#SCBDFavorite: One Pot Dinners Cooking Class at Sur La Table, Hell’s Kitchen

scbdfavorite

For my birthday this year I got a gift certificate to take a cooking class at Sur La Table in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. I looked at the schedule and the One Pot Dinners presented by Food & Wine Magazine sounded like an awesome class plus it came with a one year subscription to Food & Wine magazine.

The class started at 11:00 am in the studio kitchen in the store. We were greeted by our instructor Giselle and her assistants, who grabbed us a cup of coffee. Giselle told us a bit about herself and how she went to culinary school and how when she’s not teaching she is a pastry chef at Momofoku Milk Bar. After she explained how the class worked and gave us a packet with the recipes we’d be making in class.

photo 3

My favorite recipe we made.

We started the class making an easy Mexican Chicken Pozole Verde. Giselle would show us how to do each step and assist us along with the help of her assistants. It was a great class and each team worked together really well. After the Pozole, we made my personal favorite– Beef & Vegetable Potpie with Cheddar Biscuits, followed by Rice Pilaf with Chorizo, Olives & Fennel, and last, Smoky Paella with Shrimp & Squid.

480681_10151269319590588_1480829693_n

Cooking in class at Sur La Table, Hell’s Kitchen NYC

We took a little break while some of the entrees cooked and had a tour of the store with our instructor Giselle. She told us what she recommended we purchase and what was used during class. We could also buy what we wanted then, but most of us waited until class ended. After our little tour, we came back to class and finished preparing then eating all the dishes. As I mentioned, my favorite was Beef & Vegetable Potpie with Cheddar Biscuits, it was delicious and perfect for a meal. It’s definitely a dish I’d love to conquer myself one night!

If you ever decide to take a class at Sur La Table, a huge plus is that all students receive a 10% off coupon that is good for a week. Since I still had money on my gift card, it definitely gave me an upper hand. I decided to purchase my very own food processor and scraper to add to my kitchen collection.

I’d highly recommend a cooking class at Sur La Table to any beginner in the kitchen, they really help you out and all the dishes are pretty easy. They have many cooking studio locations throughout New York and New Jersey and  have a huge roster of classes, you can see, here. They also aren’t costly and range between $55-99 which is not bad for a professional cooking class.

Plan on taking a class at Sur La Table?

Let me know what you thoughts here or tweet me @smchickbigdeals!

Happy Cooking! 😀

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

Gluten-Free Pizza Recipe

Over the last year, the one thing I learned is, when it comes to the gluten-free diet, one should always keep an open-mind and always experiment. I did just that this past week by trying gluten-free pizza for the first time!

Gluten-Free pizza was something I always wanted to try since the first moment I stopped eating gluten but I was always a little apprehensive about it at the same time. I wasn’t sure if I’d like the crust and I’ve heard from some gluten-free friends that if it’s not made correctly, the pizza as a whole can taste like cardboard with sauce and cheese on it.

Gluten Free PIzza

Gluten Free Pizza

But the on-the-fly recipe my family and I tried turned out to be pretty fantastic. A lot of it came from my boyfriend Luke, who made his own homemade pizza once before using non gluten-free Bisquick. Technically, this recipe is essentially his concoction!

Luke and his Gluten Free Pizza

Luke and his Gluten Free Pizza

Regardless if you have or have not tried gluten-free pizza yet, I suggest you try this recipe! It’s really simple, affordable, and fun for the entire family!

Gluten-Free Pizza Recipe (for +2 people)

Ingredients:

  •  2 cups of Gluten-Free Bisquick mix
  •  1 cup of Italian seasoning (IE: basil, parsley, rosemary garlic, etc)
  •  1 cup of water
  •  4 eggs, beaten
  •  2/3 cup oil
  •  Sauce, Cheese, Toppings (use your judgement on these)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Grease pizza pan.
  3. Stir Bisquick mix, Italian seasoning, water, oil, and eggs until well combined. Spread mix in pan.
  4. Bake the crust for 15 minutes (NOTE: It may appear cracked, this is normal)
  5. Spread pizza sauce, cheese, and other toppings over crust.
  6. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

GF Pizza

Hope you all enjoy this recipe! If you tried it, let me know what you thought in the comments!

