Who is your culinary icon?
The Green Giant. I'm not allowed to say that. But I do like that guy. He is so big and friendly yet good for you at the same time.
Who is your favorite food TV personality, past or present?
What's your favorite cookbook?
I always have one. I'm not very loyal. What I am madly in love with today will be replaced by something else that I am madly in love with. (OK, something by Diana Kennedy.)
What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
I like and will try almost anything, but I don't want to eat a dog — or a brain, really.
What's your favorite condiment?
Mayo (and Sriracha)
What's the first dish you learned to make?
Bisquick pizza and baked chicken. And spectacular cheddar diablo cookies made with cayenne pepper, which seemed super exotic and daring at the time.
Sweet tooth, salty tooth or both?
Each of my teeth is a salty tooth.
What kitchen tool can't you live without?
Knife. OK, microplane. I don't like gadgets.
What music do you like to listen to in the kitchen?
See books. Something smoky, bouncy or singable: Etta James, Beastie Boys, Ray Charles, Pieta Brown and Blondie
What's your favorite food scene from a movie?
The hideout scene in Goodfellas where they slice garlic super thinly with a razor blade
What's your favorite alcoholic beverage?
Corpse Reviver No. #2
If you weren't in food, what career would you have liked to have tried?
Superhero of some kind — or incredibly generous philanthropist.
What's your favorite "food city" to visit?