Winner of Your Best Portable Side

August 21, 2013

Congratulations to QueenSashy, whose Spice Merchant Cauliflower Couscous won the contest for Your Best Portable Side

1. Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
In Serbia, where I was born, the most important event for a family is “Slava” (which means “celebration”) -- it's the day the family honors its patron saint. Slava is celebrated with an elaborate feast. One of my earliest childhood memories is the preparation for it; my grandmother, great aunts 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. I was four, and from then on, I was hooked. 

Shop the Story

2. What's your least favorite kitchen task?
Washing dishes. Washing dishes. Washing dishes.


3. Your favorite kitchen tool?
I have a collection of red Le Creuset pots, and they are accompanied by a selection of red kitchen gadgets. Just looking at them so nicely stacked up in their own special drawers makes me feel all warm and cozy. But if I were to be honest here and name one thing that really matters, at the end of the day, it’s a good knife.

4. What is your idea of comfort food?
Eating bony meats with my fingers! Wings, ribs, Thanksgiving leftovers, sometimes the entire chicken. This is never my most elegant moment, it's not something I would attempt in a restaurant or at a party, and it's not something my husband approves of. So I occasionally send him for a guys’ night out, roast some chicken, and cherish the moment.

5. What is your greatest kitchen disaster?
I’ve been known to start a fire or two. It always happens the same way: I sort of wander away from the stove to check my email, read a post, take a photo -- sometimes I go and wash my hair. (If you had spare 15 minutes before your dish is done, wouldn’t you do the same? Time is precious.) Then I get a little bit carried away with the new activity, and poof!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Bevi
  • Amanda Hesser
    Amanda Hesser
  • hardlikearmour
  • Madhuja
  • Kukla
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


Bevi August 22, 2013
Congrats QS! Cauliflower is on my market list. I hope we meet soon at one of Suzanne's gatherings.
QueenSashy August 22, 2013
Thank you Bevi, I hope so too, and look forward to it.
Amanda H. August 21, 2013
Love the splashes of red in your kitchenware. Congrats on your win.
QueenSashy August 22, 2013
Thank you.
hardlikearmour August 21, 2013
Congratulations, QS! Your cauliflower couscous looks delicious, and I will definitely be giving it a try in the near future.
QueenSashy August 22, 2013
Thank you.
Madhuja August 21, 2013
Congratulations, QueenSashy! I loved reading your Q & A! :)
QueenSashy August 21, 2013
Thank you!
Kukla August 21, 2013
Congratulations QueenSashy!! Your early food experiences are very close to my heart, because most of my fondest, early memories also center on being with my Mom and aunt in the kitchen and around food and this is the best treasure to have.
QueenSashy August 21, 2013
It is indeed Kukla. Thank you very much.
Cristina S. August 21, 2013
Congrats, Aleksandra! Great Q&A--I LOVE your tool/Le Creuset shots!
QueenSashy August 21, 2013
Thanks! It's the IncrediBooth app, my favorite toy!
inpatskitchen August 21, 2013
Warmest congratulations on your win!!
QueenSashy August 21, 2013
Thank you very much.
fiveandspice August 21, 2013
Congrats QS! Love the story of all your family cooking for celebrations. It sounds wonderful! And the cauliflower couscous is great.
QueenSashy August 21, 2013
Thank a bunch fiveandspice.
Devangi R. August 21, 2013
QueenSashy August 21, 2013
lapadia August 21, 2013
Cheers to a win, QS!
QueenSashy August 21, 2013
drbabs August 21, 2013
Congratulations, QueenSashy. I'm so happy for you, and am looking forward to trying your very creative recipe! XO
QueenSashy August 21, 2013
Thanks drbabs!
ChefJune August 21, 2013
Congratulations, QueenSashy! I am SO making that Cauliflower Couscous... :)
QueenSashy August 21, 2013
Thank you :)