Recently Fresh FACS Sophie posed a series of questions to Kathryn Williams, author of Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous on behalf of teen chefs everywhere. Ms. Williams has been kind enough to answer those questions. Here’s the first installment of her answers.
A: Not a specific chef but, again, a specific imagining of a general type. Celebrity chefs are huge these days. They have business empires, which leaves them very little time to actually be in the kitchen. I wanted readers, like Sophie, to be lured in by Tommy but ultimately suspect of him. Tommy’s not necessarily a bad guy; he’s just out for Numero Uno.
A: I love just about every kind of food. Recently I’ve started cooking Indian at home. Before, I was very intimidated by all the spices and foreign ingredients, but I found a fantastic little cookbook that demystifies it. My fiancé is also teaching me his grandmother’s Italian recipes. When eating out, we have a local Japanese ramen place that we love.
A: I wish I was a good baker, but like Sophie, I’m just too impatient. When cooking, I never measure, I always eyeball, which is anathema to bakers. I’ll eat whatever you bake me, though!
A: I have not, but I would definitely do it if someone let me! As I was writing the scene, I kept thinking of that classic I Love Lucy grape stomping scene. Also that almost-as-famous YouTube video of the TV reporter falling out of the vat of grapes.
A: Improvisational, probably. I see recipes as jumping off points. I love looking in my fridge and pantry to see what I have and then going from there. Like Mary, I want my ingredients to be fresh and flavorful enough to speak for themselves. Also eclectic. I’ll cook Indian saag paneer one night, roast a chicken French-style the next night, and then make Southern shrimp and grits. (Leftovers for lunch.) Then I’ll probably go out to eat the next night, because chefs need a night off too!
Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous is the foundation for our resource Four-Course FACS, A Fictional Culinary Adventure. Check it out on the Fresh FACS website.
Learn more about Kathryn Williams.
A PDF of this Q & A for classroom use is available for free download on our website.