Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
Oh so many, but I think one of my earliest memories is of my grandmother's German scrapple, fried rabbit and Sunday dinners. We didn't get to eat at her house a whole lot cause they lived two hours away but I remember when we did.
What's your least favorite food?
I like them separate but do not serve me mint and chocolate together. Somehow my brain has never been able to overcome this combination.
What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
I think the best thing I have made this year is a toss up between barley noodles with Swiss chard or the peach and wild black raspberry skillet pie that I made while on a weekend getaway. I have been trying to perfect my noodle-making skills by adding different grains to the noodles. The biggest surprise was barley flour. It adds so much to the flavor and texture I can't imagine going back to making pasta with just white flour. The skillet pie was a test of resourcefulness, meaning no pie pan, no rolling pin except for a whisky bottle and someone ate half the peaches but luckily I found ripe wild black raspberries. It was fun to make as well as delicious to eat.
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
When I turned on the heat lamps at the restaurant where I was working on Mother's Day morning. The chef had put all the fondant decorations and decorated cakes underneath them. In my defense, it was the first thing we always did on arrival and the switch for the heat lamps was not near the heat lamps, a wall divided the two. Fortunately the chef blamed himself for putting them there but I still really felt awful.
What is your idea of comfort food?
Collard greens with home cured ham hocks and black skillet cornbread, made with yellow cornmeal and bacon drippings.
Apron or no apron?
No apron until I was looking for clothes to wear for a casual occasion and could not find anything without stains. So apron.
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
The scene where Ratatouille names all the kitchen stations and his excitement at the sense of urgency. I felt the same the first night I worked in a restaurant.
If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
Of course someone like Ducasse, Keller, or Jean-Louis Palladin but in reality the most fulfilling would be to someday cook my daughters' favorite meals for their kids, my grandchildren.
You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
I like the idea of cooking with others and do pretty well as long as it is not my wife. And we both get that, she is the bartender/ sommelier. And a really good one at that.
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
Most definitely I clean as I cook.
Thirschfeld's Peach & Wild Black Raspberry Skillet Pie and homemade Barley Noodles