Interview with a Foodie

When I came across Jane’s blog, Buttered Up: Musings From the Belly, I knew right away that I wanted to interview her and pick her brain about baking. Buttered Up not only features stunning photographs, but Jane’s writing is relatable and the dishes she cooks and bakes up make me want to reach through the screen and eat it up! Thank you, Jane, for your thoughtful responses and for the wonderful opportunity to interview you!

Who
Jane Lee from Buttered Up

Who are your favorite chefs/bakers?
The first person who comes to my mind is Chef Lynn Crawford. Not only is she hilarious and egregious on her show Pitchin’ In, she exudes major creativity in her food, her desserts are especially beautiful, I still remember the taste of her chocolate toffee dessert from her restaurant, Ruby Watchco.

The restaurant features a different menu every night based on whatever is fresh and seasonal. The best part is you share each course with your fellow diners, scooping food from a big platter. It’s a cozy and intimate place, the service is great, I’ve even worked up the nerve to say hi and compliment to Chef Lynn too!

What is your favorite meal or dessert you’ve ever made?
I have too many favorites, but recently, I made a rosemary olive oil cake from Heidi Swanson’s blog. It was extraordinary. I never imagined the combination of herbs, olive oil and chocolate would go so well. Not only that, but it’s a beauty to bake.

If you could have a guest of honor (from any time in history) over for dinner, who would it be and what would you serve?
I’d invite Alice Waters, the owner of Chez Panisse. I love how she pioneered schools to incorporate food from the community garden with the school curriculum. She strongly advocated for good school nutrition and transformed an unused lot into a community garden, that is something I admire.

I’d be too nervous to serve dinner for such a lovely lady as Alice Waters, but I’d keep it simple. I’d start with a fennel and grapefruit salad, then move on to roast chicken with new potatoes roasted with thyme and rosemary and finish with a lemon tart. Do you think she will approve?

Best baking/cooking tip?
I like using substitutes if there are certain baking ingredients that I don’t always use in my kitchen. For example, I won’t go out of my way to buy buttermilk, I prefer making it at home: mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes before using—works like a charm!

What is the best piece of advice you would give a baking/cooking enthusiast?
Always read through the recipe you’ll be tackling at least once. It helps to know how ingredients should be prepared and how to organize your kitchen so that the baking/cooking process will run smoothly. So many times I’ve made the mistake of skimming through the recipe before realizing that a cookie dough needs to be chilled a few hours before baking, it makes the wait for fresh cookies stretch even longer!

What is your favorite movie snack /meal and why?
I sometimes smuggle a piece of cake or a few cookies I baked during the week and bring it to the movies. Last time I brought something to the movie, it was a slice of that heavenly rosemary olive oil cake and ate it as I watched Mark Wahlberg beat up bad guys in Contraband. Highly recommended (the movie and the cake).

What is your favorite movie and why?
Again, way too many favorite movies for me. I’ve seen Closer a few times, the actors are amazing and I love tragic movies. It’s interesting to watch the dynamics of human relationships stretch to their limits and see how people react, it’s something to learn from and how we can apply it to our own lives.

What would your last bite on earth be?
Can I have two bites? I’d want a big bite of a homemade chocolate chip cookie and Berthillon ice cream, raspberry please.

{photos courtesy of Jane Lee}

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