From the kitchen, you can see Falkner's living area and dining table. Cookbooks fill the shelves on the left.
The cookbook from classic San Francisco restaurant, Zuni Cafe, sits about Falkner's own, Cooking off the Clock and Demolition Desserts.
Falkner was experimenting with kale doughnuts and Korean sushi. "I love cooking so much that there are some things I don’t cook very well that I feel like I wanna master, and eventually I do,” she says.
Rice for the sushi and uncooked kale doughnuts sit on the kitchen counter.
More cookbooks on the shelf in Falkner's apartment, with various trinkets in front.
After the doughnuts were fried, she topped them with a cream cheese glaze. "I kind of wanna do like, a green doughnut with a slow poached egg and bacon so it’s like green doughnuts, eggs, and ham," Falkner says.
David and Goliath sits among some more food books.
Falkner purchased this painting when she had Citizen Cake in San Francisco.
"I look at stuff for reference," she says of her extensive cookbook library. "If I should make something Japanese, then I’ll look and remind myself of all the ingredients, that’s usually what it’s about."
Falkner's dog, Hendrix, hangs out in the kitchen while she cooks. "My dog thinks I’m crazy," she laughs.
Falkner was an art student, so you'll find art books among her cookbooks. Band of Horses plays from the cracked stereo.
The doughnuts fry to perfection on the stovetop. "Oh my God, it really does taste like kale!" she says after a taste. "It’s kinda good though, right?!"
Falkner tops the kale doughnuts with bacon. She explains, "If I was gonna go really showy and over-the-top, I’d do some fried kale leaves, just so people know what it is."
In her pantry, Falkner has ingredients from a molecular gastronomy lab outside Barcelona. Some items include unsweetened pop rocks, freeze-dried balsamic vinegar, freeze-dried raspberries, smoke powder, green tea powder, and ocean powder (yes, it smells just like the ocean). She uses these things in all apsects of cooking. "What I like about all of this stuff is I can still get a lot of flavor, and it’s fun," she says.
The sweet potato goes in the Korean sushi. "There has to be some sweetness to balance the crazy spiciness," Falkner says, referring to the kimchi.
Falkner says of sushi, "Yesterday I was making this stuff and I was like "Why haven’t I been practicing sushi all my life?" As a pastry chef, of course you’re gonna like making sushi because it’s so fine tuned. It’s so much like pastry making of all the savory food stuffs.”
Sometimes Falkner will steam a little milk in the espresso machine for Hendrix. He anticipates a latte when he hears the sound of the machine.
The kale doughnut is topped with cream cheese icing, bacon, and pecans. “I’m gonna be a judge on this doughnut competition and they asked us to create recipes and I said, Oh that’s easy for me. I’m gonna make a doughnut that kicks a**, obviously. Right Hendrix?” she says, addressing the dog.
"Not that many people have violet compound in their fridge,"she says. "I love it — it’s one of my favorites. I love floral flavors. I use it for confection, pies, ice cream, and stuff."
On the left is a painting by Falkner's father, an abstract painter, and on the right is a poster from her time on The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs.
A nice kitchen was important to Falkner when looking for a Brooklyn apartment. She's been in this place for almost two years. "That was kind of a big deal when I moved here," she explains. "I've always had a pretty nice kitchen. I gotta have some place like this that has an open kitchen.”
Falkner's roof offers views of her neighborhood, plus lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
Hendrix keeps Falkner company in the kitchen, waiting for a piece of bacon to drop.