Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
Cliché as it may sound, my mom is a huge inspiration for me. From a very early age, I can remember her always reciting "mise-en-place!" as I helped her in the kitchen. She always experimented, and she taught me to be fearless when I cook. Now that I'm a mother, my fearlessness has been kicked into overdrive and I'd like to think my daughter reflects that -- she'll eat anything!
What's your least favorite kitchen task?
I usually don't mind doing dishes, but I'll procrastinate on anything that has a floury rolling-out process, like the pizza we had last night.
Your favorite kitchen tool?
Life with my KitchenAid is pretty nice, but I'd take a good sharp knife anytime!
What is your idea of comfort food?
Anything ridiculously rich. Right away I think of the Genius Al Forno's Penne with Tomato, Cream & Five Cheeses. We make this about once a year to spoil ourselves!
What is your greatest kitchen disaster?
I'll never forget this: I was working with a new employee at a restaurant a few years ago, and we had pantry racks that slid around. I asked him to grab something for me, and as he was sliding the racks around, he knocked over a 10 gallon pail of cocoa powder that was teetering on the top shelf. The scene afterwards was reminiscent of a cocoa powder atom bomb going off, and more than a year later, we still found evidence of the disaster.