Title: Recipe Developer
Year you started at FN: 2003
Path at FN: I started as a freelancer in culinary production, and became a permanent part of the test kitchen team in 2005.
Culinary education/background: My best training was making cobblers and pies at my grandmother's side, and cooking in a number of inspiring places including Savoy and Café Boulud restaurants in New York, Chateau de Mazenc in Dieulefit, France and as a private chef at a villa in St. Tropez, France. I learned respect for ingredients from the fastidious Peter Hoffman, how less sugar means more flavor from world-class pastry chef Rémi Funfrock, and why flavor is everything from taste maestro Andrew Carmellini. I learned how to make beautiful food on film from the talented food stylists and photographers I worked with on projects for Food & Wine magazine; Barefoot in Paris; O, the Oprah Magazine; Chronicle Books; and William Sonoma. And the wild, wonderful world of recipe testing and developing was opened to me by the many gracious food editors who first let me put my ideas in print.
Culinary School: The Institute for Culinary Education
Cuisine you're known for: Whimsical French-American pastries
Favorite food: Watermelon, chocolate cake, tomato pie and palacsintas
Food you won't go near: Brains. I made that mistake only once, at Tour D'Argent in Paris and it cost me dearly!
Culinary inspiration: Thomas Keller, Pierre Hermé and Alice Medrich
Favorite show: Chefs A' Field on PBS
Do you prefer sweet foods or savory: Both — I love sweet and salty together, like a piece of dark chocolate with smoked almonds and fleur de sel, or peanut M & Ms.
If you were a condiment, what would you be: Apple butter: mostly sweet, a tad bit tangy and comforting on a cold day
Funniest behind-the-scenes story: Recently, when filming on set, I accidentally lifted up the stand mixer while it was running, and splattered lemon butter cream all over. It was a long day, so my blunder offered the crew a much needed laugh. But I still felt awful, so I quickly iced a stand-in cake with what butter cream I had left, which made for a delicious recovery!
Charities or organizations you work for/with: Share our Strength's Operation Frontline Program, City Harvest and the Food Bank of New York