My grandmama. When I was a toddler, I would visit her and she would make the BEST fried rice for me when I was hungry late at night because we stayed up late watching TV or reading the newspaper. Just the simplest of ingredients - day-old rice, eggs and sliced green onions. Sizzling oil in a wok, she made magic with just seasonings of salt and pepper. She was an extraordinary cook. She was that crazy lady who would bust into the kitchen at a restaurant to ask the chef how the dishes are prepared so she can recreate them for her banquets at home.
Hmm. Not to be cliched, but I would have to say Chinese pork dumplings! My mom would knead and roll her own dumpling wrappers. In years, I slowly perfected folding the intricate pleats that seal in the savory filling. Finally, by 16 or 17 I was able to complete the entire operation by myself for my friends!
I don't have a favorite thing to cook! A favorite thing to cook is silly to me, because who wants to make the same thing all the time?! That's boring! I enjoy exploring new cuisines and trying unfamiliar techniques! I do make a lot of kettle corn at home because it's a fast, cheap, and tasty treat that stifles both my sweet and savory cravings.
Oh my God, what didn't I learn? I wish I could to it all over again with what I know now. My advice to future contestants would be play it smart! Stick with what you know and build on that. Trust your instincts and taste everything! Lastly, cook like no one is watching you!