Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stephanie on being gluten free, tuna casserole, and calling Paula Deen out...

Bonjour Readers!

I was just talking to Tracy about all my shennanigans in my high school french class (like the time I did an avant garde piece complete with drums and scarf dancing??)and so the french greeting felt appropriate. Today is a special one for the blog because it's another staff interview! (i actually started to write intervention...whoops). Today we'll be profiling Stephanie Hapner an award winning and critically acclaimed chef and foodie. One of my favorite things about Stephanie is that she's pocket sized. She will probably punch me for saying that. While she may be pocket sized her food and her attitude are larger than life. Her zest for life and cooking always amazes me and I'm sure I'm not the only one:).

To set the stage I had to do this interview on a stool in the kitchen while Steph buzzed between the sink washing dishes and the stove where she was cooking and baking. You really can't get her to sit for a second to do anything... unless it's to brainstorm and drink some tea. But that's about it.

So Stephanie, you're our resident "free" specialist. You can do anything for special dietary restrictions... what made you start cooking like that?

I have my own dietary restrictions but the reason I started cooking things the way I do now was because of my son.

What's your favorite gluten free goodie that you make?

I like to bake and I like to do things that are uncommon. I like to do filled cupcakes and tarts stuff that's different and not like everyone else's. When it comes down to it I'm a recipe developer.

Ok, so if you have no dietary limitations what's your favorite thing to make?

My mom's lasagna or homemade mac and cheese. But I don't want to make it...I want her to make it.

What's the first thing you ever made in the kitchen?

Tuna Casserole.

How do you feel about Tuna Casserole now?

I never make it. Never... If I were to make it ever again it would be with grilled tuna planks. It would be all gourmet...which is not what you think of when you think of tuna casserole.

What's the cooking utensil you can't live without?

That's hard when you're gluten free! I couldn't live without my kitchenade 6qt stand mixer, my food processor, and my flour sifter.

Umm... you know that's more than one thing right??

I KNOW!! I said it's hard when your gluten free! See... I'm a complicated sort.

Your kitchen's on fire you save??

wait, my house or just my kitchen?? cause if my kitchen's on fire my whole house is on fire...

Let's say in this scenario that it's just your kitchen

I would grab my kitchenade mixer... helllooooo! My photo albums!! so yeah, our kitchen's REALLY small. We're modest people;)

Who was influential in your cooking development?

My dad showed me how to bake my frist cake and bread. My mom showed me everything else and PIES! Even canned minced meat pies. When I was growing up we had a huge garden. We had red currant berries and gooseberries any fruit you name it. We even had green gauge plums.

What are green gauge plums??

They're really sweet plums.

If anyone could eat your food who would you want it to be??

OH! There's more than one...

Of course there is...

It would be Sarah Maltan, Nigella Lawson because I think she has overcome a lot of things and she could appreciate not only WHAT i do but why I do it. Donatella Arpiah too! Also, I'd like to do a Paula Deen throwdown and make one of her recipes gluten free. Your move Paula...

Finally what's the best piece of cooking advice you can give to someone?

Never ever ever apologize for your food. Tell your story.

hope you enjoyed getting to know us just a little better. i just made a batch of sweet tea and there are hot from the oven chocolate chip cookies. get over here because stuff is FLYING out the door! See you back here tomorrow with a recipe blog.

Love, K;)

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