Title: Test Kitchen Associate Editor
At Food & Wine since: 2010
Born and Raised: Stockton, CA
Background: While attending The French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, I had a restaurant internship that led to a line cook job. I started reading Food & Wine while I was in middle school, so I jumped at an opportunity to help F&W's marketing team produce the 2010 FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. Later that year, I joined the editorial team as an intern, then freelancer and in December 2010 my dream came true: I became a member of the amazing F&W Test Kitchen staff.
What I Do at Food & Wine: I test all of the recipes for our Best of the Best cookbook, which means that I cook hundreds of dishes a year to find the ones that we like best. I also test and develop recipes for the magazine, web and Cocktails book. It’s not uncommon to find me singing a Broadway ditty—or attempting to—while waiting for a soufflé to rise. I'm an entertainer and the F&W Test Kitchen is my stage.
Coolest Food & Wine Moment so Far: When Singapore's street food guru, Seetoh, came to the F&W Test Kitchen, I got to help him make an authentic stir-fried noodle dish. I must have pulled heads from 500 prawns and cleaned 300 slippery squid tentacles before we even heated the woks. My hands were black (from squid ink) and I smelled of seafood for two days after. It was a blast!
Guilty Pleasure: Two things: super-crispy chicken skin and homemade ice cream. I can’t resist picking the crispiest pieces from the bird before it's on the table, or ending a meal with a half-pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
Cooking Fear: Frying a turkey. I’ve always been intrigued by the deliciousness that is a deep fried turkey, but am terrified to dunk a 17-pound bird into a vat of super hot oil that's sitting over an open flame. Every time someone asks me about it, I sigh and think, “Wouldn’t you rather fry a drumstick?”
My Most Memorable Meal: While visiting culinary schools in NYC, I had lunch at The French Culinary Institute’s student-run restaurant, L’Ecole. It was an afternoon feast that left me feeling more than gluttonous, but it changed my life. I became inspired, excited and eager to join the crazy and unpredictable world of food.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.