Congratulations to this week's winners!

Aargersi won this week's contest for Your Best Nose to Tail Recipe with Barbacoa Beef Cheek Tacos.

Jennifer Perillo won this week's contest for Your Best Baked Pasta with Jennie's Homemade Manicotti.

 

(Aargersi's vegetable garden in spring)

Aargersi

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking. 
I grew up watching and learning cooking from my mom and my step mom, both of whom are really great cooks and both of whom cook from the hip.  I am the same way, adding by sight and taste and not by measuring (those pesky measurements have been a big challenge for me in writing recipes down!). Often there were loads of people eating, drinking, talking and enjoying during the process.  Food = fun!!
 
What's your least favorite food?
Canned cream of anything soup. Ick.
 
What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
Hmm … the Two Meat Two Potato dinner party last weekend–Slow Roasted Duck with Wild Mushroom Gnocchi, Braised Short Ribs with Leo’s (that’s my husband) Magic Mashed Potatoes, salad, steamed snow peas, loads of GREAT wine and Lazy Mary’s Lemon Tart!!
 
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster. 
Do I have to?  OK, well there was the “I know how to cook shark” incident (one of the first things I cooked for Leo and he still married me!) and the accidentally using vanilla instead of tamari in a stir fry incident (still married!). They were in similar containers. Oh, and the grilled turkey kabob things that tasted like curried kitchen sponges. To name just a few.
 

What is your idea of comfort food? 
Pasta with tomato sauce of some sort with cheese, bread, wine and salad.
 
Apron or no apron?
Apron when I remember, I am a mess!
 
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie? 
I think the one where the mayor in "Chocolat" wakes up in the front window of the shop all covered in chocolate … I also like "Tampopo," and of course "Julie and Julia" was great!   

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
Michelle Obama, because she dug up her yard to plant a garden, and so did we (more beds coming this spring). I would cook from her (or my) garden!
 
You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood.

I like to be the one cooking, but with others around. They can help in the kitchen if they let me boss them around.
 
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.
Clean as I go, thoroughly, to the point of distraction.

(Jennifer Perillo's daughter eyes a just-baked cake)

Jennifer Perillo

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
After becoming a mother, I began to see food through a new lens. Where my ingredients came from became as important as the taste of anything I cooked. I now eat seasonally and seek out locally sourced ingredients to support local agriculture and businesses and minimize my environmental impact.

What's your least favorite food?
Pretty much anything organs. I've tasted every part of a lamb and cow, so can say this without doubt.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
It wasn't spectacular so much as an example of how multi-tasking can backfire. I recently decided to make scones while getting the kids ready for school, and forgot to add the sugar. Yes, they tasted pretty horrible, and I was so annoyed at the waste of butter, etc. since everything is very expensive these days.

What is your idea of comfort food?
Pasta, hands down. You can take the Italian girl out of Brooklyn, but...

Apron or no apron?

Apron, always.

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
It would always be my husband. It's with him that my love of cooking has flourished the last 15 years and he's my constant source of inspiration.

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood.
Alone. While I love cooking for others, I've always considered cooking to be my quiet time.

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.
I find coming into a messy kitchen after a wonderful meal is like getting stuck in traffic on the way home from a relaxing vacation. Nothing kills a good mood faster than a sink full of dirty dishes.

17 Comments

coffeefoodwrite February 6, 2010
Congratulations to both of you for wonderful recipes. They both look so delicious!
 
aargersi February 4, 2010
It really is such an honor to be chosen from among so many GREAT recipes and GREAT cooks! REALLY looking forward to hearing more about the future of Food52!!! Thanks to A&M and everyone in the community! Cook on! Abbie
 
Amanda H. February 3, 2010
Thanks everyone for making this such a supportive community -- we hope that together with you, we'll encourage more people to get in the kitchen and have fun and eat well.
 
MyCommunalTable February 3, 2010
Congratulations to the winners. I am so inspired by it all.
 
Jennifer P. February 3, 2010
I'm really honored to have been neck in neck with such a great recipe. Merrill & Amanda, please tell us you're pitching Food 52 part deux!
 
Amanda H. February 3, 2010
Congrats, Jennifer. And yes, more on that soon!
 
Merrill S. February 4, 2010
Congratulations, Jennifer!
 
lastnightsdinner February 3, 2010
Congratulations to the winners, and also the finalists - another great group of recipes!
 
dymnyno February 3, 2010
Congratulations to the winners and the runner ups ...all great recipe! It was one of the toughtest weeks to choose the winners.
 
AntoniaJames February 3, 2010
It's getting harder and harder every week to choose, isn't it? I can't even imagine how difficult it must be for Amanda and Merrill, with so many terrific entries!!
 
Merrill S. February 4, 2010
Oh, our job is a tough one...
 
Kelsey B. February 3, 2010
Congratulations! I love the picture of your daughter, Jennifer!
 
Maria T. February 3, 2010
Wow, another week of suspense! Congratulations to all the winners and the finalists, all the recipes were brilliant and difficult to choose from. Congratulations to the wild card winner whose recipe is not available, don't ask me why, it just won't open but I got the recipe on her blog.
 
mariaraynal February 3, 2010
Congratulations to the winners and finalists! Great recipes and people!
 
TasteFood February 3, 2010
Congratulations to another week of winners, finalists and great recipes!
 
AntoniaJames February 3, 2010
Love the stories! Love the photos! Love the recipes! Most of all, love the cooks!! ;o)
 
mrslarkin February 3, 2010
Congratulations to the winners and finalists! Well done!