How would you describe your culinary style?
I grew up on frozen dinners, overcooked pot roasts, sandwiches, lunch meats, and Utz potato chips, so I’ve had to invent my own personal culinary style. It’s a mixture of classical techniques – learned in culinary school, by osmosis from watching chefs, both in person and on TV, and from books – along with my own experimentation and reinterpretation of classic dishes. I’m also influenced by various world cuisines, including West African, Indian, Asian, and Eastern European, and I am a bit obsessive about trying – and hoarding – new spices.
What is the main source of inspiration for your recipes?
Travel! I always come home from trips – most recently to Poland, the Czech Republic, and Austria – bursting with new ideas and dishes I want to try.
If you could have one food while stranded on a desert island, what would it be?
As long as we’re fantasizing, I will choose something impractical: Swiss cheese, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches with mayo on sunflower seed bread with a side of Utz potato chips. This was my favorite lunch growing up, and I know from experience that I could happily eat it every day.
For someone new to your blog, which recipe do you recommend they try first?
That is a tough one, but I think my truffled tuna noodle casserole with crispy fried shallots and a béchamel-based mushroom sauce with a white wine reduction. It’s my reinterpretation of the trashy frozen Stouffer’s tuna noodle casserole my mom used to “make” for me as a kid, and it’s the perfect representational bridge between my culinary past and present.
What is your ultimate guilty food pleasure?
I know for most people it’s cake or chocolate, but unlike 99% of food bloggers, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Salty fried things are my downfall, and so my ultimate guilty food pleasure is a giant plate of French fries. Possibly with gravy, depending on my mood. But truth be told, I wouldn’t feel guilty for long.
Yummly means being fearless in the kitchen. Yummly means you’ll eat anything – once. Yummly means being proud of your culinary creations, but always striving to be more fabulous. Instant anything, fake cheese, and fast food are anti-Yummly. To be Yummly is to be insatiable!