Winner of Your Best Root Vegetable Side

October 12, 2011

Congratulations to EmilyC, whose Crispy Cream-Braised Potatoes and Fennel won last week's contest for Your Best Root Vegetable Side, earning her a spot in the Food52 Holiday iPad Project!

EmilyC  Crispy Cream-Braised Potatoes and Fennel

Q&A with EmilyC

Shop the Story

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking. 
Starting at the age of 13, I spent a few weeks each summer visiting my cousin Trisha and her family in Sacramento.  She introduced me to a whole new world of food each visit, things that I had never tasted nor heard of growing up in small town Illinois.  Highlights included trying sushi and Thai food for the first time.  And I still remember what a revelation her homemade basil pesto was upon first bite. 

What's your least favorite food?
These days it’s anything with raw garlic.

What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
It's a toss-up between Luciana’s Porchetta from this site – I made it a few weeks ago and loved every single bite – and Amanda’s Raspberry Swamp Pie.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
There are several to choose from, but I’ll go with the time I decided to start a rhubarb-cream pie at 10:30 at night.  (I often get the urge to bake when I should be sleeping.)  When I went to check the pie after an hour in the oven, I tilted the pan to see if the cream had set.  In the process, I lost my grip, and hot pie went crashing to the kitchen floor.  The pyrex pan shattered into what seemed to be a million pieces – and worst of all, a good pie was lost in the process!

What is your idea of comfort food?
I’d say slow-cooked dishes like beef bourguignon and braised short ribs in the fall and winter months.  And I’ve always had a major weakness for cold cereal, no matter what time of day.

Apron or no apron?
No apron.

What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
I smile when the curmudgeonly food critic in Disney’s Ratatouille tastes Remy’s ratatouille for the first time.  It’s such a sweet scene.

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
I wish I could pull out all of the stops and make my late mother-in-law, who passed away this February, an amazing meal.  Her genuine love for food and good company made cooking for her a joy, and some of my most memorable meals were shared with her and my husband around our dining room table.

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
My kitchen is small, so most often I prefer to cook alone. 

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, though I’m trying harder and harder to clean as I go – and use fewer dishes and utensils in the process!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • EmilyC
  • boulangere
  • Waverly
  • mcs3000
  • Ms. T
    Ms. T
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


EmilyC October 19, 2011
You're very sweet -- thanks boulangere!
boulangere October 19, 2011
How did I miss this? I love your pie story. Your recipe is so lovely, and your little boy is precious. Congratulations all the way around.
Waverly October 18, 2011
Congratulations on your win! Your little boy is adorable.
Waverly October 18, 2011
Congratulations on your win! Your little boy is adorable.
EmilyC October 19, 2011
Thanks so much, Waverly!
EmilyC October 16, 2011
Thanks, SKK!
EmilyC October 16, 2011
Sorry -- meant to be a response to SKK!
mcs3000 October 14, 2011
Congrats, EmilyC! Love the pic of you and your son. And good to hear I'm not the only late night baker.
EmilyC October 16, 2011
Thank you msc3000! Late night is often the only time I have to bake...and there's nothing better than having a fresh batch of cookies or other baked good waiting for you the next morning!
Ms. T. October 13, 2011
Congrats! Lovely interview. I adore that scene in ratatouille!
EmilyC October 16, 2011
Thanks Ms. T!
Bevi October 13, 2011
Congrats! What a nice photo of you and your little one.
EmilyC October 16, 2011
Thank you, Bevi! The little one is definitely more photogenic than I am! : )
Midge October 13, 2011
Congrats EmilyC!
EmilyC October 16, 2011
Thanks Midge!
Panfusine October 13, 2011
Congratulations on the win EmilyC.. Your kitchen disaster sounded scary, hope you avoided getting any hot pie on yourself!
EmilyC October 16, 2011
Thanks Panfusine! And yes, I escaped without injury -- just a big mess to clean up!
mrslarkin October 12, 2011
Yay! Congrats on a great win, EmilyC!
EmilyC October 16, 2011
Thanks so much, mrslarkin!
hardlikearmour October 12, 2011
Congrats on a well-deserved win! I'm sorry you lost your delicious pie.
EmilyC October 16, 2011
Thanks HLA! And about the pie, I ended up making another one so all was good!
drbabs October 12, 2011
Congratulations, Emily. Thanks for sharing your disaster with us! It's stories like that that keep me from starting baking projects when I'm tired. I just know the same thing would happen to me.
EmilyC October 16, 2011
Thanks drbabs! Yep, baking when you're tired can be a hazard, though I don't think I've fully learned my lesson because I continue to do it!
SKK October 12, 2011
What a wonderful Q&A, EmilyC! Wonderful getting to know you better and your recipes are wonderful!
EmilyC October 16, 2011
Thanks SKK!