My main cooking inspiration was my empty wallet after eating out at so many overpriced New York City restaurants. I realized that I could create more innovative dishes myself. I could have it all when I cooked on my own. I set my mind to elevating my food above restaurant quality.
My Mom’s noodle kugel. A classic Jewish recipe that is extremely versatile and can open itself up to many different ingredients. You can make it savory or sweet, however you like. I like to keep it simple and add Craisins and golden raisins. This dish is unhealthy, decadent, and irresistible. For an added twist, I put crumbled Corn Flakes on top. They get crispy in the oven and provide a great texture.
I love making my special meatloaf. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s delicious, it’s economical and it lasts me all week. The leftovers, when seared on my cast iron skillet, sometimes taste even better than when it first came out of the oven.
MasterChef affirmed that I have talent in the kitchen beyond whipping up a dinner for some of my friends, and that I am good enough to make a career out of this. I also realized that I will get out of the culinary world only what I put in, so it will require a lot of hard work to become successful. I learned that even if I was being broken down, it was always to make me a better cook in the end, so it’s important to have a tough skin. And finally, you are only as good as your last dish in the MasterChef kitchen.