Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking. The first thing that comes to mind is a cucumber salad I ate in Thailand. It was nothing more than sliced cucumbers in a very subtle vinegar sauce, but it was so light and refreshing that I think of it every summer when cucumbers are in season. That simple salad taught me about the importance of enjoying the pure flavor of a single ingredient, which has become my summer mantra.
What's your least favorite kitchen task? Prepping corn. However, I love eating it, so I send my husband to the yard to clean off the husks and silks. Now that my son is old enough I sometimes send him to do it, too.
Your favorite kitchen tool? My favorite kitchen tool is one that I invented (and have a patent for). It's called an avo-cutter, and exists only on paper and as a prototype. It cuts open an avocado, grabs the pit, and scoops out the meat. I was even on a television show called "Why Didn't I Think of That?" to show it off.
What is your greatest kitchen disaster? Trying to make a banana split ice cream cake. I made three types of ice cream and couldn't get any of them to freeze. I remade and refroze each ice cream several times, until I finally realized that the problem was my freezer, which needed to be colder. The final results were worth it, but wow it was a lot of work!
What is your favorite burger recipe? Tell us in the comments!
Photo of burger by James Ransom, photo of pasta by Sarah Shatz.