Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking. The love of food and cooking is in my blood. My parents are Italian immigrants and, as you can imagine, they taught me a thing or two about eating well. Food is a celebration to be enjoyed three times a day -- maybe even four, if you count afternoon coffee time with cake and/or cookies. Also, all cooking isn’t meant to be elaborate and complicated. The simplest things can be quite revelatory, like a cheese sandwich.
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What's your least favorite kitchen task? My least favorite kitchen task is prepping raw chicken breast. It’s just so gross. I’m not sure why I never thought of this before, but wearing latex gloves would probably eliminate this problem for me.
Your favorite kitchen tool? My hands.
What is your idea of comfort food? That depends on what kind of comfort I’m looking for. If I’m in the weeds? I can dessimate a whole bag of pork rinds in 5 seconds flat. Under the weather? A big bowl of ramen or chicken noodle soup might do the trick. PMS? Jar of Nutella and a spoon. 99 problems? Bulleit Bourbon.
What is your greatest kitchen disaster? I burn stuff quite regularly.
Coffee cake picture by Mark Weinberg, kitchen photos by mrslarkin, all others by James Ransom
On Black & Highly Flavored, co-hosts Derek Kirk and Tamara Celeste shine a light on the need-to-know movers and shakers of our food & beverage industry.