What traditions from your childhood do you continue? All holiday traditions – Thanksgiving, Christmas and everything around it, eating chicken wings prepared as my mother did, regularly; drinking tea with milk first thing in the morning; using maple syrup on pancakes and waffles; trying new foods regularly; reading the newspaper with morning coffee.
Which situations or people influenced you to start writing? Reading as a child got me writing; writing letters to my grandmother got me writing; two fantastic English teachers in high school got me writing.
Looking back, which skills from your experiences, childhood, education or jobs have been helpful to you? Living in different countries growing up; eating my grandmother and my mother’s cooking; reading every book I could find, including cookbooks; a journalism degree; working on a newspaper; working as assistant to Patricia Wells; cooking school in Paris; the education continues, every day!
What do you love most about France? The smell of butter in the air every morning!
When do you feel most ‘American’ in France? Always.
What is the most popular meal you cook? There isn’t one, though my Tarte Tatin is compelling. The most used recipe in this book? Audrey’s Yogurt Cake!
Do you have a favourite place? In France? Mont St. Michel, hands down. I also love the Musee Rodin in Paris. And Paris is my favourite place too. But I have lots of favourite places. A huge one is Anatolia, in Eastern Turkey. I’d live there too, if I could.
What are your favourite gadgets? My bird’s beak paring knife; plastic scrapers for everything; my kitchenaid and food processor; my stove. There is so much I’d fill the page. I have a lot of things that help me in the kitchen! And that doesn’t even touch my bicycle pump, which I use all the time. Product? Baking soda and vinegar – they are good in food, and good for cleaning. Perfect products!
What traditions from your culture do you incorporate in your life? Eating chicken wings with fingers; peanut butter sandwiches; always wearing an apron in the kitchen; always asking questions; always having a candle lit in the house, to represent the larger world.
What is something that most people might be surprised to know about you? I’m shy.
Read my review of ‘On Rue Tatin’ here.