The Five Questions We Ask Everyone: Top Chef Winner Stephanie Izard

If it’s one thing we’ve learned here at CC, it’s that all people are fascinating (Yes, even your econ professor). Let’s face it – people love to glimpse into the lives of other people. Disagree? Then please explain why you’re currently looking at your friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s cousin’s photos on Facebook. Or reading about the latest Brad/Angie/Nanny dramz in this week’s tabloids. Yeah we thought so.

Fact is we connect to others by learning about them. And everyone has something to share (even if it a really embarassing fart story). So to give you yet another reason to procrastinate, we started ‘The Five Questions We Ask Everyone’ (and five just for that one person) because we know whether we’re schmoozing with an A- list celeb or your local bartender, you’ll be equally entertained.

It’s no secret that we CC’ers are addicted to Top Chef. Probably because it gives us hope that one day, we too, will be able do more in the kitchen than microwave a Smart Ones meal and pull out a Skinny Cow from the freezer for dessert. So imagine how excited we were when we got to chat with Top Chef winner (and fan favorite!) Stephanie Izard.

Her personality is adorable, her talent is indisputable and – bottom line – the woman knows how to cook. Even her pork recipes make me salivate and I’m Jewish! I don’t even eat pork! But this Top Chef makes me seriously think that maybe I should.

She was kind enough to share a recipe for all of us to get us out of our Ramen Ruts (below); for more recipes and info on Steph (she twitters!) check out her website:

And for those lucky enough to live in Chicago (ME!) look out for her restaurant The Drunken Goat in the fall.

5 Questions We Ask Everyone:

1. What is your most hysterical or ridiculous college memory, or the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

I ran naked, with my body painted with Michigan stuff, for the naked mile my senior year. Then saw a clip of myself on the internet a couple weeks later.

2. What are five things you can’t live without?

My recipe notebook, A down comforter, good wine, friends, my sister.

2.5. And we have to ask just for you – what are 5 kitchen ingredients/tools you can’t live without?

A Blender, my knife, pork products, garlic, kosher salt.

3. What’s your motto or the advice that you live by?

Work hard, play hard.

4. What is your favorite song to belt out at the bar?

U B Illin by Run DMC. I know all the words.

In the car?

Alicia Keys.

At karaoke?

9 to 5. Dolly Parton.

5. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Still having fun!

5 Questions Just for Chef Stephanie Izard:

1. What is your favorite dish to make and what is your favorite food to have someone else make for you?

My favorite to make is any sort of scallop dish. To be made for me–anything! I like when other people cook for me!

2. What’s the easiest recipe that every college girl can make no matter how kitchen challanged she is? And what was your go to dish in college that you made for yourself? Ramen is a good place to start! (If you want more of a challenge see the recipe she provided below or her website for more ideas.) Baked potato with broccoli and cheddar was my go-to dish in college.

3. What behind-the-scenes secret can you tell us about Top-Chef?

Tom [Callichio] is pretty cute in person.

4. When did you realize you that this was your passion? And do you have any passions outside of cooking?

When I was really young – around 8 or 9. Scuba and traveling are my other passions.

5. What is your biggest culinary guilty pleasure, something that other chefs would maybe frown upon?

Laughing Cow cheese

Stephanie’s Recipe for Apple Pork Ragu:


1 teaspoon olive oil

3/4 pound ground pork

2 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 15-ounce can of organic whole peeled tomatoes, smashed, cut or squeezed by hand

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons capers

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Time to Cook!

1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook for 5-7 minutes.  As the pork browns, break it into smaller pieces with a spoon. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepot over medium heat, lightly brown the bacon pieces. Add the onions and garlic and sweat them (cook them down) for two minutes. Add the apples and wine and simmer until wine is reduced by three-quarters.

3. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock and the browned pork and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

4. Add capers and basil just before serving. Season the ragù with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta.

The Pissed List: Spring Break Homework(?!)
The Pissed List: Spring Break Homework(?!)
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