What's your least favorite food?
Marmite. I've tried, but I just don’t get it.
What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
A really rich three-cheese asparagus strata for a spring brunch. Big, fat dollops of scallion pesto help cut the richness and make it powerfully flavorful yet still springtime-y.
What is your idea of comfort food?
Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and a big cup of coffee (for breakfast) or a big glass of cold milk (for lunch). And a big, bad, old-school lasagna for dinner.
Apron or no apron?
No apron, simply because I’m too lazy and forgetful to put one on. But I aspire to be an apron-wearer. My shirts would thank me.
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
I love the Italian feast in Big Night. It's made with so much care, and with such high hopes, and consumed with so much enthusiasm. It’s a great metaphor for how living an authentic life feeds your soul.
Who is someone you'd love to cook for, and why?
It may sound trite, but I’d love to cook just one more time for my grandma, who passed away when my food career was just starting. She’s the one who inspired me to take this path in the first place, and who championed all of my crazy cooking escapades as a teen. I think of her every time I cook, and always wish she was there with me to try whatever it is I'm making.
Ever since I was a young girl, I'd make her favorite tapioca pudding in her prettiest blue bowl every time I visited her. It's one of the first things she taught me how to make. I inherited her bowl when she passed away, and whenever life feels overwhelming, I pull it out and make tapioca. Just looking at the bowl gives me strength.