I would love a chance to compete in Iron Foodie 2010 because I love the endless possibilities it opens. It's been a long time since I took statistics, but I'm liking that twenty-five foodies will receive 8 ingredients, 3 of which they have to incorporate into a dish. There's something so cool about the fact that such a simple concept could have so many different endings!
I'm also a fan of Chopped, which challenges cooks to use the secret ingredients found in their basket. I usually dream about how I would use the ingredients if I had been given the chance. Now I do have the chance and can't wait to see what I come up with!
2. Limitations of time/space notwithstanding, whose kitchen would you like to spend the day in & why?
Call me a nerd, but I think I'd really like to spend the day in a rustic, traditional kitchen. I'm talking like Mexican grandma cooking with a stone oven, or an Amish woman with no modern appliances kind of kitchen. I think there's something so humbling in creating a spectacular meal from the basics. Starting with a great ingredient and turning it into something magnificant, by only adding time, love, heat, and a few additions. Making the true flavors of an ingredient sing under those conditions takes talent.
3. What morsel are you most likely to swipe from family & friends’ plates when they aren’t looking?
Most likely something cheesy. I absolutely love cheese of any kind, shape, color, or texture. It's also one of those foods that can be served any time of the day or night, and in sweet or savory form.
4. Sum your childhood up in one meal.
My childhood summed up in one meal would be eggplant parmigiana. Each step and ingredient taught to me by my parents and grandparents, learned through watching them. Beginning as an innocent fruit, salted, seasoned, breaded, and fried. Dipped in sauce and layered, sprinkled with cheese. Baked to become a single dish from what used to be so many components and layers. Kind of like the complexity of maturing through life.
5. The one mainstream food you can’t stand?
The only foods I truly can't stand are raw tomatoes and mushrooms (aka fungus). But even including those two things, I'm willing to give anything a try!