The winning cook at a bountiful farmers' market; her winning Crisp Pork Cutlets with Citrus Salsa Verde
Q&A with gingerroot
It’s midnight and you’re hungry. Do you reach for something savory or sweet?
My go-to midnight snack usually includes a bourbon, neat -- is that savory or sweet? A recent favorite pairing was bourbon and kettle corn.
An ideal dinner party includes a) 2 people, b) 4 – 6 people, or c) 8 or more.
Definitely c -- to keep things lively.
How did you first become interested in cooking?
I have always loved trying new foods and remember helping in both of my grandmothers' kitchens as a young girl. The oldest of four, one of my fondest memories is having pizza competitions between the siblings and my dad. We’d make dough, sauce, and add our toppings, and he’d do the same with different recipes. I’m pretty sure the kids always won.
Describe your weekend cooking style.
Weekends include dishes that are more involved, like a long-simmering sauce or stew. I also try to get ahead on the following week’s breakfasts, which means batches of pancakes or waffles (which then are frozen).
Is there one ingredient you can’t live without?
Right now, it is salt-preserved lemons. My Meyer lemon tree had a banner season, and I have been putting preserved lemon in everything.
Gingerroot's garden helpers with last summer's sugar baby watermelons
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
Thankfully, I don’t have a really spectacular disaster to share, though to me spectacular connotes blood or fire.
What music (if any) do you listen to in the kitchen?
I love to listen to a variety of music when cooking (though often forget to turn it on!) -- lately it has included Adele, Bon Iver, Maroon 5, and the Rome Album with Jack White and Norah Jones.
Which cookbook(s) do you reach for most often?
Lately it has been Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty. The photos are gorgeous -- it inspires what I plant (or want to plant) in my raised bed garden and makes me wish Honolulu had a cold snap!
What is your most cherished food tradition?
Thanksgiving has been my favorite food tradition for as long as I can remember. I have fond memories of gathering around my grandmother’s table, in awe of the bounty of food she had made for our family. Now that she is gone, I try to carry on her legacy and relish cooking all day. I’ve also started my own traditions, which include making a friend’s Butternut Sage Scones (she is an ah-mazing baker!) for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning.
To learn more about gingerroot and see all of her recipes, view her profile.