I’m throwing my hat in the ring to participate in the Marx Foods Iron Foodie contest!
It looks like fun, and I’m up for a challenge!
I have to answer a few questions, first…
- Why do you want to compete in this challenge? I’ve been a fan of Iron Chef ever since I first saw it. The idea of working with unknown ingredients to make something creative and beautiful appeals to me. Whenever I watch a cooking show – Iron Chef, Top Chef, Chopped, etc. – where the contestants work with mystery ingredients, I use the magic of my DVR to stop the show just as they’ve announced the theme, and work out precisely how I would use the ingredients. Sometimes I’ll write down my “creation” to actually cook later!
- Limitations of time/space notwithstanding, whose kitchen would you like to spend the day in & why? Julia Child, Thomas Keller, Ferran Adria, James Beard, Marie-Antoine Careme, or The Swedish Chef? When I was very young, my grandmother watched me during the day while my mother worked. We’d watch endless hours of PBS shows, including my grandma’s favorite, Julia Child. She was incredibly entertaining, the kind of woman you imagined you could invite to your house for dinner, and her recipes make you want to try them. Okay, maybe not all of them (aspic anyone?), but I enjoy reading Julia’s recipes, and about her life. Plus, she makes me think of my grandma. My grandmother – an amazing cook in her own right – enjoyed watching Julia put together and talk about recipes, and she’d write down the ones she really liked to try out at family gatherings. My grandmother passed away 17 years ago, but I have tons of foodie memories of her – watching food shows (before the advent of Food Network, of course!), cooking, and of course, eating.
- What morsel are you most likely to swipe from family & friends’ plates when they aren’t looking? Parmesan cheese. From the time I could first work the hand-crank grater, it was my job to grate the cheese off the block of Parmeggiano Reggiano, a job I loved because I got all the little chunks that didn’t quite grate but were too small to go back into the grater. I still swipe pinches of it off my husband’s plate!
- Sum your childhood up in one meal. Homemade bolognese sauce. My mom and grandma each developed their own recipe, redolent with basil and garlic, simmered all day over a low flame, and finished with just a hint of cream. They’d make it in 5-gallon pots, serving it for a day or two over spaghetti, ravioli, or polenta; cooked into lasagna; or just in a bowl with bread for dipping. Then whatever was left over would be frozen in containers to be eaten throughout the next month or two. I can’t eat Italian food “out” – the bolognese doesn’t taste the same!
- The one mainstream food you can’t stand? There are actually a few, but I have to go with cilantro. I know several people that feel the same way as I do – it’s soapy-tasting and makes me gag – and it’s something to do with genetics or enzymes or something… But it’s used in so many cuisines of South America and Asia, and is so prevalent in American cuisine right now that I sort of wish I liked it! My runner up? American cheese. Ew. Just… Ew.
So… That’s it! We’ll see if I make it! 😉