Test Your Kitchen Skills At A Cook & Go Cooking Class with CourseHorse NYC!

Cook&Gocounters

Cook & Go Culinary Studio
Photo Credit: Sarah Shaker, BrightLightsMyCity.com

Last Wednesday before I got hit hard with the flu I attended a Cook&Go’s Brazilian Menu class with a few other food bloggers at the Cook & Go culinary school in Chelsea (right next to Chelsea Market). Once we all checked in and comfortable were ready to start cooking. We each put on an apron and they also poured a glass of wine for each student. Our instructor, who is a trained chef, began passing out ingredients to prepare our first course. He diligently went over each step and was there to answer any questions we had throughout the class.

dessert

Sweet Avocado with Cachaca Watermelon Relish

The Brazilian menu featured Prawn and Cucumber Soup, Chicken Skewer XiXim Style and Sweet Avocado with Cachaca Relish for dessert. We started the class off by making dessert since it was easy to prepare and store in the fridge, next we made the soup which was delicious and almost like a ceviche. Last we prepared the Chicken Skewer XiXim Style then we packed all our dishes to cook when we got home.

cook and go

Chicken Skewer XiXim Style

I couldn’t wait to get home and eat the meal I prepared. I ate the soup so fast, but it was extremely delicious. Then, I prepared the chicken which was nothing less than amazing and easy to make on the skillet.

Interested in trying a cooking class yourself? Coursehorse has a special discount code for SCBD readers that will get them 10% off any class just use the code scbd from now until the end of the month. Sign up now to learn some new skills or become a pro in one of the over 20,000 classes from 500 class providers available on CourseHorse.

Here’s to more fun, foodie adventures in the future! You know you can always find me in the kitchen if I’m not dining out.

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

Cayenne-Spiced Popcorn Shrimp

The Super Bowl this past weekend has inspired me to amp up future super bowl soirees. Whether you are going to a friends or throwing your own shindig, come prepared. Go for something a little different than your average chicken wings and chips ‘n’ dip. This cayenne-spiced popcorn shrimp recipe, provided by amazing catering company Canard Inc. will have everyone begging for seconds thirds, whether you’re making it for the super bowl or not.

CAYENNE-SPICED POPCORN SHRIMP

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 5 teaspoons Cayenne Spice, recipe follows
  • 2 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 1 pound small shrimp (100 count per pound), peeled
  • 6 cups vegetable oil for frying

CREOLE SEASONING
INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a medium-sized, non-reactive bowl combine the eggs, heavy cream, and 2 teaspoons of the Cayenne Spice. Whisk well to combine. In a separate bowl, blend the bread crumbs with the remaining 3 teaspoons of the Spice mix.
  2. Set a 1-gallon stockpot over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and preheat the oil to 360 degrees F.
  3. To bread the shrimp, take about 1/3 or 1/4 of the shrimp and toss in the egg mixture. Let the shrimp sit in the marinade for up to 5 minutes. Remove and place in the bread crumb mixture. Toss well to evenly coat the shrimp, and use a coarse sieve to sift the excess bread crumbs off into another clean bowl. Repeat the process 2 more times with the remaining shrimp and breading.
  4. Place the breaded shrimp in the hot oil in batches and fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the hot oil using a slotted spoon and drain on a paper-lined sheet pan. Serve the shrimp hot.

Enjoy!

shrimp

Turkey-Bacon Avocado Sandwich

When I began working full time after I graduated from college, I loved going to Whole Foods for lunch.  It became a very guilty and delicious habit.  The funny thing was that the options I chose for my daily lunch were things I could easily make from home.  My wallet told me this was a good idea and I am so glad I listened.  😉

This sandwich is one of my favorites.  As much as I love the combo of bacon and avocado, I don’t eat pork.  So like most of my restaurant favorites, I recreated the standard Club Sandwich on my own terms.  This one fills me up, is low on processed ingredients, and lends itself to easy modifications.  Oh and it takes less than 10 minutes to throw together.  What more could you ask for?

photo 1

Turkey Bacon Avocado Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices Oasis Low-Carb Flaxseed bread (use your favorite bread or whatever you have on hand)
  • 2 slices lean turkey bacon
  • 1/2 cup of shredded turkey breast
  • 3 slices tomato
  • 1/4 avocado
  • Handful of spinach

Instructions:

  1. On one slice of bread, layer the turkey and turkey bacon over the tomatoes and spinach.
  2. Smear the avocado on the other slice of bread.  If you want to add mayo, go for it.  But trust me when I say that all of these flavors together are perfect without it too.
  3. Put the halves together and wait for coworker envy.

