Who influenced you in the kitchen? Growing up, my mother made our kitchen warm and accessible. She never discouraged me from trying a new recipe or baking, provided I cleaned up afterwards, of course. My friend, writer Dina Cheney, inspired me to go to culinary school. Her infectious enthusiasm for cooking and her ability to cook without recipes made me excited to learn as much about food as I could. My husband influenced me too. His desire for good, home-cooked food most nights led me to develop a similar palate.
I recently wrote about one of my biggest influences in the kitchen, my mother-in-law, Iolanda. Born and raised in Italy Iolanda is an exceptional cook. From her I learned how satisfying cooking for your family can be, as well as numerous helpful tricks and new flavor combinations. In this piece on iVillage I remember the days when we first met and I really couldn’t cook at all. I was so intimidated by her culinary abilities and almost afraid to help for fear she would see just how inexperienced I was.
Click here to read the story.
Today when I visit her, I am usually perched by her side in the kitchen with my notebook in hand, helping out here and there but mostly watching and recording her every move.