A big congratulations to Thalia, whose Dark Chocolate and Walnut Zucchini Bread was voted Your Best Recipe with Zucchini or Summer Squash.
Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
My childhood was spent around food—the process, the creation, the sharing, and the eating. I come from a large European family that really values our heritage. Every event big or small is celebrated with food, and traditional European homemade baked goods frequent our daily table. I have fond memories of watching my Babusia knead dough for Russian buloshki and my Opa grind poppy seeds for Austrian strudels. These experiences made me realize the power that food has and spurred me to begin my own self-discovery through food.
What’s your least favorite kitchen task?
Measuring out and preparing ingredients! I’m quite an impulsive and spur of the moment baker as well so I loathe waiting for ingredients to soften and reach room temperature.
This is Thalia’s first Food52 contest win.
Your favorite kitchen tool?
My KitchenAid stand mixer is a life saver. And I’m never without a good wooden spoon.
What is your idea of comfort food?
Brioche! Or any decadent French pastry or entremet. Devonshire tea is another favorite indulgent and comforting pastime.
Thalia’s grandparents, whose immigrant heritage and culture has inspired her cooking.
What is your greatest kitchen disaster?
Oh, there have been many. My personal favorite is when I decided to double the recipe for a classic yellow sponge cake… but I used the same small cake pan called for in the single recipe. It’s safe to say that there was plenty of overflowing cake.
Photo of bread by James Ransom; all others courtesy of Thalia Ho