Where can I find your recipes?
My cookbook, Bringing It Home, includes many recipes I have developed from my travels as well as enjoyed growing up. FOOD & WINE houses a large number of my recipes. You can also find some of them in the press section of this website.
When was your book published?
My first cookbook, Bringing It Home, was released in October 2017 by Grand Central Publishing. My memoir, Talking With My Mouth Full, was released by Hyperion in February 2012.
How can I get you to come speak at my event?
Please visit my contact page for information and details.
Where did you go to school?
I attended McGill University in Montreal, where I earned an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Spanish Language. I later attended culinary school in New York City at what is now the Institute of Culinary Education.
How did you decide to pursue a career in food?
My mother ran a cooking school out of our home, so I have been around the business of food since a very early age. In college, I wrote restaurant reviews for my school paper, which inspired me to become a food writer after graduation. I soon realized in order to be a thoughtful, successful writer, I needed to fully immerse myself in the world of food. So I packed my bags for New York City, attended culinary school, and worked in some of the city’s legendary kitchens
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada.
What is your favorite part of judging Top Chef?
I love the travel – I have seen more of this country than I ever could have imagined. I also love the people – the judges, producers, camera crew – we make up a fun nomadic family!
What is the best dish you have ever been served on Top Chef?
There are so many! Here are just some of the dishes I have loved over the years: Fried Banana Fritter with Red Chili Paste (Ed Cotton, Top Chef 7: Finale), Raw Hamachi with Fried Veal Sweetbreads, Asian Pear, Pickled Radish, and Garlic Mayonnaise (Richard Blais; Top Chef 8: Finale), Braised Pork Shoulder with Pepperoni Sauce, Roasted Cabbage, and Turnips (Mike Isabella; Top Chef 8: Finale), Tequila shot: Sweet and Sour Macaroon Filled with Guacamole, Corn Nuts, and Corn Puree (Bryan Voltaggio), and Salted Butterscotch Pudding with Whipped Cream (Tiffani Faison; 2007 Top Chef Holiday Special).
Do you have a favorite filming location?
So far my favorite locations were Charleston, New Orleans, Hawaii, Singapore, and Aspen.
How do you stay in shape while constantly eating?
I enjoy working out – especially running, bike riding and hiking – I always pack my running shoes when I am traveling. Living in New York City means a lot of walking, so I am active every day! When I am feeling less than inspired to lace-up my running shoes, I always remind myself working out is a very small price to pay in order to eat such amazing food. And I’ve learned how to taste food carefully without needing to clean my plate.
What charities do you support?
I proudly support Hot Bread Kitchen, City Harvest, the Food Bank of New York City, World Central Kitchen, and Common Threads, to name only a few.
What are your favorite cocktails?
I love a spicy Bloody Mary, a refreshing Moscow Mule, or a classic gin Martini with olives!
What are your favorite desserts?
Despite some of the incredibly intricate desserts I have enjoyed on Top Chef: Just Desserts, my all-time favorite desserts are from my childhood: Ice cream sandwiches and butterscotch pudding!
How often do you cook at home?
My job not only requires me to travel quite a bit, but when I am home I am expected to eat out on a regular basis. I usually cook at home at least twice during the week and always on the weekends. Since I am usually eating very rich foods for my job, I love to make simple, vegetarian dishes at home.
What are your must-have ingredients?
Lemons, limes, harissa, maple syrup, butter, Parmesan cheese, champagne, and dark chocolate.
What are your must-have kitchen gadgets?
I love my Microplane, flexible fish spatula, large spoons (for tasting and basting), tongs, sharp knives, mortar and pestle, and key corkscrew.
What is your favorite color?
What are some of your favorite travel destinations?
Domestically, I love trips to Aspen and Palm Springs. Internationally, Bali, Vietnam, Barcelona, Tokyo, and Paris are at the top of my list.
What is on your travel wish list?
Buenos Aires, Thailand, and Turkey!