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What's your least favorite food?
Heart of palm, without a doubt. Ever since I was a kid, it is the one food I just cannot swallow.
What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
These Chai Spiced Brioche Buns—because carbs and chai are two of my favorite things and I have no idea how I didn't think of combining them before.
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
Back in University, we had this class focused on Mexican cuisine, and my friend and I were in charge of making mole poblano (basically, chicken cooked with a spicy sauce made with a bit of chocolate), and I was VERY excited—I mean, chocolate and chili?? Together?? The recipe was screaming my name. By the end of the cooking, it was time to add the chopped chocolate, and it was only like 50 grams or so; the sauce is not supposed to have a super strong chocolate flavor. For some reason, we thought that 50 grams wasn't enough, so we decided to add more, another 50 grams. And it was dark chocolate so... You can imagine. The whole thing basically tasted like savory ganache with a hint of chipotle, which wasn't necessarily bad, but my heart sank a little bit at the time.
What is your idea of comfort food?
My mom's fried rice. She only uses butter, eggs, and leftover rice—that's it. I've been eating it since I was a kid and nothing tastes more like home to me than this.
Apron or no apron?
Apron all the way. Culinary school habits die hard.
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
I think most of us remember that old movie called Chocolat, with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche. There's a scene where Juliette Binoche's character, Vianne, is teaching her friend Josephine how to make and temper chocolate from scratch, and it's one of the most comforting things to watch for me. It just shows how people used to actually put some work into the food that they'd make, which is sort of rare nowadays.
If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
Caterina de' Medici. I don't think confectionery would be the same today without her.
You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood:
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:
Do all the dishes at the end.