What is your favorite thing to bring for lunch?

Salsa Chicken & Chicken Street Tacos

I could eat Mexican food every single day of my life.  If I was in prison and had to choose my last meal, it would probably be Carne Asada street tacos.  One of the best perks of living in Southern California is that we have delicious, authentic Mexican food on what seems like every street corner.  I can’t complain.

This chicken recipe is great because you can throw it in a crock pot with a jar of salsa and forget about it for a few hours.   Once I make a batch of it, I can use the chicken throughout the week for a number of meals.  On top of eggs, mixed in a salad, or maybe even just eating it with a fork out of a storage container.  It’s that good.  First, I am going to tell you how to prep the chicken.  It’s almost unreal how easy it is.  Below that, you can find a taco recipe I made with it.

Salsa Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 3-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – as desired, I’d recommend doing 6 so that you have tons of delicious chicken for the week
  • Your favorite salsa, the amount to use depends.  You want to make sure that when you put it all in the crock pot, the salsa covers the chicken.  2-3 small jars should work.
  1. Dump everything in a crockpot and set it on low.
  2. After about six hours, you should notice that the chicken is nice and cooked.
  3. Take a piece out and test it.  You should be able to slice it apart with a fork, like soft butter.
  4. Put the chicken (sliced or whole) in some tupperware and use it when you need it.  I prefer to shred it with a fork before storing it up.

Street Tacos

I came up with this on a whim.  I had shredded salsa chicken in the fridge, fresh corn tortillas from my favorite local Mexican market, and avocado on hand.  Since the chicken was made beforehand, this literally took ten minutes – if even that- to throw together.  Perks of making mass amounts of food ahead of time?  I think yes.

photo 3

Marysa’s Street Chicken Tacos

Another staple item that I keep on hand is a bag of coleslaw mix.  While I don’t use the dressing, the veggie mix itself is great to saute for breakfast, or mix into a salad for lunch/dinner.  I’d like to get into the habit of slicing up cabbage and having it stored, but for now, this saves me tons of time since I use it so often.

Ingredients:

  • 3 small, street size corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup of salsa chicken
  • 1 cup of sliced cabbage/cole slaw mix sans dressing
  • Avocado (as desired)
  • Hot sauce

Instructions:

  1. Place the cabbage on the tacos first.
  2. Then distribute the chicken.
  3. Top with as much avocado as desired and put hot sauce (my favorite is Cholula) on top.
  4. Since the cabbage is likely to be cold, throw the finished tacos in the microwave for about 15 seconds.
  5. Devour.

photo 2

#SCBD Quick & Easy Breakfast Burrito Recipe!

Ever since 2013 began my latest breakfast obsession has been breakfast burritos. They are great to eat for breakfast or brunch and can make a breakfast lover out of anyone. Breakfast has always been a meal I eat daily because I know I work better with a little or in this case a lot in my stomach. Also, if you are on the run this a great portable breakfast that will make your stomach and taste buds a bit happier. There are a few different techniques to making them, in fact the first time I made them was with my boyfriend and our friend’s New Year’s Day but here is my most effective recipe.

breakfast burrito

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 large eggs (depends on how many you plan on serving)
  • Salsa of choice
  • A pack of flour tortillas
  • Bacon (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper, for taste
  • Bag of shredded cheese (I prefer the Mexican Blend)

Instructions:

  1. If you plan on including bacon in your burrito prepare that first in a frying pan to your liking and put pieces on a plate with a paper towel so they aren’t as greasy.
  2. If you don’t plan on using bacon start by cracking eggs in a mixing bowl. Note: I use 2 eggs per burrito per person so if you are making for more than two people you may  need to use between 6-8 eggs but its up to you.
  3. Get out frying pan and spray with butter or olive oil spray, let it heat up for a minute or two.
  4. Whip eggs in mixing bowls, add salt & pepper and about a tablespoon or two of salsa.
  5. Pour egg mix into frying pan and scramble eggs to your liking.
  6. Once eggs are scrambled put them into a separate bowl.
  7. Spray pan with oil or butter spray again and heat tortillas over low heat to your liking.
  8. Put more salsa (if you want) and shredded cheese into separate bowls.
  9. Take your tortilla top with bacon, scrambled eggs, salsa and cheese to your liking.
  10. Fold into a burrito and enjoy!

new years breakfast burritos

Next time you don’t know what to eat for breakfast or brunch think outside the box and try this breakfast burrito recipe, it’s delicious!

