kaykay  Absurdley Addictive Asparagus

Absurdly Addictive Asparagus -- the brainchild of kaykay, the cook in our spotlight this week -- is hands down one of the most popular recipes on food52. Why? Because it is an absurdly addictive and healthy dish -- they exist, they really do! Not surprisingly, kaykay is also the mastermind of many other potential addictions -- we could see it becoming difficult to deny one of her Chocolate Dipped Almond Hazelnut Macaroons, Ricotta Loukamades with Thyme Honey and Walnuts, or even one last slice of Flatbread with Ricotta, Radicchio, and Pancetta Dressing

A San Francisco-based creative director and mother of two, kaykay produces recipes pumped with personality. "I love cooking because you don't have to follow the rules," she says on her profile page. "I have dessert after breakfast, lunch, and dinner." When asked about her least favorite food, she asserts in her Winners' Q&A: "organs are best donated, not eaten." Please pass the Upside Down Bread Pudding with Caramelized Pears and Brandied Custard Sauce, thank you very much. Absurd? Sure. Addictive? Oh yeah. To a menu by kaykay, we throw up our hands and relish in her ability to make life as delectably irresistible as possible. 

Shop the Story

See kaykay's profile page and fan her here.

Read her profile Q&A below:

  • What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
    Whale. During a trip to Japan, a few friends and I ventured into a restaurant that specialized in whale. Because it's a mammal, the meat is oddly like beef in texture and color, yet very fishy in taste and smell. 

  • What do you cook when home alone?
    Honestly? Leftovers.

  • Your most treasured kitchen possession:
    Built-in instant hot water dispenser (I drink tea all day long)

  • Your ideal meal:
    Anything with prawns

  • Something you'd like a chance to eat or cook:
    I'd like to try a Michelin 3-star restaurant like El Bulli

  • The number of bottles of wine you own:
    Right now, 4. When it comes to wine, we don't collect, we consume.

  • The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:

  • Kitchen pet peeve:
    Overcooked fish


Andreas D. May 29, 2011
Congratulations - great recipes. <br /><br />On organ meats and whales I have the exact opposite attitude - I am a fan of nose to tail eating, not wasting a thing, yet the idea of eating whale, a mammal whose intelligence most probably matches our own, utterly repulses me.
Helen K. May 24, 2011
Thank you, Food 52, for this honor for our daughter, kaykay! She has always loved food. Picture a little 4th grader sitting on a school bench opening a bag lunch packed with leftover chili and corn chips that she's created herself when peanut-butter sandwiches were the "standard lunch of the day." Then picture a college grad packing up a multitude of freezer boxes full of the makings for a tea party and flying from San Francisco down to Pasadena to throw a shower for her college roommate! The next year, picture kaykay on TV as a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Yes, kaykay loves food. And our family is inspired and lucky to enjoy the fruits of her creativity. <br /> <br />kaykay's proud mom
Author Comment
kaykay May 24, 2011
Thanks, Mom...I think everyone knows where my passion for food originated. What other kid comes home to racks of homemade danishes covering the counter top? Not to mention all your homemade pasta making parties, tea parties fit for a queen, and let's not forget the famous coffee crunch cake!
fiveandspice May 24, 2011
Yay kaykay! What a well deserved write up. All her recipes are absurdly addictive!
Author Comment
kaykay May 25, 2011
Thank you!
Midge May 24, 2011
Great to see you spotlighted kaykay. Your asparagus recipe is a favorite in my house too!
Author Comment
kaykay May 25, 2011
Thanks Midge...I can't wait to serve your crabcakes at a summer BBQ soon!
Author Comment
kaykay May 24, 2011
I just happened to be over at Monkeymom's tonight where I was bemoaning end-of-the-school-year craziness and a particularly complex work project I've been burried with lately. After I got home, Monkeymom called and told me I was spotlight cook. What a HUGE surprise! Thanks for all your kind comments. Amongst all you talented chefs, I feel unworthy. Thanks, Food52 for making my week.
monkeymom May 24, 2011
Yay kaykay! I feel really lucky that I get to eat your delicious creations.
wssmom May 23, 2011
YayYay kaykay!
mariaraynal May 23, 2011
Love, love this recipe ... It has become a family favorite. So nice to see you spotlighted, kaykay.
Author Comment
kaykay May 24, 2011
Thank YOU!! Your Roasted Bagna Cauda Broccoli is a favorite of ours!
mrslarkin May 23, 2011
Hooray kaykay! So nice to see you in this beautifully written spotlight.
Author Comment
kaykay May 24, 2011
Thank you for always being so genuinely enthusiastic. It's people like you that make food52 great.
Daphne May 23, 2011
Hi kaykay! So happy to see you here. All 4 of us are big fans of you and your amazing recipes!<br />Thank you for my favorite ever asparagus recipe, sometimes I sneak just a sprinkle of parm. on top, but I know you won't mind.
Author Comment
kaykay May 24, 2011
Hi Daphne! Really, who can poo-poo parm? :-)
Panfusine May 23, 2011
congratulations! a very catchy line about 'donating organs'! well deserved!
phyllis May 23, 2011
Love your asparagus dish. I've cooked it twice!! Agree totally about organ meat. Congratulations!!!
lorigoldsby May 23, 2011
Congrats on the cooks spotlight...making the asparagus for a luncheon on Thursday, now I'm going to have to add the fig tart as well!
Author Comment
kaykay May 24, 2011
Thank you! Love the picture of you with Martha. You look so happy...
mtrelaun May 23, 2011
I ? that when you're home alone, you eat leftovers.
Amanda H. May 23, 2011
kaykay, been meaning to tell you that Merrill and I recently met someone who told us he took your Absurdly Addictive Asparagus to a dinner party in Boston, and several party guests knew the recipe just by looking at it. Cool, right?
Author Comment
kaykay May 24, 2011
Wow...thanks for sharing this anecdote. Hard to believe, but yes, cool!
drbabs May 23, 2011
Hi kaykay--so nice to see you in the spotlight. I am one of your big asparagus fans, and also love your line about organs.
Author Comment
kaykay May 25, 2011
Thank you!
boulangere May 23, 2011
I LOVE the donated organs line. What a beautiful write-up of an extremely creative person.
boulangere May 23, 2011
Just noticed you're a creative director. I am so lame. But seriously, great congratulations.
Lizthechef May 23, 2011
Such a pleasure to see you here. I will always remember meeting you at the food52 Bay Area potluck. Instead of greeting you by name, I screamed out, "Absurdly Addictive Asparagus"!
mcs3000 May 23, 2011
Congrats, kaykay! That's an awesome story, Lizthechef. I love that recipe too. Looking up that flatbread recipe now.
hardlikearmour May 23, 2011
I ? Absurdly Addictive Asparagus. Great spotlight!
Author Comment
kaykay May 25, 2011
Thank you...you are always so generous with all your comments.
Sagegreen May 23, 2011
Thanks for all your wildly creative and wonderful recipes!
Author Comment
kaykay May 24, 2011
Likewise, Sagegreen!