Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking. I think more than anything my cooking was influenced by sitting in front of the television, glued to Julia Child. She always appeared to be having fun, and she was never fearful of making a mistake. I loved to "play along" at home with The French Chef cookbook. Because I was young and fearless, one of my earliest baking attempts was a towering fruit- and cream-filled meringue Vacherin.
What's your least favorite food? Blue cheese. I've tried, but I just can't do it.
What is the best thing you've made so far this year? Sour cherry pie. Can't get enough of it.
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster. As a child, I once roped my friend Emily into baking something from the Peanuts cookbook (I think it was Franklin's Jam Tarts). Not only were they a terrible flop, but I also managed to set the kitchen curtains on fire. My mother was not amused.
What is your idea of comfort food? Pasta with whatever vegetables are in season and a poached egg.
Apron or no apron? Usually no apron.
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie? The scene from When Harry Met Sally -- “I’ll have what she’s having" -- is classic. I also loved Like Water For Chocolate. And there are some great food scenes in Fried Green Tomatoes.
If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be? My wife.
You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood I love the idea of cooking with others, but I think they generally prefer if I cook alone. You could say I'm not good at relinquishing control. Unless we're cooking and gabbing together, but each working on our own dish. That can work.
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. Clean as I cook. Always. I don't mind making a mess but it doesn't stick around for long.