Friday, June 25, 2010

Fabulously Fierce Friends, Elizabeth

I don't like to write about myself(first or third person) so this will be odd. I grew up in Utah, land of the family-friendly chain restaurant and pretty much didn't think food came much better than what the Olive Garden served up. My mom always made sure we had dinner together as a family though. More often than not, that dinner included Lawry's seasoning salt, but hey, at least I won a scholarship because of it. (The prompt: What inspired you to enter the foodservice industry? My answer: Lawry's.) I graduated from the CIA's pastry program in 2008 and as a result, I am no longer capable of having a meal without dessert.
1. This list could be long or short depending:
Alton Brown - makes food fun and fascinating
My parents - I want what they have and nothing less will do
My brother - follows his dreams
Anyone who does what they love - they're the most interesting
2. This is completely PG, probably due to my years in a certain state, but it's a tie between fresh lemonade and cream soda. Although if I have to grow up a little, I'll say an Amaretto sour.
3. Any of the CIA's books, particularly Frozen Desserts and Chocolates and Confections. The photography is beautiful (trade secret: the photo studio is located next to the dumpsters of one of the dorms) and it's gotten to the point where I only care for cookbooks that are in weight. Non CIA: On Food and Cooking, The Omnivore's Dilemma, Kitchen Confidential, and best of all, Cake Wrecks because you have to have a sense of humor about what you do.
4. I can't tell you the name of the restaurant or even what I had, but my best meal was the last night my family was in London. It had probably been the most hectic vacation of my life and I think we were running on about 8 hours of sleep between the four of us. It was about 10:00 at night and our flight was leaving early the next morning, but we stopped for dinner and just talked about our trip and what we'd remember.
5. I refuse to bake without a scale, except when it comes to my Grandma B's chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I'm also in love with my Thermapen, and I'm saving up for a refractometer. Other things to be found in my pockets include a calculator, mini offset spatula, box cutter, mini ruler, and paring knife (knife guard on, of course).
6. So I fall into the category of chef who doesn't cook when she gets home. But I could probably scrape together my mom's wicked spaghetti sauce (Lawry's not included) or a mean bowl of cold cereal.
7. I like songs, not genres. Consequently, my playlist is about as diverse as it gets. To give you an idea of how random my tastes are, the next five songs on my shuffle literally are: You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC, G Code by Geto Boys, Crazy in Love by Beyonce, Devil in Disguise by Elvis, and Preludio from Partita No. 3 by Bach.
8. Cook simply, but it cook it well and use the best ingredients you can find. A little innovation is fun though, both in technique and flavor combinations, but when the dish becomes all about the gimmicks, you've lost me because NO ONE has ever gone home thinking "Wow, that freeze-dried shrimp foam really hit the spot".
9. Cilantro. I can taste the smallest bit of that stuff in anything. I don't feel too bad about that though because they just discovered that people who don't like cilantro don't have the receptor to properly taste it. Other things include dill, bell peppers, and raw onions. I'm also not a huge fan of sweet/savory combinations for main course (I love sweet and salty desserts though) like barbecue, which I'm pretty sure means I'm not allowed in the South, at any tailgait, or really any function where hearty men (and lady)folk get together.
10. I would like the power to make the perfect amount of food so there would be no leftovers. (Soup is the sole exemption to this rule.) I have never liked leftovers and thankfully, my dad took on the role of human garbage can with relish as I was growing up. I think the best I can hope for it to marry a guy who likes leftovers.