Having developed a mild "girl crush" on the Southern beauty from watching her commentary on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, I decided to check out a couple of episodes from Chef Claire Robinson's television series, 5 Ingredient Fix, on the Food Network. Hence the name, the premise of Claire's show is to prove that it is possible to create both delicious and eclectic dishes using five ingredients or fewer per recipe. Hey, maybe it's just the "New Yorker" in me but, with my lack of time and counter space, I absolutely love the idea that I can whip up homemade meals using only a handful of items! Amen to you, Claire.
With the very recent release of her first cookbook, 5 Ingredient Fix: Easy, Elegant and Irresistible Recipes, I had the pleasure of catching up with Claire between filming (in addition to 5 Ingredient Fix, she also hosts the Food Network Challenge!). Check out our phone conversation, below:
*Note: CR = Claire Robinson // TLB = The Lunch Belle
CR "Well hello, Lunch Belle," Claire exclaimed in her charmingly-intoxicating Southern twang, "greetings from Denver!"
TLB Denver? Had I not done enough background research on Ms. Robinson to know that she spent time in the Mile High City? Ack! "Hi Claire," I responded,"thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with The Lunch Belle. What brings you to Denver?"
CR "Believe it or not, this (Denver) is where we shoot the Food Network Challenge, but my home base is in New York City."
TLB "Interesting! OK, so congratulations on the recent release of your first cookbook, 5 Ingredient Fix: Easy, Elegant and Irresistible Recipes! Sounds like you have quite a bit on your plate right now!"
CR "Thank you! It's a really exciting time! Also, I'm not sure if you know but, recently, I teamed up with Eggland's Best Eggs to share the exciting news about their pink ribbon eggs! Since the company recently donated $50,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, each egg is now stamped with a pink, not red, "EB" stamp plus the famous "Pink Ribbon" logo."
TLB "Wow, that's fantastic, Claire! That is a cause (breast cancer) that is near and dear to my heart. Did you create any yummy egg-based recipes for them (Eggland's Best)?"
CR "I sure did! Check out the front page of their website: www.egglandsbest.com, and look for the blurb with my name/picture." Readers, make sure to check out Claire's recipe for Scrambled Eggs over Roasted Tomatoes! I can hardly wait to make this dish!
TLB "I love it. Each of you are lucky to have partnered with the other! Now, going back to your new cookbook, what is something that you would like to tell my readers that, you feel, makes your recipes unique amongst the sea of competition? In other words, why should they buy your cookbook?"
CR "I want to inspire people to be the executive chefs of their own kitchens. What I mean is, each of my recipes will tell you which ingredients to buy and provide you with the cooking instructions, but my hope is that folks will take this basic information and really make it their own. For example, if green tomatoes aren't readily available in your area, I want you to feel empowered enough to substitute them for something that is available and in-season."
TLB "Thanks. OK, I have one final question for you, Claire. You and I both hail from the South - you grew up in Memphis, and I'm from Texas - so, what is your opinion of this Southern food/comfort fare trend that has taken NYC by storm? From haute fried chicken and greens to shrimp 'n grits, I feel like every restaurant, from Italian to Korean, has at least one dish representing what you and I call "home."
CR Claire giggles, "And you know what? I have not found one place here (in NYC) that does it right!"
Read it & eat,
The Lunch Belle