So, when did you start this project and how did you get the idea?
I started this in early December. I don’t know, it just kind of came to me. I remember sitting on the couch and getting my mom’s opinion about it, she loved it because this cookbook really shows a entire new side to me. That night I made the cover and the polenta video and it just happened from there!
How hard is it to make these videos?
Oh it’s very hard. It’s crazy to try and get all the pictures I need, plus edit them while cooking and then on top of that make the dish! It’s an exhausting process. After I’d finish getting the pictures and making the meal, I couldn’t just let the content sit, so, I’d get on my computer and make the video. I’m such a perfectionist and I like things to be done! 🤪 I wanted the pictures to look nice too, so my kitchen constantly had to be clean, I had to use a lot of dishes (shout out to my family for pitching in with the cleanup, thank you 😊) and getting the right angles so there’d be no shadows was also challenging. But, as hard as it was, it’s a super cool process. Watching the video come together in the end makes it all worth it. I had a lot of encouragement from my family and my cousin so, that helped me keep going. Thank you family, I appreciate you!!
What’s your favorite recipe?
My favorite recipe has to be the Chickpea Fritters, not my favorite video, but my favorite recipe. The fritters are so delicious and they are pretty simple to make. They’re crispy and flavorful and the sauce brings it all together. They are definitely a family favorite!!
What’s your favorite video?
Around The World Tapas for sure! That was a nightmare video to make, oh my god, I’d never do it again! 🤪 But it came together so well, I truly love that video.
When did you know that you were finished with the cookbook?
Honestly, I’d have made this cookbook 100 videos long. I have so many more recipes to share, but, I really didn’t think people would watch it if it was any longer and I don’t blame them, that’d be a long long post. 🤪 I think I was done making food videos and I started a few new projects so, I was ready to move on. I felt it was pretty well rounded and had a lot of variety, I don’t know, something inside of me was like, “It’s complete.”
Did you try any new recipes for this cookbook?
Oh for sure. I’d say half of them are new and half are classic recipes I’ve made a lot. The one that was most out of comfort zone was the “Authentic Ramen”. I despise instant ramen, but my friend kind of inspired me to give real ramen a shot. That recipe, honestly, surprised me.
So, how about some fun cooking questions, in general?
Let’s do it!!
That’s such a broad question 😂. I love pasta and power bowls because of all the variations. But, my favorite veggie is broccolini and my favorite cuisine is Italian for sure.
When did you start cooking and why?
I’d been watching a lot of Tasty videos, I still watch Tasty a lot for cooking inspiration. I highly recommend that app to anyone no matter where you are in your cooking journey, it has so much content. But anyways, I was 11, I think, and I just decided to go for it. I used to loved to bake, so I was familiar with cooking and such. But trying savory for the first time, I just immediately loved how you didn’t have to measure everything and how you could be done in such a short amount of time. I made Power Bowls as my first dish and here we are!
Does your family like to cook?
Yes, we all do! My brother not as much, but my parents and I love it! We cook together a lot, breakfast, lunch, dinner; you name it! It’s such a fun activity to do together, we all have our special things we like to make. My mom is the master of childhood favorites, my dad is the best sous chef and he makes an excellent pasta, power bowls are my thing and my brother, well he sticks with hummus and pesto and that’s it! 😂
Craziest kitchen accident?
Oh jeez, long story and traumatic experience short 😂, I’d just got an immersion blender and I was setting it up. I plugged it in, my left index finger was under the blade and you can guess what happened next. I ended up having 14 stitches in my little finger. Such a painful experience, living with 14 stitches for weeks was not pleasant, having them removed was just the worst experience of my life. Ugh, it sucked and my finger has the weirdest scar, it still hurts at times. I got super lucky in not damaging any nerves or worse, losing my finger; thank you Universe! I was back in the kitchen soon after, I’ve just never touched or looked at an immersion blender since then, it’s been almost 2 years. 😂
Any advice to new cooks out there?
I’d say, start by cooking what you love. Follow a recipe to begin with, but don’t rely on it. The best part of cooking is the creative zone you get in while making a meal; following a recipe doesn’t give you that rush of creative energy. Learn your knife skills really well and trust your instincts. Also, do NOT put your finger under any blades and then plug in the machine 😂😂.
Any future cookbooks?
For sure, I think they’ll be themed and I have a few ideas. This is just the beginning, I hope people go try some recipes! In a time where life is very strange, cooking is something we can really hold onto.
So, have to ask, you said you started some new projects…any hints?
Oh yes, about that 😂. I’d be excited for April if I were a reader. That’s all you get for now 😊.
That’s it for today! Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed Acing The Kitchen and this Q&A! Here’s to cheffing!! Please let me know your thoughts about this Q&A and let me know if you have any questions, I’d so love to hear! And if you try any of the recipes, I want to see!!! Lots of love to all of you on your cooking journey! Be fearless and free -Ace