot roast dinner.

Apron or no apron?
Apron, but it is usually forgotten in my excitement to start baking.

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

In "Sabrina": Audrey Hepburn attending culinary school in Paris.

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
I can't choose just one-it would be for my two late great-grandmothers. More than anything, I would want them to tell me everything that changed in the world of food during their lifetime, from the 1920s to the 1990s.

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood.
C.

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.

B.