Happy Thursday and welcome back for another Coffee Conversations. As most of you know Feast Portland is just around the corner. This year Feast added several new events. One of the new events (which I’m attending!) is the: HANDS-ON CLASS: Inside the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen. The event is all about how recipes are made in the BA Test Kitchen, and how they make their way to the magazine. Bon Appétit’s food editors will offer guests a glimpse into the recipe process (lots of cooking—and tasting!) as they explore some of the dishes developed for their October 2016 Issue. One of the the featured tastemakers for this event is Carla Lalli Music.
Carla is a Food Director at BA. Carla spent 10 years working in NYC restaurants and was the first General Manager at Shake Shack before making the leap to food media. Daily tastings in the BA Test Kitchen means she hardly ever has room for dinner anymore, but she spends most weekends cooking for friends and family, and packs one helluva school lunch. Spirit food: Nutritional yeast. (http://www.bonappetit.com/author/clallimusic)
I had the opportunity to ask her some of the famous “Coffee Questions” prior to attending this new event. Check out her responses below.
So, what’s your story? How did you end up working for Bon Appétit and being a part of Feast?
I worked in restaurants for 10 years before making the leap to food media, and have been at Bon Appétit for 5 years now. I oversee our test kitchen and am responsible for all of the recipe content in the magazine, online, and in our videos, so basically I get to eat for a living. I feel I’ve done the requisite training for several days in Portland.
If you had a time machine that only worked once, where in history or the future are you going?
I’m going back to a time before screens ruled our every waking moment, but definitely after indoor plumbing, seat belts, and women’s rights were established as the norm. So, I guess that means I’d be a career woman in the 70s? Wait—did I just admit to wanting to be Mary Tyler Moore??? More like Joan Didion, really.
Spending a long afternoon and evening in the backyard, cooking for friends in my outdoor wood-burning oven. I am never happier.
The amazing team that I’ve assembled in the test kitchen. They are the greatest, and they inspire me every day.
I opened a magnum bottle of 2002 vintage rosé champagne on Saturday night to celebrate my birthday with my family—that was pretty boss (and very delicious).
Coffers are kind of running dry right now. I’ve got Duck legs, cream-on-top milk, leftover Indian food, 5 Sodastream bottles waiting to be buzzed, lots of lemons, a honeydew melon, and a few plums, in addition to the truly ridiculous amount of condiments that seem to live there 100% of the time and take up half the fridge (lime pickle, marmalade, hot sauces, mustard, pickles, curry paste, etc etc).
Spaghetti aglio e olio, for one (me), made with an entire bunch of sautéed tuscan kale. If I eat that much leafy greens in one sitting, I get to have as much pasta as I want (which is a lot). I also really, really love popcorn with tons of nutritional yeast, Aleppo pepper, salt, and black pepper. More addictive than Doritos.
“Hire easy, manage hard. Hire hard, manage easy.” (Spoken by the wise and benevolent Paul Bolles-Beaven, who was a managing partner and Chief People Officer at Union Square Hospitality Group.)