Q&A with Artichoke Contest Winner

May 7, 2012

Congratulations to ChefSea, whose Artichoke Fritters with Parmesan and Peppadew won the Best Artichoke Recipe contest, earning her a $100 Whole Foods Market gift card!

ChefSea Artichoke Fritters with Parmesan and Peppadew
The winning cook whipping up a luscious sauce; her victorious Artichoke Fritters with Parmesan and Peppadew

Q&A with ChefSea

It’s midnight and you’re hungry. Do you reach for something savory or sweet?
I go for the sugar buzz method of getting back to sleep, and my goal is to eat a handful of semisweet chocolate morsels. Since I sleep sporadically these days, from now on I think I’ll save myself the trouble of going to the kitchen and just leave a bag on the night stand.

An ideal dinner party includes a) 2 people, b) 4 – 6 people, or c) 8 or more.   
As a rule, I cook only for my boyfriend and me. However, in my past life I was a caterer and love feeding larger crowds.

How did you first become interested in cooking?
As a child, I spent quality time with my mother watching The French Chef, and my father would compliment me on my efforts at cooking. My first real job was at a retailer that sold high-end cookware. 

If you were reincarnated as a single dish, what would you be? 
Bouillabaisse with rouille.

Describe your weekend cooking style.  
We host our friends often and will make labor-intensive dishes like fresh pasta with house-smoked fresh mozzarella and crispy prosciutto. But during the tedious hand cranking of the pasta machine, I employ the "Tom Sawyer" approach and get my guests to do the heavy lifting.

cast iron pan peppermill
ChefSea
's trusty, well-seasoned cast iron pan; her 30-year-old Perfex peppermill

Is there one ingredient you can’t live without?  
The Allium family.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.  
I was hosting a dinner party with my newly minted boyfriend and made fresh pasta with tiny meatballs. I left the kitchen briefly and returned to see him hovering over the pot while plunging the potato masher into it exclaiming, "Why is this sauce so lumpy?"

What music (if any) do you listen to in the kitchen? 
I’m told it’s called Adult Album Alternative -- from an excellent radio station on the Vineyard.

Which cookbook(s) do you reach for most often?  
I like the America’s Test Kitchen series.

What is your most cherished food tradition? 
Hosting or landing an invitation to holiday meals. 

To learn more about ChefSea, view her profile.

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