Contest Winners

Winner of Your Best Open House Dish

December 15, 2010

Congratulations to TheRunawaySpoon, whose Fig and Blue Cheese Savouries won this week's contest for Your Best Open House Dish -- earning her a $200 gift card from Williams-Sonoma, plus big prizes from Viking, OXO and Tiny Prints, and a spot in the next food52 cookbook!


RunAwaySpoon Fig and Blue Cheese Savouries

Shop the Story

Q&A with TheRunawaySpoon

  • Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
  • Really just being in the kitchen. My family cooks -- my Mom made a great dinner every night when I was kid, and my Dad was a great one for kitchen projects like making bread or pasta or cooking Chinese food in a wok. I visited my grandparents for camp every summer and my aunt would loan me her 1950s Betty Crocker Boys and Girls cookbook and let me choose what we would cook on the weekend. We even did the fun cakes shaped like teepees and drums.

  • But I had this cookbook from a Junior League in South Carolina that came with colored metal measuring cups and spoons. The drawings in the book showed you when to use 1 red cup, or 1 green tablespoon. I cooked for my family from that book - I still use some of the recipes. It is one of my most treasured possessions.


  • What's your least favorite food?
  • Broccoli. Hands down.


  • What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
  • Gee, I hope I haven’t done it yet! It’s early days. I am always trying to grow and learn in the kitchen, so I hope each recipe gets a little better.


  • Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
  • Knock wood, I haven’t burned down a house yet, or had any truly major disasters. I prepared an amazing dinner for friends once, and my back went out while unloading the dishwasher right before they arrived. I had to direct them how to finish and serve everything from a prone position on the floor. It actually worked out pretty well. I have great friends (and now a good chiropractor).


  • What is your idea of comfort food?
  • I am a good Southern girl, so I like dishes that feel like the South, like buttermilk biscuits, country fried steak with cream gravy and fried chicken or catfish. But true comfort is a favorite dish someone else prepares. I do most of the cooking in my life, so it’s nice to have someone else serve me a good meal!


  • Apron or no apron?
  • Cooking alone and doing the dirty work, no apron. But for serving and entertaining, I have a huge collection of vintage and modern half-aprons. In a way, it’s kind of a trademark. That’s why the spoon on my Runaway Spoon website logo has on her flirty half-apron.


  • What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
  • Katherine Hepburn in Woman of the Year attempting to win Spencer Tracy’s heart by proving she can cook breakfast.  It’s a complete disaster, but it still worked!


  • If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
  • This is a tough one. There a ton of people I’d love to sit at the table with, but many of them I’d be too nervous to cook for. I think I’d like to cook a meal for Calvin Trillin. I could cook up a good Southern meal, and maybe show the Kansas City boy what real Memphis barbecue is. Plus, we could talk food and maybe he could entertain me while I cook by speaking in rhyme!


  • You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
  • I immediately thought to answer alone – I like to be in charge! But I love cooking with my nieces and nephew, and have had some really fun moments in the kitchen with family and friends. My niece’s Iron Chef birthday party with 15 ten-year-old girls running around my kitchen may be the most fun I have ever had cooking.


  • 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.
  • Sometimes I clean as I go, but mostly I do it at the end.  I can’t imagine what an amazing cook I could become if I had someone else to clean up after me!  I could put all my energy into the fun part!


  • RunAwaySpoon
  • TheRunawaySpoon in her kitchen with a flirty half-apron


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Bevi
  • ashleychasesdinner
  • cowgirlculture
  • Jamie82
  • shayma
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


Bevi December 16, 2010
Congrats! I am taking these to a party on Sunday! They look and sound lovely! Your kitchen is fantastic!
ashleychasesdinner December 16, 2010
Congrats Again! I love your kitchen!
cowgirlculture December 16, 2010
Jamie82 December 16, 2010
oh thats great! i loved the sound of these when i first saw them the other day, and am saving the recipe for my next party. they sound very very YUM!!
shayma December 16, 2010
wow wow wow wow- i loved your creation for an Open House party and am so glad you won. YAY! x shayma
iuzzini December 15, 2010
Congratulations!! Can't wait to make these (and hopefully not devour the whole batch myself!) :)
monkeymom December 15, 2010
Congrats Runaway Spoon! Your entries are always beautiful.
hardlikearmour December 15, 2010
Congrats! Great kitchen disaster story, hope that never happens again!!!
Midge December 15, 2010
Congrats! Hope to try your savouries over the holidays.
Sagegreen December 15, 2010
Congrats on the win. The junior iron chef concept is great! Wonderful to learn more about you.
debbiek December 15, 2010
Hooray for The Runaway Spoon! Love her! And oh, my, what I'd do for a kitchen like that...
lastnightsdinner December 15, 2010
Congratulations on your win! These little bites look perfect for entertaining :)
mrslarkin December 15, 2010
Congratulations!! Yes, I love that Iron chef party idea too!! Quite the cookbook stash, too!!
Kitchen B. December 15, 2010
Congrats on the win.
cheese1227 December 15, 2010
Great kitchen! Congrats on your win. I have a small world story for you in that one of my dearest friends is someone I beleive you went to high school with!
drbabs December 15, 2010
Congtatulations again! So nice to get to know you better. (LOVE the Iron Chef birthday party idea!)