1998 America's Best New Chefs | Katy Sparks
Background: Trained at Johnson & Wales in Providence, RI. Worked at The Quilted Giraffe and Mesa Grill, New York City.
How she got into cooking: After dropping out of Middlebury College, she made soups at a local café.
First food memory: "Smoked octopus that my father brought back from Chinatown when I was 14."
Menu bomb: Roasted squab on herb risotto with zucchini blossoms.
Ingredient pick: Long Island corn.
Favorite equipment: "I'm not a big equipment person. I keep my knives nice and sharp and use them
instead of an industrial chopper."
Favorite cookbook: Anything written by Patricia Wells.
Favorite place to eat: Blue Ribbon, New York City.
Favorite cocktail Straight-up Beefeater martini with a twist.
Most tired trend: "Casual American bistros, where the menus seem to be driven by price, not flavor."
Secret of her success: "My husband, who's the dishwasher at home, would say I'm successful because I use every pot and pan in the kitchen."
Favorite 1 A.M. meal: "Any kind of pasta; or steak if it was a really hard night at the restaurant."
Food vice: Bar nuts.
Recipe tip: Constantly baste filet mignon with melted butter while it's cooking to keep it juicy.
Info: 177 Prince St.; 212-254-1260.