We asked them both to answer a few questions about cooking and eating.
Describe a food memory that has influenced the way you cook or think about food.
I read Fast Food Nation after my daughter was born six years ago, and it forever changed my outlook on food. While I had never been much of a fast food diner, it opened my eyes to what was really in supermarket meat sections. I was devasted the day I saw IBP boxes at my local family run butcher. Now I know my farmer, Dan Gibson at Grazin' Angus Acres—who by the way has the most amazing eggs, and have an open invitation to visit the farm for a real-life answer to "where's the beef?".
What's the best restaurant you've ever been to?
Gramercy Tavern, and not just because I used to work there. It really shines apart from every other restaurant in NYC. Dining out is more about the experience for me than the food. I'm extremely picky having worked in the business, and notice lots of little things that wouldn't bother most diners. Every step of service is carefully thought out and elevates the overall experience.
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
There have been many mishaps but I'd have to say the almost baked kitty ranks pretty high. I was making cupcakes for my high school English teacher's birthday (he was a like a dad, and even came to my wedding), and the cat decided to jump onto the open oven door as I was going to put the tray in the oven. By saving the cat, I dropped the tin and the batter fell all over the inside of the very hot oven.
What's your favorite thing about your kitchen? Least favorite?
I have a huge window in my kitchen that looks through to the living room. I love that I can be in there cooking and still be part of the mix when I'm entertaining. My least favorite is not having a second set of hands to help with the dishes, but they weren't in stock when I renovated the kitchen last year.
Apron or no apron?
Apron, always. Even when fixing the kids breakfast on school days.
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
It's from an episode of the Little Rascals. Stymie is given an artichoke, and after peeling away all the leaves, tosses it over his shoulder, not knowing what to do with it. While it's not the risotto scene in Big Night, the memory has always stuck with me. Today, more than ever people are disconnected from real food and have no idea what to do with it.
If you had to choose the cuisine of one country (other than the U.S.) to cook and eat for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Italian, but not the red-checkered cuisine most Americans are used to eating. Greek would be a close second. It's all about fresh, clean flavors for me.
Your favorite cutting board is: a) wood, b) plastic
I can't really take sides—it depends on what I'm prepping. There are certain things like bread that just feel right on a wooden board.
When it comes to tidying up, you prefer to: a) clean as you cook, b) do all the dishes once you've finished cooking, or c) leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.
Clean as I cook. I would also like to have this chip implanted in my husband.