Happy Eating! 😀

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

The Ideal Frozen Meal by Contessa World Cuisine & Coupon Giveaway!

I don’t know about you but my ideal frozen meal doesn’t necessarily require a microwave. I think anyone like me who likes to cook, takes a little pride in seeing the ingredients come together to make a great dish. Well, you can do just that with Contessa World Cuisine’s Frozen Meals!

When I made Contessa World Cuisine’s  Orange Chicken:

photo 5photo 4photo 3photo 1

Here are some quick facts about these awesome meals:

  • 18 unique, world cuisine-inspired flavors including two brand new varieties
  • Simple to prepare in ten minutes at home
  • No msg
  • No trans-fat
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • No preservatives
  • Minimally processed
  • Multiple gluten-free options
  • Individually packaged sauce packets to allow for freshness, recipe variation and special dietary needs

I love the fact that they focus on fresh ingredients and let me tell you– they are delicious! My personal favorite is the Orange Chicken– it’s delicious, convenient, and fun to make. Check out the other flavors they offer, here.

Contessa will be giving away some free and $2 off coupons to the first fifteen readers to comment on this post with why you should try a Contessa Frozen Meal! The contest will end this Tuesday at 8:00 AM EST so make sure you enter today!

Note: This contest has ended.

Happy Eating! 😀

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

*Disclaimer: The PR team sent me this product. I was not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*

The Lost Holiday: Thanksgiving and Traditions

It seems that every year when the Holidays roll around we start the season off with eerie Halloween decorations followed directly by Santa, his elves and Christmas wreathes through out our towns, but what about the turkeys and the pilgrims?! It feels like with each year the Thanksgiving holiday and all of its meaningful traditions die a little more, it has grown to become somewhat of a lost holiday. I’ve even noticed this year that it seems black Friday has gained more attention with airtime on TV and in commercials than Thanksgiving has!

I would say that this year, especially in light of Sandy and the snowstorm that followed, we have A LOT to be thankful for. Thanksgiving happens to be one of my favorite holidays and there are a lot of traditions in my family that have not yet been ‘lost’ like the Holiday feels it has been.

I hope that in sharing some traditions we celebrate during our Thanksgiving everyone will remember to appreciate all of their own and truly celebrate everything we have to be thankful for!

‘Italian Wedding Soup’

In all of my 22 years we have never had a Thanksgiving without it and it’s absolutely delicious! It started with my great grandparents and now four generations later my cousins and I have helped in keeping the tradition alive. We make everything from scratch, starting with the tiny hand rolled meatballs right down to the vegetable infused chicken broth. We usually get together a few days before Thanksgiving to start prepping, here are some pictures from this weekend while we were making the meatballs for Thursday’s batch of soup!

We have about 18 people coming for dinner this year so we made way more meatballs than if it was just for one of our Sunday dinners. The average recipe for our homemade meatballs includes:

-2 lb. ground beef

– 2 large Spanish onions (finely chopped)

– 3 cloves of garlic (chopped)

– 1 Egg (beaten)

– ½ loaf of day old bread (soaked in water)

– 1 bunch fresh flat Italian parsley

– 1 c. Parmesan & 1 c. Locatelli Cheese

– Salt/Pepper/Italian Seasoning (to taste)

First sauté the onions in olive oil adding the garlic once the onions start to brown. Set aside and puree the soaked bread for a few minutes in the food processor (or any other device you have to get the job done!). Finally, add the onions and bread along with all other spices and seasoning to the meat and mix.

Once everything has been blended together, fry a few in a pan with olive oil for a taste test incase you need to add anything else before cooking them all.

Once we know they taste amazing, we roll alllll of the mixture in to small balls before pre-cooking them in a simple chicken broth.

