Contest Winners

Winner of Your Best Shellfish

October 17, 2012

QueenSashy's "herb garden" -- she says " they look pretty, smell gorgeous, make my food better and are cheaper than flowers!" -- and the book that is a collection of recipes from her grandmothers and her mother – one of her most cherished possessions.

Congratulations to QueenSashy, whose Drunken Clams with Sausage won this week's contest for Your Best Shellfish!

1. Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
In Serbia, where I come from, the most important event for a family is “Slava” (which means “celebration”), the day a family honors its patron saint. Slava is celebrated with an elaborate feast. One of my earliest childhood memories is the preparation for Slava. My grandmother, grandaunts, and aunts would gather in the kitchen to cook and bake. The ladies wore aprons with lace and embroidery, they sang, gossiped, and sipped Turkish coffee during breaks. And there was always a tiny apron, a tiny rolling pin, and plenty of dough leftovers reserved for me. That’s how it all began...

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2. What's your least favorite food?
Cilantro. Yes, I am one of those folks who detest cilantro. And yes, I am one of those folks who will inform the waiter of the food allergy, just to keep cilantro away from my plate. Other than that, I eat and love eating everything.

3. What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
In July, after seeing the recipe in Food and Wine, I made Linton Hopkins' Grilled Peach, Onion and Bacon Salad with Buttermilk Dressing. It was heavenly.

4. Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
I have an occasional habit of forgetting the food on the stove. Last time I did it, it was just after we installed new hardwood floors. The smoke detectors went on, and we spent about 15 minutes looking at the ceiling and praying that the sprinklers would not get activated.

5. What is your idea of comfort food?
A whole grilled chicken, entirely for me, that I can eat with my fingers.

6. Apron or no apron?

7. What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
Any scene from Chocolat.

8. If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
Oscar Wilde.

9. You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood.
Alone. It’s meditation.

10. 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). I clean every three minutes or so. Whenever there is a sprinkle of something, I clean. My kitchen looks more like a lab, than like a kitchen!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Waverly
  • Midge
  • fiveandspice
  • Kukla
  • gingerroot
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


Waverly October 23, 2012
Congratulations, QueenSashy! Your kitchen is gorgeous and I can't wait to cook your mussels recipe. The sauce looks divine.
QueenSashy October 23, 2012
Hi Waverly... Thanks! I totally agree with you -- the sauce is the best part of the dish, I can drown in it sometimes. Your dish looks lovely too, and I cannot wait to try it.
Midge October 18, 2012
Congrats on a well-deserved win QueenSashy! I am so very jealous of all that counter space!
QueenSashy October 18, 2012
Thanks Midge!
fiveandspice October 18, 2012
Congratulations QueenSashy! I'm so happy for your win, and I know we'll be enjoying your delicious recipe many more times! Also, Oscar Wilde is totally my top pick (or at least one of them) for dinner companion too! :)
QueenSashy October 18, 2012
Thank you! And, don't they say "great minds think alike" :)
Kukla October 18, 2012
Congratulations Queen Sashy! Your early food experience brought back many warm and familiar memories of my childhood and teen years.
QueenSashy October 18, 2012
Thank you... I know, sometimes I so wish we can go back in time.
gingerroot October 17, 2012
Congratulations QueenSashy! Loved reading your Q & A and can't wait to enjoy your recipe.
QueenSashy October 18, 2012
gingerroot -- thanks a bunch!
healthierkitchen October 17, 2012
Your recipe sounds great - congrats on the win! I love your unique photo!
QueenSashy October 17, 2012
Thank you!
EmilyC October 17, 2012
Congrats! Enjoyed reading your Q&A, and I'm looking forward to trying your recipe!
QueenSashy October 17, 2012
EmilyC, thank you! Let me know if you liked it.
drbabs October 17, 2012
Congratulations! Your kitchen is amazing!
QueenSashy October 17, 2012
Thank you so much...
aargersi October 17, 2012
Congratulations! LOVE the drunken clams - and your kitchen is so clean I have never seen the like! Can you come over? :-)
QueenSashy October 17, 2012
aargersi, thank you... i will be delighted to clean your kitchen if you can treat me with your beef cheek tacos. deal?
aargersi October 17, 2012
DEAL! (we can drink wine too K?)