When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?
I was always obsessed with food. But the first time that I found myself getting into cooking was at the age of 17. I watched a really old episode of the original Japanese Iron Chef. Morimoto made this miso marinated fillet mignon in a sous vide. It was awe inspiring since it was the first time I'd seen that cooking technique. That was the spark of my inspiration. I obviously tried to recreate it but failed epically. The steak was left waaaayyyy too long in the marinade and then I cooked it too long. It was a poor looking (and tasting) piece of rubber. I could only go up from that low point.
What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?
I am lucky to have a large, open chef's kitchen in my home. Big, strong 6-burner stove top with a just as powerful oven. Tons of cabinet space and a huge walk-in pantry. My pantry is STOCKED. If the zombie apocalypse happened tomorrow, we would survive for months without leaving the house. I work to the right of the stove top, always with my garbage can, or garbage bowl, to my left. I keep a damp kitchen towel under my cutting board with my clean, sharp chef's knife and paring knife sitting on top. My mise en place is always organized and ready to go before turning on any flame to cook. You can say I'm pretty obsessive. The French chef's I studied under would be proud!
What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?
Experiment! Recipes can become guidelines! You'll never learn unless you experiment. TASTE!!!! Don't just cook and taste at the end. Taste through every step of the way to develop your pallet.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?
I would invite Anthony Bourdain and it would be brunch. I would make a full on Israeli breakfast complete with Shakshuka and Jachnoon. Shakshuka is made by poaching eggs in a mildly spicy tomato sauce and is eaten with pita or challah. Jachnoon is a thin rolled dough that is rolled and baked in the oven, slowly, over night then eaten with grated tomatoes. It's by far my two favorite brunch dishes. I also love Anthony Bourdain. He's probably my favorite person... other than my husband of course.
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I am a collector of hobbies. Knitting, designing (and making) wedding cakes, sewing, pottery... which is my favorite. I've worked with clay for the past year and really love it. I've worked on a wheel before but I prefer to hand build. I'm not great at it but I really enjoy it. I make a lot of espresso cups and mugs.
Which cooking blogs do you love to read?
Lady and Pups, Not Without Salt, Always with Butter, My name is Yeh, Naturally Ella and I Am A Food Blog.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Food is a way to connect with people. It's a way come together. Share your table and feed your friends and family!