Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking. As a young child I remember watching my mom and aunts cooking together in my grandfather's home. We ate together every Sunday -- a huge Italian family, enjoying a feast with many courses. The homemade pasta, platters of meats, and my grandfather's homemade wine set the stage for my love of food.
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What's your least favorite kitchen task? I hate unloading the dishwasher, and I don't know why. Loading it is no problem, but then I have to force myself to unload it.
Your favorite kitchen tool? Hm, there are several -- but I'd say it's a toss up between my food processor and stand mixer.
What is your idea of comfort food? Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and vegetables -- or a big bowl of chicken soup made with homemade noodles and escarole and sprinkled with Romano cheese.
What is your greatest kitchen disaster? I have talked about this before, but it's my absolute top kitchen disaster. I left a pot of stock on the stove cooking while I ran out to pick up my daughter and do some errands. I thought that the heat was on low, but it certainly wasn't by the time I got home. The fire department was there, and they had broken down my door. Water and soot were all over the kithen, and my pot with blackened chicken was sitting on my front lawn. I have never left my home with the oven or stove on again -- lesson learned.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).