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monkeymom  Wishbone Roast Chicken with Herb Butter

What's in a name? A whole lot in the case monkeymom, a San Francisco Bay Area scientist whose ability to monkey about her kitchen (with her kids, no less) is truly awe-inspiring. With numerous contest wins under her toque, monkeymom rises to the challenge of any theme we dream up. Dumplings? No problem -- she's got Scallop Potstickers up her sleeve. Dinner rolls? Even better -- her Heavenly Oatmeal Molasses Rolls take the win.

Monkeymom has been an active presence on food52 for as long as we can remember (check out the shots of her in a slideshow from the first ever food52 potluck in the Bay Area -- more please!). A rare and fabulous quality of her cooking (for her children especially) is that everything, and we mean everything, looks flat-out delicious -- from pizza to panna cotta to pozole

Try out her Caramelized Pork Bành Mì and Wishbone Roast Chicken with Herb Butter and you'll see: monkeymom has a way of taking traditional comfort foods and tweaking them with a special technique or creative twist that heightens them to the apotheosis of what they should be. And yet, she knows there's always room for a subtle but sophisticated finish to a meal, like her Holiday Sables, little chocolate cookies iced with ganache and sprinkled with peppermint. Perfect.

Read monkeymom's profile Q&A below:

  • What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
    Sea cucumber...yuck. Weird taste and texture.

  • What do you cook when home alone?
    Salad with bacon and an over easy egg on top.

  • Your most treasured kitchen possession:
    My big red Le Creuset pot.

  • Your ideal meal:
    A home cooked meal from great cooks with all the family around.

  • Something you'd like a chance to eat or cook:
    So many choices, so little time...the French Laundry maybe?

  • The number of bottles of wine you own:
    I can never really keep track.

  • The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:
    Around here 8 adults usually come attached with 8 kids so I guess that means 16!

  • Kitchen pet peeve:
    Inefficient dishwasher loading irks me.

  • Your favorite cookbook:
    I am obsessed with Tartine Bread. I also love Pei Mei's Chinese Cook book and Keller's Ad Hoc.