Congratulations to Oui, Chef, whose Herbed Beef Skewers with Horseradish Cream won this week's contest for Your Best Recipe with Horseradish, earning him a handsome Wüsthof Classic 2-piece Hollow-Ground Asian Knife Set, with Sharpener from Williams-Sonoma, plus big prizes from Viking, OXO and Tiny Prints, and a spot in the next food52 cookbook!
Q&A with Oui, Chef
- Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
- Sunday dinners at my Italian Grandmother's house were a seemingly endless feast of great food, love and laughter, all orchestrated and executed by my tireless Nana. I have very fond memories of watching her at work, and occasionally being recruited to her side to help. These days I find I'm happiest when the house is full of family and friends, all milling about and having fun, while I'm up to my ears in it, just like she used to be.
- What's your least favorite food?
- I think I have to go with Andouillette sausage. Andouillette, not to be confused with Andouille (which was the mistake I made in ordering one in the first place), is a French sausage stuffed with tripe, or pig chitterlings (intestine and colon). A Brit I know likes to call it "arse sausage", and that moniker pretty well captures the horrific smell and taste of the stuff.
- Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
- Years ago, when I first started to cook "seriously" I made a shrimp and pasta dish for a visiting friend who I knew to be a gourmand. I had pulled the recipe from a popular cooking magazine, and there was a typo in it which called for 1 cup of flour (as opposed to 1 teaspoon, or tablespoon which I suspect is what was really required) to thicken the sauce. It seemed odd to me at the time, but I didn't yet have the kitchen confidence to trust my instinct and question the recipe, so I added the full cup of flour to the dish. Ugh....I can still see the look on my friends' face as he graciously choked down that truly inedible meal.
- What is your idea of comfort food?
- Almost anything that is cooked low and slow qualifies for me, whether it be a confit or cassoulet, braised short ribs or osso bucco, or a delicious tagine.
- Apron or no apron?
- I generally only wear an apron when I'm teaching a cooking class.
- What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
- The final scene of Big Night
- If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
- I find it impossible to choose between Amanda and Merrill, it would have to be both of them.
- You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
- There are some days when I like the peace of cooking alone, but I'm usually in the mood for company.
- 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.
- Every time you ask me this question my wife just about has a stroke. I'm a clean as I go kind of guy...yeah, that's my answer and I'm sticking to it! ;-)
I am a father of five, who recently completed a two year professional hiatus during which I indulged my long held passion for cooking by moving to France to study the culinary arts and immerse myself in all things French. I earned “Le Grande Diplome” from Le Cordon Bleu, studied also at The Ritz Escoffier and Lenotre cooking schools, and completed the course offerings of the Bordeaux L’Ecole du Vin.
About six months ago started "Oui, Chef", which is a food blog that exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my children a few things about cooking, and how our food choices over time effect not only our own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences through the blog, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, cooking healthy meals as a family, passing on established familial food traditions, and perhaps starting some new ones.
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