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FN Dish is counting down to the season 3 premiere of Chopped All-Stars by introducing a competitor every day. Sixteen competitors including Food Network and Cooking Channel talent, renowned chefs, Chopped judges and celebrities are competing for a chance to win the title of All-Stars champion and a $50,000 donation to charity. Watch the premiere on Sunday, April 7, at 9pm/8c and keep coming back to FN Dish for exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes previews.
Elizabeth Falkner first wowed the culinary world with her desserts before turning her attention to savory dishes. She has competed on Iron Chef America, The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs and recently, The Next Iron Chef: Redemption. Elizabeth previously ran her pastry shop, Citizen Cake, and restaurant, Orson, in San Francisco before relocating to Brooklyn to open her new Southern Italian restaurant, Krescendo. But there’s a lot you don’t know about Elizabeth — for example, she hates really sweet desserts. And if she weren’t a chef, she would probably have been a superhero. You’ll have to watch to find out whether she uses any special powers in the Chopped kitchen. Find out more about Elizabeth in her Q&A below.
What’s your Achilles’ heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with or encounter in someone else’s dish?
Elizabeth Falkner: I just hate having sugary sweet desserts or food.
What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
EF: I don’t eat at fast food chains.
What was your most memorable meal? What, where, who? Details, please.
EF: Best meal I had recently was at La Vara in Brooklyn — it was dinner not long ago with Anita Lo and some friends. Amazing combinations and divine flavors. I also had a great lunch with Chef Bill Yosses, pastry chef of the White House, last summer at Eleven Madison Park. So Fun! Tasting menu was so delicious and beautiful, and a modern cocktail version of a Manhattan served in the kitchen with the use of liquid nitrogen. And the bergamot vanilla egg cream at the end of lunch.
What’s your guilty pleasure food?
EF: I have been obsessed with making coffee cakes at home in the mornings and I would say that is a guilty pleasure food for me. And, of course, my gelato!
Is there one dish that you always order out and never make at home?
EF: I order Thai chicken curry and Pad Si Ew. I don’t make those at home.
What kitchen tool can’t you live without?
EF: I love my mortar and pestle.
If you weren’t in food, what career would you like to have tried?
EF: I would be a superhero!
What’s your favorite “food city” to visit?
EF: Now, I visit San Francisco, a great food city to visit. Montreal is up high on the list! LA and Chicago too!
What’s your favorite late-night snack?
EF: Favorite late-night snack is dinner! Pasta and/or salads with cheese and nuts. Or bruschetta with scrambled eggs and bottarga!
What’s one must-have at your last supper?
EF: Obviously dessert!
Who’s your favorite person to cook with?
EF: I love to cook with other chefs: Gabrielle Hamilton, Alex Guarnaschelli, Barbara Lynch, Dominique Crenn and my crew at Krescendo!
Rapid fire: Think fast!
Ketchup or mustard? Ketchup
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Burger or hot dog? Burger
Cream cheese or butter? Butter
Soda or water? Water
Sprinkles or jimmies? Chopped dark chocolate!
Elizabeth is competing for The Edible Schoolyard Project.