Aji Amarillo Fried Chicken
Heirloom Bean and Bacon Tostada
Philippe Bornard ‘Tant Mieux’ Sparkling Ploussard
France, Loire, Coteaux du Layon
Describe yourself. What’s your philosophy about cooking? Well, I’m a cook who was trained in the ’70s in French kitchens and I lived and worked in France for a year and fell in love with rustic food from developing countries, from places that are far flung. I adore traveling. My philosophy about food is this: get the best ingredients you can, find and learn from grandmothers and grandfathers and aunts and uncles and people who are passionate about food anywhere in the world. If you put those two things together, good ingredients and great ideas that are tried and true and developed over centuries, you end up with dishes that are hard to beat. It’s hard to invent new ways to cook better than that.
When and how did food capture you? I think food really captured me when I was a very young girl. My mom was a great cook and I was probably 10 or 12 and my parents were going through a divorce and food was sort of what I gravitated towards, to cook for my mom or we cooked together. It was a rough time. Then I took a home ec class in seventh or eight grade—home economics, that is, I’m old enough where we still had it [laughs]—and they had shop too. My boyfriend in seventh grade made me a little ring in his shop class [laughs] and I’m sure I baked him pies.
Then I met a chef when I was 16 who just inspired me. He cooked like a Benihana chef, you know the knives flying everywhere and he was so fast and his food was so delicious I decided I want to be a chef. I graduated from high school in three years instead of four and went straight to chef school at 17.
*See all of Sue Milliken’s photos, interview, and recipe at Chef’s Insight.
The Wine Expert
Philippe Bornard ‘Tant Mieux’ Sparkling Ploussard is a good fit for the Aji Amarillo Fried Chicken. This was pretty challenging and with all of that citrus, a red wine would be difficult, but this spunky sparkler from a red grape has plenty of spice and a touch of sweetness, plus the needed acidity to handle it all.
Alice has been published in most of the glossies in this country as well as the New York Times. Alice is the author of two books The Battle for Wine and Love (Harcourt). Naked Wine (Perseus Books) came out on September 2011. When not on the road learning about wine, Alice working on her personal writing, rereading Letting Go orHudson River Bracketed, and dreaming about a cellar full of Domaine Romanée Conti. You can find Alice on twitter at @alicefeiring, or her blog The Feiring Line.
Chef’s Insight is a raw, behind-the-scenes look at the culinary process and the people behind it. Photographer Bob Hodson shadows the chef—in his or her restaurant, home kitchen, backyard, favorite farmers market, wherever—shooting editorial style and capturing the details and the process… action on the line, scribbled recipes and plating notes, flashes of knife work, the flip of a pan, the beautiful symmetry of the finished mise en place