Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Ambitions

March 22, 2013

You'll be hearing from the staff at FOOD52 every week in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more.


Cooking is a life-long effort, peppered with equal numbers of feed-them-to-the-dog disappointments and I-can't-believe-it-turned-out-so-well successes. As home cooks, there is always something we are striving to achieve, wrestling with, or dreaming of attempting. Which brings us to this week's question:

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What kitchen technique are you currently trying to master? Is there a recipe you're working on perfecting?

Are you working on poaching the perfect egg? Dreaming of Julia's Boeuf Bourguignon? Or do you find yourself throwing underbaked, unsalvageable bread into the trash can after angrily eating all of the sort-of-edible edges? Tell us in the comments -- there's not judgment here.


KenziPizza dough, you will be mine. 

Maddy: I'm working on Peking duck. The whole shebang -- sauce, pancakes, meat, and candy-crisp skin.

Karl: I have been experimenting with a pressure cooker lately, and I haven't gotten rice or steel cut oats to work out yet. I have also been trying to perfect my technique for putting lids on tupperware to no avail.


Lauren: I am in a fight with a whole wheat sandwich bread recipe.

Marian: I just totally botched a batch of focaccia that I'm determined to try again.

Sarah: I'd love to make a perfect batch of French macarons! The closest I've gotten is with this recipe.

Amanda Li: If I could make proper xiao long bao, I could die happy.


Brette: All kinds of yeast breads, especially sweet, delicate ones. Also deep frying.

Will: I'm trying to perfect my Habanero-Guava hot sauce recipe!

Kristen: I'd like to make the kind of homemade pasta that's thin enough to read a recipe through, and to roll out perfect omelettes. I don't -- yet!


Lindsay-Jean: I'm embarrassed to admit this, but....fluffy scrambled eggs. I always get too impatient and crank up the heat!

Amanda: Burning toast. I think I'm really starting to get good at it.

Allison: Tamales! I have been trying to reverse engineer my grandmother's recipe from a VHS tape my family had the foresight to record of her, though she had little patience for elaborating on instructions or measurements. My goal is to work out a consistent and authentic replication, and finally put to paper the recipe for Vita's tamales!   

Bryce: Allison, I could help with the tamales! I make some damn good tamales. I'm working on macarons. 

ice cream

Beatrice: I just got a new ice cream maker a few months ago and have been trying all different kinds of ice cream. I've been testing egg yolk base, corn starch base with cream cheese, and all sorts of flavors. Best yet: chocolate porter beer with Taza cocoa nibs!

Jennifer: I'm with Brette - yeast breads!

Brette: Hold on -- the Kitchen Ninja has a kitchen ambition?!!

What are your kitchen ambitions? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • LauriL
  • The Kate Tin
    The Kate Tin
  • Evamarie Socha
    Evamarie Socha
  • walkie74
Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull



LauriL April 6, 2013
Any baked dessert would be great....all my pot luck dinner invites ask me for an appetizer....for good reason!!
The K. March 29, 2013
Macarons are the worst. I have shed more tears over them than over any man! This is the recipe that I've settled on though:
Evamarie S. March 24, 2013
I'm afraid of pastry dough, mainly pie crust. There, I said it.
walkie74 March 23, 2013
Fried chicken and lucau. I've almost got the chicken consistent, the lugau still needs some work.