Home Cookin’ with Chef Ariane

While watching and live-tweeting episodes of Chopped, one thing we enjoy is watching the character development of the contestants as they show their personalities and culinary talents. A recent contestant, Chef Ariane Resnick, was all the buzz on Twitter during a recent episode. She shared her thoughts and reaction on her blog, and took time to answer our questions.

Chef Ariane Resnick. Photo courtesy of Kitchit.com
Chef Ariane Resnick. Photo courtesy of Kitchit.com

FP: How did you get your start with cooking?  AR: I credit my cooking abilities to my mother, who was a holistic– and prolific– home cook who ran a co-op out of our family home throughout my childhood. Growing up in a house without commercial food, where wheat berries were ground weekly into flour for bread that was seemingly always fresh out of the oven, shaped my tastes and gave me a strong affinity for cooking with local, organic whole foods.  FP: Share with us your experience on Chopped.  What was the hardest ingredient to work with? AR: The misquotes are the hardest part to handle. My words were strung together into sentences, but most weren’t my sentences. For instance, I haven’t eaten meat since I was a little kid, but I don’t really call myself a vegetarian because I have to taste animal products that I cook on the regular. I eat dairy/eggs, so I’d never say, “My diet is vegan.” I’ve worked w/chicken breast millions of times, just never deboned it. Clearly I knew how to cook it, they said it was cooked perfectly. I healed through FAR more than avocados, too!  That was never a sentence of mine. Also, it’s hard to see that people feel if you haven’t had cancer, you haven’t had a major illness. I had late stage neurological Lyme disease, and my chemical poisoning resulted in an Alzheimer’s diagnosis from a Cedars Sinai neurologist. The recovery from both illnesses was arduous, and each took years.  There is simply no need to tell someone that they aren’t a “survivor” or a “wellness warrior” because they didn’t have one specific disease. FP: We’re glad to see you’ve overcome everything you’ve been through!  What are some of your favorite meals to cook at home? AR: Most of my time spent in my own kitchen is experimenting. I love raw desserts and baking gluten free without replacement starches and gums. FP: What’s more intimidating? Cooking in the Chopped kitchen or cooking for your celebrity clientele?  AR: The Chopped kitchen was more disorienting than intimidating, especially given the early hour you begin. I didn’t have access to any of my usual ingredients, so that was a challenge. However, it’s normal as a private chef for celebs that dinner changes from 10 guests to 20 an hour before the meal is to be served, so that’s generally more stress-inducing. FP: When you go out to eat, name some of your favorite places in Beverly Hills or other cities you’ve visited. AR: San Francisco is my food city. It’s where I lived before LA, and I greatly prefer it. Favorites in SF include Bix, First Crush, and Delfina. FP: We hear San Fran is a great food city. We’ll have to get out there soon! What are some of your guilty pleasures? We like to call them foodie pleasures, hence the name 🙂 AR: I think guilty to me may be different than guilty to most, because I grew up in a very holistic health foodie house and there are plenty of things, like Twinkies or sugary kids cereals, I’ve just never eaten. I generally think white flour is the devil, so a croissant to me is the ultimate decadent indulgence. FP: Can’t go wrong with a croissant! What are some of your non-chef related hobbies? What do you like doing on your days off? AR: My favorite place is the Hollywood Farmers Market every Sunday. I have an unending love affair with LA’s produce. Beyond that, I’m a fairly quiet person who lives with her very sweet girlfriend and, incidentally, does not own a television.  I’ll take books any day, and good music and conversation, instead. FP: Thank you Chef Ariane for your time. We wish you continued success!  Visit Chef Arianne Resnick’s website to learn more about her.

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