Italian Easter Baking–Saturday March 15, 6pm Sign up here!
Get to know the Chef
What are your top 5 kitchen tools?
My KitchenAid mixer; a straight, plain boxwood rolling pin; offset serrated knives; a 55-pound capacity postal scale with a pull-away readout to accommodate large bowls; and a collection of metal and plastic scrapers.
What is your favorite culinary destination?
Bangkok is my hands-down favorite, but I also love Rome, Paris, San Francisco, and of course New York where I live.
What smell evokes a wonderful memory?
Grilling chicken makes me think of my father’s love for basting chicken halves on the grill with oil and vinegar using some branches of dried oregano. Whenever I bake anything sweet I think of my maternal grandmother who loved to bake filled my childhood with wonderfully sweet aromas.
What do you have that is interesting in your refrigerator?
Thai ingredients like pickled garlic, chili-garlic sauce and fermented shrimp paste; homemade jams I was too lazy to vacuum-seal: peach and lemon marmalade, sweet orange marmalade, strawberry and blueberry jams, plus sweet zucchini pickles, green tomato chutney and spicy cucumber spears; as many fresh herbs as I can find/afford.
When did you discover you wanted to cook for a living? What was the defining moment?
I was intending to go to graduate school and become a research professor of French literature, but then I realized I had better decide between that and my love of baking, so I decided to attend culinary school instead.
How do you decompress?
Reading about more recipes at home; and travel, mostly to Europe and Asia.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still in the kitchen making jam and writing more books about baking.
If you were not a cook/chef, what would you be?
Probably a gardener or horticulturist.