Californian cook Sarah Pai of the gorgeous food blog, The Gourmet Gourmand, has that girl-next-door thing going on. However, when you enter her world you’ll be fascinated by her creative genius, not only as a cook, but also as a writer, stylist and photographer (no jokes, you need to check out her stunning photos!).
She’s been a source of inspiration for my cooking and photography for quite a while now, and never ceases to think outside of the box. You totally need to check out Sarah’s blog if you want to impress guests with a feast fit for a king. Also, she might be the only other person in the world who loves tagine cooking as much as I do. 😀
Explain your blog in 3 words. Delicious, Ambitious, Exploratory.
What’s your favourite savoury ingredient to cook with? I’m not 100% going to answer your question here because I’m going to go with a genre vs. a single ingredient. I absolutely love cooking with seafood. It’s typically so fast to prepare that, naturally, it speaks to the instant gratification obsessed 2 year old in me. But it’s also fancy. Always fancy.
What’s your favourite sweet ingredient to cook with? Can we just pretend to call heavy cream a sweet ingredient? I am addicted to all things dairy and I love making desserts with custard, whipped cream, or caramel. Second favorite are baked apples… preferably in some sort of French pastry or pie form… Mmmm.
What’s your favourite kitchen tool? Hands down my cast iron skillet. I didn’t buy one for years thinking that it was an unnecessarily heavy and greasy object that I could make do without. No, people! If you haven’t already, go buy yourself one. It has replaced 50% of my pans as my favorite and most effective pan for frying, searing, roasting, and grasping lovingingly…
Who is your culinary icon? Ina Garten is not only my culinary icon, but just in general favorite human. Can we talk about her pastel button downs? And spontaneous beach trips with Jeffrey and a box of brownies? Her instagram feed from Paris? Can I have her life please??
What is your favourite recipe book? I’m going to be a sentimental dork here and say that my favorite recipe book is the one that my mom put together as a gift for our wedding. It’s simple, hand-written, and filled with all my favorite meals from growing up. My mom is awesome. And also there are some killer recipes in there that will be making their way to The Gourmet Gourmand in months to come.
What meal or snack is your guilty pleasure? Girl Scout Cookies. I recently downed a half a box of Samoas in one sitting. This is not a made up statement. Dave was a witness to the depravity.
What dish do you want to master but can’t seem to get right? Tacos Adobada. Which seems to be a regional San Diego dish (although there is a New Mexico variety as well, but doesn’t taste the same), that is made up of small diced pieces of pork with the most excellent of spicy marinades, topped with raw diced onions and cilantro. On a homemade tortilla. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attempted this and failed. If anyone has the secret marinade recipe, please, please, please send it my way!
What was last night’s dinner? I’m actually a huge weirdo and hate repeating recipes. But you caught me on a week that I was seriously craving some lamb tagine. And so I remade this [very excellent] recipe from the blog: http://www.thegourmetgourmand.com/lamb-tagine-with-chickpeas-and-apricots/
What’s your secret talent? Besides just general ridiculousness and husband harassment, I love to paint. I’ve always been a creative type, even before blogging, and painting was my first creative love. I mostly paint with oils and enjoy figure painting and portrait painting. I have an idea to paint a mural of cat portraits throughout our home, but Dave has vetoed this idea.
You can find Sarah here: