Q&A: RACHEL

What three dishes from your childhood will show up on the menu at Eader House?

Gumbo - It is unlikely that anyone's gumbo will ever top that of my great-grandmother (MawMaw/Cinderella Savoy - not kidding) in my memory, but Evan's is wonderful and will definitely make an appearance on the menu from time to time. 

Brisket (I'm from Texas)

My grandma's [lightly breaded] chicken fried steak

Top three books on food?

Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller
If you only cook well with instruction but still want to impress friends and/or your significant other, this is the book for you.  I'll be honest, I only cook from recipes and severely lack confidence in the kitchen.  This book provides great recipes but also teaches basic prep/cooking techniques, all per Thomas Keller.  99% of things cooked by me come from this book.  This is the perfect book for people who would like to cook from The French Laundry Cookbook (see Evan's favorite books), but aren't quite on that level (me).

The A.O.C. Cookbook by Suzanne Goin
There are so many great things about this book, but to keep the trend, I'll limit myself to a top three.
1.  Each section (salads, vegetables, fish, meat, etc.) is divided by season.  There is nothing I hate more than looking through a cookbook, finding a dish that looks amazing, then realizing that all of the ingredients for the dish are out of season.  When I look for a new dish in the A.O.C. Cookbook, I go straight to the current season in each section knowing I'll likely be able to find quality ingredients
2.  The cheese section.  There is a comprehensive guide to cheese, categorized by type then by country.  I feel no other explanation is necessary.
3.  The wine pairings.  It is rare to find a cookbook that includes wine pairings for every dish with explanations of why the wines pair well with food.  This is my first stop when trying to educate myself on the concept of pairing.

Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless
I LOVE Mexican food, so this book essentially holds the keys to my heart.  My favorite thing about this book is that I want to cook from it.  Most times, I am content letting Evan cook for me.  I enjoy the chef-wife life.  When we cook from this book, though, I love to get in the kitchen with Evan.  It takes me back to high school dinners at the home of one my best friends, Fernando.  He and his mother would invite my sisters and me over for dinner, but at their house, everyone who ate helped prepare the food first.  When I open this book, I feel like I'm back in Palestine, Texas making salsa verde and gorditas, wishing that Mrs. Gatica measured her masa and I could steal her recipe.  

What food/meal could you not live without?

Tacos (see above)

Where could we find your three favorite tacos? 

Lengua Tacos at Taqueria El Si Hay - Dallas, TX
Duck Carnitas Tacos at Hugo's - Houston, TX
Berkshire Pork Tacos at Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana - Memphis, TN

Name three of your most memorable dining experiences.

Asador Etxebarri - Atxondo, Spain
This was hands down the most amazing meal of my life.  Other people must have had similar experiences because it is also #10 on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list this year.  I'm just going to leave a few photos from my trip below. 

Frasca Food and Wine - Boulder, CO
Evan and I went to Frasca for a special dinner the week of Christmas 2015.  Frasca is well known for their incredible Italian food and wine (and their killer Master Sommelier/Chef co-owner team), and they do not disappoint.  However, the service is what launches Frasca to the top of my best restaurants list.  Food and beverage are the foundation of all great meals, but service makes the experience.  Frasca goes above and beyond.

Restaurant Iris - Memphis, TN
Restaurant Iris feels like home to me, and I consider the staff family.  There is almost no place I'd rather go for a special occasion...or for a "just because" meal.  Almost every significant milestone in my college/adult life has been celebrated at Iris.  It is simply a place I love to be with food I want to eat.  As such, Restaurant Iris is a strong inspiration behind what we hope to build with Eader House.   

Top three classic cocktails?  

French 75, Daiquiri, Missionary's Downfall