Congratulations to Leith Devine, whose Pucker-Up Lemon Sumac Chicken with Lemon Herb Board Sauce won the contest for Your Best Middle Eastern Recipe!
Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
Watching my grandmother and mother cook, then trying to learn their recipes as I got older. I learned to cook from my mom, but I wanted to learn more, so I took lots of cooking classes and read a lot of cookbooks.
What's your least favorite kitchen task?
Lots of prep work (I've always envied the TV chefs who have lots of little bowls that someone else prepped for them!) and really messy clean-up.
Leith Devine's Banh Mi Soft Tacos won our Your Best Mash-Up Recipe contest earlier this summer.
Your favorite kitchen tool?
My KitchenAid mixer and right now, long barbecue tongs.
What is your idea of comfort food?
Chicken and dumplings, and when I'm sick, delivery pho bo (beef).
What is your greatest kitchen disaster?
The usuals that I think many cooks have had, like undercooked potato gratin (at Christmas!), overcooked fish, and a cheese soufflé that was never going to rise! I think I sliced it and called a puffy French omelet.
Photo of chicken by Bobbi Lin; photo of tacos by Alpha Smoot