A Conversation with… Patricia Wells

Beloved cooking teacher and writer Patricia Wells returns to The Secret Ingredient to answer some of our most pressing questions. Be sure to check out Patricia’s latest cookbook, Salad as a Meal, when it hits stores in April. In the meantime, get a head start on some of the book’s delicious recipes by following along on our Four Weeks of Salad as a Meal Challenge!

Mission: To continue to love my work as much as I always have, exploring the world of food, new ingredients, meeting great people, teaching and sharing with my students.

Mantra: Being afraid is not enough of a reason to say no.

Works: All the time! A bit of a disease. But as I am self-assigning, I guess that’s what I want.

Lives: In Paris and Provence, my two best friends.

Plays: Running and walking are my play. I never feel more like myself than when I don my running shoes and head out for a run. 

First taste memory? Probably my mother’s bread, pastries, cookies.

  1. Favorite food or meal? Asparagus, artichokes, oysters, squab, all sorbets. 
  2. Signature dish? Roast chicken, leg of lamb, all salads, all sorbets.
  3. Cooking and food philosophy? Make sure it’s fresh, keep it simple.
  4. Best culinary vacation you’ve ever taken? All the trips to Italy while researching Trattoria.
  5. Salty, sweet, sour, or spicy? Salty, spicy.
  6. What music, if any, do you listen to when you cook? Everything. Playlists of instrumentals from films; jazz singers Todd Murray, Stacey Kent, Hayley Westrena, Melody Gardot.
  7. Favorite movie about eating or food? The Big Night.   
  8. Culinary heroes? Julia Child, Joel Robuchon.
  9. If you could have dinner with three people—living or dead, of course—who would they be? Barack and Michelle Obama and Matt Damon.
  10. Is there any one person (aside from yourself) you think of pleasing with your cooking?  Everyone who comes to my table.
  11. What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef/food writer/restaurateur? Runner, swimmer, dancer. 
  12. Is there a particular ingredient, herb, or spice that’s really inspiring you right now? Yuzu. Everywhere in Paris. Use the juice, the zest fresh and dried, pair it with asparagus and make buttermilk sorbet with it.
One Response to “A Conversation with… Patricia Wells”
  1. Trixcie says:

    Does everyone keep fotrteging that politicians who invent and fund such programs are doing so because the public wants them? Why the public wants them is an interesting sociological question, but we still fortunately live in a democracy where the people get what they want. Unfortunately, because the people don’t want to pay for their wishes, we get ourselves into a financial hole. In both cases the politicians we elect have trouble leading public opinion to a good place instead of just following it. Most bloggers have the attitude that what they want is their birthright and that the rest of the public has a duty to finance it. Hooray for democracy!

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