Congratulations to Reeve, whose Roasted Carrot Soup won this week's contest for Your Best Carrot Recipe, earning him a handsome de Buyer Deluxe Dicing Mandoline from Williams-Sonoma, plus big prizes from Viking, OXO and Tiny Prints, and a spot in the next food52 cookbook!
Q&A with Reeve
- 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?
- Miracle Whip.
- 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?
- 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.
- A -- I try, but normally it ends up with B.