Contest Winners

Winner of Your Best Street Food

June 22, 2011

Congratulations to Midge, whose Okonomiyaki won this week's contest for Your Best Street Foodearning her big prizes from VikingOXO and Tiny Prints, and a spot in the next food52 cookbook!

Midge  Okonomiyaki

Q&A with Midge

  • Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking. 
  • When I was growing up, we always had some kind of homemade baked good on hand – coffee cake and hermits were big – which I completely took for granted. I preferred the Hohos/Twinkies/SuzyQs that most of my classmates had in their lunches. (It may have something to do with my mom constantly reminding us that she “didn’t believe in junk food.”) So I regularly swapped my homey wax paper-wrapped treats for whatever the other kids were peddling. It eventually dawned on me why my mom’s cakes, etc. were such a hot commodity and by then it didn’t take me long to get the baking bug myself.
  • What's your least favorite food?
  • Calves’ liver is right up there.
  • What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
  • This is really simple but I was lucky enough to find troves of fiddleheads and ramps when I was in northern Vermont last month. I sautéed them together in brown butter and wow, they tasted so bright and earthy, like spring itself.
  • Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
  • There are many, but my first big snafu was my attempt to make Thanksgiving dinner for a boyfriend in college when the extent of my cooking repertoire was gussying up instant ramen noodles. I must’ve called home a dozen times and my family still makes fun of me for asking which end of the turkey to stuff. In the end, nothing really turned out right. You could stand up a spoon in the gravy.
  • What is your idea of comfort food?
  • Pho always cheers me up.
  • Apron or no apron?
  • I love the idea of aprons but I usually forget to wear one.
  • What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
  • Remember in Moonstruck when Cher’s mom (Olympia Dukakis) makes her an egg-in-the-hole? I love that. There’s nothing like having your mom make you breakfast no matter how old you are. 
  • If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
  • My grandfather, who emigrated from Italy when he was a kid, passed his enthusiasm for food down to my mom and her siblings. He died before I was born so we’d have a lot of catching up to do.
  • You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
  • I like company when I cook, but baking is more solitary.
  • 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., unless I'm completely in the weeds

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • arcane54
  • EmilyC
  • aargersi
  • MrsWheelbarrow
  • Bevi

Written by: Midge

I’m a journalist who’s covered everything from illegal logging in Central America to merit pay for teachers, but these days I write mostly about travel. I’ve been lucky enough to find myself in some far-flung locales, where poking around markets and grocery stores is my favorite thing to do. Cooking, especially baking, is my way of winding down after a long day; there’s nothing like kneading bread dough to bring you back to earth.


arcane54 March 27, 2021
Too bad the link doesn’t go to Midge’s recipe anymore!!! It goes to Ivan Orkin’s recipe, which, while likely tasty, is NOT the recipe I’ve grown to know, love, and cook over 20 times. BRING BACK MIDGE’s Okonomiyaki, Please!
Laurie I. April 25, 2021
This behavior made me lose a lot of respect for Food52. If you want to take a recipe down for any reason, that's fine but don't replace the link for someone else's recipe.
EmilyC June 23, 2011
Many congrats on your win, Midge! I can't wait to try your recipe!
Midge June 25, 2011
thanks EmilyC!!
aargersi June 23, 2011
Yay Midge - congratulations! Love all of your recipes and will try this one soon!
Midge June 23, 2011
Thanks so much aargersi!
MrsWheelbarrow June 23, 2011
Midge, you have opened up a whole world of opportunities for me with this fun recipe. I've already made it three times. Yesterday it was a most delicious breakfast. Thank you for an excellent new food treat in our house.
Midge June 23, 2011
So pleased you like them MrsW! I made your merguez (patties) on Sunday and we absolutely loved it!
Bevi June 23, 2011
Congrats Midge!
Midge June 23, 2011
thank you Bevi!
monkeymom June 23, 2011
congrats Midge! Can't wait to try this recipe.
Midge June 23, 2011
thanks monkeymom!
pierino June 22, 2011
Good job!
Midge June 23, 2011
wow, thanks pierino!
Fairmount_market June 22, 2011
Congratulations Midge. I can't wait to try this recipe.
Midge June 23, 2011
thank you FM!
Jennifer A. June 22, 2011
Congratulations Midge! I am tucking this recipe in (on the top!) of my recipe box.
Midge June 23, 2011
Thanks Jennifer Ann!
cookinginvictoria June 22, 2011
Congratulations, Midge! Love your recipe -- the shrimp, cabbage and scallion flavors sound lovely. We will be trying these this summer for sure. And it's so nice getting to know you more through your Q&A. It sounds like family has played a big part in shaping you as a cook -- what a sweet story about your mom sending homebaked treats in your lunchbox and how that eventually made you want to become a baker. I envy you cooking and eating fresh ramps this spring --- that is one ingredient that I am finding it difficult to source in the PNW.
Midge June 23, 2011
Thank you CIV. I don't know, I might trade ramps for being able to live in Victoria. So beautiful out there!
WinnieAb June 22, 2011
Congrats Midge...can't wait to try your okonomiyaki!
Midge June 23, 2011
Thanks WinnieAb. Hope you like it!
hardlikearmour June 22, 2011
Way to go, Midge! You are a force to be reckoned with.
Midge June 23, 2011
Thanks HLA!
SKK June 22, 2011
Midge June 23, 2011
thanks SKK!
Kitchen B. June 22, 2011
Well done Midge. I have this on my list. And I'd love to have a taste of fiddleheads and ramps too.
Midge June 23, 2011
Thank you KB. Wish I could send you some fiddleheads and ramps!
Helen's A. June 22, 2011
Congratulations, Midge! Can't wait to try this at home.
Midge June 23, 2011
Thank you Helen!
fiveandspice June 22, 2011
Yippee!!!! Way to go Midge! What an awesome recipe. I can't wait to make it!!!
Midge June 23, 2011
Thanks so much fiveandspice!
Midge June 22, 2011
Thank you A&M and everyone! I'm beyond honored. You all have absolutely made my week. I feel so lucky to be part of such a supportive and generous community.
inpatskitchen June 22, 2011
Congratulations Midge!!!
Midge June 23, 2011
thanks IPK!
edamame2003 June 22, 2011
made these last night and they are a hit! thanks for the simple recipe for a savory treat--we'll be eating these often. congrats on the win!
Midge June 23, 2011
I'm thrilled you liked them! Thanks so much edamame2003.
vvvanessa June 22, 2011
congrats on another delicious win!
Midge June 23, 2011
thanks so much vvvanessa!