They sit and boil for few minutes and are then stored in the freezer until Thursday when they will be added in to the actual soup broth with vegetables to make our traditional Italian Wedding Soup!

Check back after Thanksgiving to see the complete and finished product!

Another fun tradition we have each year is drinking fabulous wine and listening to the song, ‘Alice’s Restaurant’, at least once during the night. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmyXTOHC3w8

What are you looking most forward to celebrating this year? Take pictures during your Thanksgiving and share with us your favorite holiday recipes and family traditions! Hope that everyone has an awesome Thanksgiving holiday!

Lia Giachino

Hi I’m Lia and I’m a born and raised Jersey Girl from Bergen County. I come from an Italian family, where food is everything, and have been a food lover ever since my first visit to Il Mulino in NYC when I was a mere two months old. My whole life I’ve frequented restaurants in the North Jersey area as well as in Manhattan. I have always enjoyed cooking myself trying recipes passed down from my Nana and mother as well as my own new creations. I recently graduated from the University of Rhode Island with my B.A in Communications/Public Relations with a focus on Social Media Marketing. I have experience in sales and marketing for the food service industry, hotel and hospitality public relations as well as social media marketing and public relations for start-up companies and someday hope to own my own boutique PR firm. When I’m not working I’m usually out in NYC visiting family or on adventures with friends. I love taking pictures, am very passionate about music and often go to live shows, I try to travel when I can and am a huge make-up junkie! Follow me on Twitter @lmgiachino! 

#SCBD Exclusive Interview with Aida Mollenkamp, Chef & Author of Keys to the Kitchen

A few weeks ago I was looking at cookbooks with my friend Ashley at Williams Sonoma. We came across Keys to the Kitchen by Aida Mollenkamp and we knew we had to get it! It has 305 recipes, 40 fundamental techniques, and 300 photographs & illustrations! It’s an ideal cookbook for any amateur chef since it covers all the basics.  Before Superstorm Sandy hit, I had the opportunity to interview Aida Mollenkamp about her first cookbook Keys to the Kitchen, life and following your dreams.

SCBD: Hi Aida, thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview you and tell my readers about your new and first cookbook, Keys to the KitchenYou have always been passionate about cooking, which eventually led to you studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. What was your favorite experience while at Le Cordon Bleu?

AM: There are so many memories from Le Cordon Bleu that it’s hard to pick one, but they all seem to come down to the experience and interaction that the French culture fosters with food.

One of my favorite moments was when my classmates and I gathered in the middle of the night in order to visit the Marché de Rungis when it opened in the pre-dawn hours. Rungis is one of the largest wholesale markets in Europe and has whole hangars dedicated not just to one animal but to one section of the animal, like offal! It was the first time I really understood that nose-to-tail eating was a very real concept and that the French had been doing it for years.

Aida Mollenkamp, Photo Credit: Robin Jolin

SCBD: I’ve been thinking of taking cooking classes so I can be a better cook & writer. Do you think it’s a good idea? Why?

AM: Well, I think that it’s important to learn something new everyday whether it’s a shortcut on your way to work or trying a new food when you eat. I personally really enjoy classes and like working collaboratively so cooking school really gave me a lot. It may not be for everyone but my belief is you build a solid and then you’ll be able to find your own voice, be it on the page or in the kitchen.

SCBD: You’ve had tons of editorial experience, what was the best part of working for a food magazine like CHOW?

AM: That too comes down to the things I learned. CHOW was founded by Jane Goldman who has had an impressive editorial career that’s included Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, Wired, and Industry Standard. Her journalistic approach to food reminded us that food writing doesn’t have to be precious and that we can and should talk about it in plain terms. That concept imbued the whole editorial vision and allowed us a lot of creative freedom in our recipes, food photography, and story concepts.

SCBD: You have quite a record and had two shows. Ask Aida which aired on Food Network followed by foodCrafters on The Cooking Channel, what was your favorite part about filming? What was your most memorable segment (on both or either show)?

AM: Oh, the crew would be my favorite part about filming – you get to work with amazingly talented people and it really is a group effort to make a show come to life. As for my most memorable segment, that’s really hard to say as I had some seriously awesome experiences. On Ask Aida, it would probably be one of the first days when I was told to never stop or call cut and to leave that to the producer. I began doing the show intro and had a pan with oil heating on the stove. Well, I went on a little too long and the pan caught fire but I was thinking, “the show must go on.” The producer thought I had a screw loose but I was just trying to follow orders!

