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.
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.