Chef Cooking Quirks

I think some of the most interesting things to read on food blogs are the little anecdotes behind the blogger or random insight into who the blogger is. Every so often I like to include a little casual blurb about myself….So in this installment, I thought I’d focus on the various quirks that I’m learning about myself in the kitchen….I’m a quirky, weird person in general so it’s no wonder that it’s translated into my kitchen as well.

 

1. I hate the taste and smell of both mint and licorice.  When I first tried fennel, I assumed it would taste much like celery due to it’s similar color and texture. Wrong. Putrid. Licorice. Mint should only be for toothpaste and gum. The end.

2. I eat red meat RARE…..mooing…..black and blue….raw… whatever you want to call it, but to me there’s nothing more delicious than a rare filet mignon.

3. My two favorite smells in the kitchen are that of onions caramelizing and the smell of garlic and thyme cooking in butter.

4. I purposely seek out super laborious meals to cook….the more steps and processes, the better. I like complexity and challenging myself.

5. I insist on all meals I cook having a meat, vegetable and starch (I call it the holy trifecta)….it’s how I grew up, and I think it’s the most satisfying and well balanced meal.

6. One of my favorite dishes to test out herb combos on is french fries.  Potatoes are like a blank canvas that can really showcase the flavors and complexity of herbs.  I like to try out all sorts of combos….cumin and thyme, rosemary/truffle/Parmesan, you get the idea.

7. If I could eat on thing every night and probably never get sick of it, it would be sushi.

8. I will live in NYC til the day I die, but the only reason that I could ever get talked into moving to a suburb would be for an incredible kitchen and a full herb garden.

9. I am obsessed with keeping my cooking area clean and immaculate. I like all my mise en place neatly arranged in bowls around my station with all the utensils I will need to create my dish, at my side.  I like for the cooking process to happen in a fluid, non-spastic motion, with everything in it’s right place. Some people refer to this as OCD, I sheepishly refer to it as exactness.

10. If I were to choose one cooking implement I cannot live without, it’s my chef knife.

11. I think one of the most gratifying bites of food, is when you bite into the shells in a mac n cheese and cheese squirts out from inside the shell….you know you know what I am talking about. It’s perfection. Also as a side note to this: Mac n Cheese should only ever be made with shells for this exact reason.

12. My go-to meal when I am feeling like a lazy cook is Chicken Quesadillas.

13. I cook in sweat pants and tank top every night. In fact, in general I feel the prettiest in sweatpants….more so than ever getting dressed up…(I actually hate getting dressed up).

14. I love the way microplaning cheese looks. So much cooler than a regular grater - try it, you’ll agree.

15. I didn’t eat an egg up until two years ago.

16. A task I could sit and do for hours in the kitchen, is removing the thyme leaves from their stems.  There is something so fun about sliding your index finger and thumb down the stem and seamlessly getting all the leaves to just come off…

17. My embarrassing food obsession is Velveeta Cheese. (See #11)

18. My favorite types of restaurants to eat in are classic, old money, and somewhat tacky and out dated in decor, where the average age of the diner is 65+. I have always been an old soul and feel the most comfortable in places where I am surrounded by other old souls :)

19. The strangest animal meat that I ever cooked with was Ostrich.

20. I love braising. It’s my favorite form of cooking…..lamb, osso buco, brisket, pork…. I love to cook low n slow!

 

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