1. Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking. I was fortunate to grow up feeling that food was synonymous with family. With two grandmothers who expressed love through cooking and feeding their family and friends, some of my best memories are around a dining table. Food was also fun -- as the oldest of four, I remember having pizza-making contests with my dad. We (kids) choose a dough recipe, a sauce recipe, and all our own toppings, while my dad did the same using different recipes. I am sure our pizza was always the best.
2. What's your least favorite kitchen task? My least favorite task is definitely washing greens for a salad. I’m not exactly sure why...but if you do it, I’ll make the dressing!
3. If you could only have one tool in your kitchen, what would it be and why? This is a tough question. I think I have to go with a good, sharp knife because while many kitchen tools can be improvised with a good hack, without a sharp knife, it is going to be difficult to slice, chop, or eat that beautiful piece of meat (or kabocha pumpkin).
4. What is your idea of comfort food? A steaming bowl of broth with noodles, preferably with some spice, always hits the spot.
5. What is your greatest kitchen disaster? Thankfully I have not had any spectacular ones to date (spectacular to me connotes fire and blood). However, this past Christmas as I was preparing breakfast for visiting family, I averted near disaster. I will say that I have a weird energy when it comes to electronics (let’s just say I’ve crashed my share of computers for no apparent reason). Anyway, right before my family arrived, as I started filling serving bowls, I tried to use the microwave and it suddenly stopped working. No matter, I told myself, no time to waste! I moved on to the oven, took out a pan of fiveandspice’s Orange Scented Olive Oil Sticky Buns and then when I tried to turn it off, it went into “Self-Cleaning” mode and a fan started to whir (which had never happened before). I was very happy to see my mom, who swooped in and saved the day (read: she was able to use the microwave and turn off my oven).