On FoodCrafters it’s really hard to say because each experience was really unique. I adored making orange marmalade in traditional copper pots with Rachel Saunders of Blue Chair Fruit  because her work is proof that attention to quality ingredients and detail really makes a simple product like a preserve that much more exceptional.

Aida Mollenkamp, Photo Credit: Bonnie Tsang

SCBD: Those eventually led to you writing your first cookbook, which I bought this past weekend Keys to the Kitchen. It’s a cookbook that covers all the basics that every chef should know along with some delicious innovative recipes. How does it feel to have your first cookbook published?

AM: It’s really quite surreal. Keys To The Kitchen has been over two years in the works yet nothing really prepared me for the publication day. A fellow food writer told me it was like having a baby and, though I haven’t had a child, I do feel like this book was almost as much effort, attention, and work. The fun part is that now I get to travel around and share this book with people and do what I love: encourage people to have fun in the kitchen.

SCBD: All the recipes look delicious, what’s your personal favorite in the cookbook? Which should I start with?

AM: The great thing about Keys To The Kitchen is you can pretty much start anywhere. If you’ve really never cooked before, I’d take it easy and make baked eggs or one of the pastas. If you feel like baking, the Sage-Maple Cornbread is a lot of flavor for minimal effort. And if you want to try something different and a bit challenging, try out the Caramelized Fennel Tarte Tatin.

Aida Mollenkamp, Photo Credit: Bonnie Tsang

SCBD: Why do you think it’s so important for every chef or just newbie cooks to know basic techniques?

AM: My other love aside from cooking is music, and many a great musician would claim that you can’t make it your own and riff until you know the basics. Those basic techniques function like directions on a compass, without them you wouldn’t really know which way you’re headed.

SCBD: What’s your favorite dish to cook?

AM: That’s a hard question because it’s constantly changing. If I’m in the kitchen, it’s almost always about recipe testing so I don’t have a ton of time to cook just any old thing. I do really enjoy doughs and pastas because it’s a really apparent payoff as the effort and time you put in directly results in the level of quality of the finished product.

SCBD: You have a cookbook tour going on, what should people expect at the tour?

AM: What’s really great about this tour is that I’ve got an assortment of events as we’re doing almost 40 events in nearly 20 cities. I’m traveling with Williams-Sonoma to do cooking demonstrations in a variety of their stores; I’ve been holding cocktail parties in locations such as urban farms; am collaborating with some of my favorite food stores for hands-on cooking classes; and am doing a number of ticketed dinners through mid-December.

My belief is you eat three times a day so you might as well have fun with it, keep in interesting, and know how to make a few things and all these events weave in those concepts.

SCBD: What was the last dish you cooked?

AM: Let’s see, that would be veggie tacos I made for the site yesterday. I have a series called Pretty. Easy. where I teach simple recipes and ways to dress them up or further simplify them and this month will be quinoa, black bean, and caramelized onion tacos.

SCBD: What’s your life motto?

AM: I aim to seek adventures – be it as little as a new nail color or as massive as a trip somewhere foreign – every single day.

Aida Mollenkamp, Photo Credit: Bonnie Tsang

SCBD: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone trying to break into the many facets of the food industry?

AM: Well, it’s a lot of hard work so do what you love. Think about why you want to be in the industry – if you like making food gorgeous, you should aim for food photography; if you like food science, maybe a test kitchen is for you – and find people doing those jobs. Ask them what they’ve done and how they’ve gotten where they are. Finally, always be willing to take a bit of risk to go after what you want – I started as an unpaid intern at CHOW because I wanted that badly to be a part of something new and different like CHOW.

SCBD: You’ve accomplished a lot in a few years, where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

AM: To be honest, I’m just focused on the next 5 weeks. After that I’m going to need some serious rest and then I’ll start thinking about the long term future.

 Click here to order a copy of Keys to the Kitchen.

Aida Mollenkamp on Facebook & Twitter.

Be sure to grab a copy of Keys to the Kitchen!

It’s a cookbook I highly recommend– happy cooking! 🙂