Friday, May 21, 2010

Fabulously Fierce Friends, Alison

CQ writes: Alison is a assistant department chair and teacher of film-scoring at Berklee College of Music in Boston.  I first met Alison 5 or so years ago with Dan when we met for dim sum at Boston's China Pearl.  She attended University of Chicago which is where she met Dan.  Her family is from France and Germany.  She loves cooking and is a new mommy.  Her beautiful son's name is Roland.

1. Who are your role models - food related or otherwise?

My mom is my #1 role model for food, I get my cooking style from her. My husband is another role model (reluctant though I may be) in terms of doing more prep/mis-en-place (I tend to just throw things together). My maternal grandparents Micheline & Al Sakharoff were also very influential as they introduced me to fine dining in France.

2. What is your drink of choice?

Single malt scotch, the peatier the better, a preference I share with my dad.

3. What is your favorite cookbook or other food related book?

I love "Tender at the Bone" and "Comfort Me With Apples," the memoirs of foodie Ruth Reichl. I also love "Kitchen Science" which explains the "whys" of culinary techniques.

4. What was your most memorable meal and why?

Toque in Montreal with Doug back before we were married. It was a fantastic meal but it was also my first fine dining experience as an "adult," going on my own and not being taken to dinner by older relatives. It was also Doug's first really fancy meal so experiencing that vicariously through him was a treat. Close second though was an amazing lunch at L'Amphytrion, a restaurant in Brittany which had just gotten its second star. I went with my grandparents, brother, and my brother's friend who likewise was new to really fine food.

5. What is your favorite kitchen gadget or tool?

Right now the Beaba Babycook :-). For adults, though, I'd say the immersion blender, which is actually kind of a similar gadget now that I think of it.

6. If you had to make dinner with ingredients at your home right now, what would you make?

Tangerine pork stirfry (since I got the ingredients for that on the weekend... does that not count? :-)

7. What kind of music do you like to listen to while you cook?

Jazz, celtic, classical, electronic... pretty much the range I like to listen to generally. I'd love to have a better way to play music in the kitchen, recently we've just been bringing in our laptops.

8. What is your philosophy on cooking and eating?

Enjoy fresh, whole, local foods, drawing from different culinary traditions.

9. Are there any foods you can not stand to eat?

Nothing I won't eat categorically, though I'm not a big fan of organ meats most of the time.

10. If you could use any super power in the kitchen, what would it be and why?

The power of instant cleanup!