In 1995, we visited the delightful town of Ashland, Oregon. In the span of 72 hours, we developed a plan that would completely change our lives. With a background in marketing and a passion for gourmet food and home entertaining, we decided to sell our current businesses and home in Southern California, pack up the family, move to Ashland and open a kitchen store.
In January of 2009, after opening our second location, we sold our interest to our investors. Today, I am busy writing, blogging, dreaming and thinking about food and fabulous recipes. I am currently writing a blog, called Smoky Paprika and Other Exotic Flavors, that offers a weeking online, technique based, cooking class designed to teach students how to prepare great food at home. I developed this program and taught the cooking classes in the two Allyson's Kitchen stores for more than 9 years, and was thrilled to have more than 3,000 students graduate from my classes.
My philosophy about food is that it should taste gre
My favorite things to cook
I love to explore the cuisines of many different cultures. I am a passionate culinary explorer who uses food as the medium to learn and teach others about people and cultures from around the globe. My favorite kitchen tools include great knives from Wusthof Trident, Global and Shun, at least three different microplane graters, whisks from Best Manufacturing, my AllClad Cookware, my KitchenAid (of course) and my Bamix Immersion Blender.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother was a great cook and fabulous entertainer. Some of my favorite traditions were our Fourth of July Barbecues that included sculpted watermelon baskets with spiked fruit salad, lamb skewers with pita and yogurt sauce. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter holiday celebrations were always delicious!
My cooking triumphs
My cooking triumphs include my Creamy Clam Chowder, handed down from my mother, my chocolate chip cookies, brownies (sinfully rich with 3 kinds of chocolate), my chicken pot pie and my pork in chile verde sauce. I also have spent the last nine years perfecting my Thanksgiving feasts. I make a mean turkey, any way you slice it!
My cooking tragedies
During one of my cooking classes, one of my assistants accidently measured salt instead of sugar for a creme brulee recipe. I kept trying to get the custard to set - but was having so much trouble that I finally tasted the dish to check its texture. Yuck!! From then on, I always taste sugar and salt on my recipe trays to be sure they are actually what they are supposed to be! - Allyson