Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
My grandmother was a wonderful and prolific baker, so I spent a lot of time painstakingly rolling out cookies as a child, making sure each ball of dough was exactly the same size. I found that very satisfying.
What's your least favorite food?
I hate bananas. The smell, the texture, the flavor; everything.
What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
Some friends and I have a monthly dinner club, and for my turn hosting I made an assortment of tapas (I had just returned from my honeymoon in Spain), followed by fideos with clams and saffron, and a dish of wax beans with simple tomato sauce that I threw together in a last-minute panic. Do I know why the throwaway beans were the hit of the night? I do not. But they were.
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
I had a great idea to make cucumber jello from the drippings of cucumbers I'd drained to make tzatziki. I was so proud of my creativity and thrift that I forgot I'd salted the cucumbers. It was truly foul.
What is your idea of comfort food?
Scalloped potatoes, Ina Garten-style.
Apron or no apron?
Not usually, but I do have a gorgeous one that my friend brought me from Hong Kong. It's plastic, features a cartoon off-brand Mickey Mouse, and says "Always Smile With Little Bubu!" in cartoon lettering. I wear it if I'm cranky.
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
The opening credits to American Psycho: perfect on so many levels.
If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
I didn't really get into cooking until after my grandparents passed away, so it would be nice to cook them a meal. On the other hand, they all feared salt...
You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
Usually A, because a New York City kitchen is too small to share!
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.