Congratulations to SouffleBombay, whose Sweet & Spicy Calamari won this week's contest for Your Best Squid or Octopus , earning her a sleek All-Clad d5 Stainless Steel French Skillet from Williams-Sonoma, plus big prizes from Viking, OXO and Tiny Prints, and a spot in the next food52 cookbook!
Photos: SouffleBombay with her kids who cook; her winning Sweet & Spicy Calamari.
Q&A with SouffleBombay
- Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
- When I was 9 I made a cake for my family from my first cookbook (which I had received for Christmas.) Believe it or not it was a Sesame Street Cookbook! I made a crazy chocolate cake covered in popcorn of all things -- it was called a Blizzard Cake. As I carried the cake out to my four siblings, mom, dad and grandmom -- all eyes upon me and my cake -- I felt empowered and excited. I swear that right then and there was the defining moment for me [in food] and I can vividly recall how I felt. Since then I have been smitten with cooking up tasty treats for my family and friends!
- What's your least favorite food?
- I am seriously a picky eater -- but I will go with oysters! Blech!
- What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
- I LOVE cooking with my kids (9 and 6) so anything we whip up is high on my list. Last week my 6 year old daughter took the lead on making a simple appetizer of chicken wrapped in bacon served with a BBQ dipping sauce. Dad grilled it up and, I have to say, seeing her satisfied little face as we all enjoyed it made it memorable!
- Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
- Just married and missing home a bit, I cooked up a chicken as my Mom and Dad did most Sundays. When I went to cut it ... no meat! I was so upset, I couldn't understand what kind of a store sells a chicken with no meat! I put it in the trash and cried! My bewildered husband, who quietly walked over to the trash, took a look at the chicken and said "Sweetie, it was just upside down!"
- What is your idea of comfort food?
- Appetizers ... anytime! Me, my husband and friends with some great apps and a cocktail is bliss for me!
- Apron or no apron?
- No apron.
- What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
- Think it had to do with Johnny Depp and Chocolate ... remember Chocolat? So sexy! BOTH Johnny AND the chocolate!
- If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
- Cary Grant! LOVE him! He would probably make me laugh the whole time!
- You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
- It depends on my mood.
- 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.
- B, unless it's a huge party I am prepping for in which case I clean as needed and the hubs takes care of the trail of debris behind me!