Describe an early food experience
that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
When I was a kid, we used to get fresh corn from my grandfather’s garden. It was always delicious. My parents used to grow tomatoes in their back yard, and since I grew up in Southern California there has always been fresh citrus around. Having fresh ingredients has definitely influenced me. I try to cook things that I buy at the farmers market or things that I grow in my bucket garden (see below).
What's your least favorite food?
What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
Recently I’ve been messing around with making my own pasta. I’m still working on the recipe, but I got a batch that was pretty good. I boiled the pasta and made a fresh tomato sauce with calamari rings, basil, and grated Parmesan. I fried the calamari tentacles and served them on top. That was very tasty dish, and I’m definitely getting better at making pasta.
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
I tried to make brownies from memory one night. It turned into something resembling a burnt hockey puck and that tasted even worse. I can cook without a recipe, but I can’t bake unless I have a guide.
What is your idea of comfort food?
I love mac & cheese, but ultimately I have to go with “Toad in the Hole”, which is Yorkshire pudding baked with whole sausages, covered in gravy.
Apron or no apron?
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
I really like the scene in Real Geniuses where they use a laser to heat popcorn, in turn blowing up a house. I also like the giant cookie in Honey I Shrunk the Kids.
If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
I would love to have a discussion with Archimedes, but I’m not sure I could have dinner with a man in a bathtub.
You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
Definitely depends on my mood. I love to cook with people, because you can learn so much. My best friend is Argentinean and has some incredible home recipes. I cook with my girlfriend all the time, she’s a good cook, but I can’t even compare myself to her cocktail-making abilities. I also like to just experiment with a recipe by myself, it’s easier to remember what you did. So overall it depends what I’m cooking and who I’m cooking it for.
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.