Claire Thomas is a photographer, writer, and host - a true culinary triple threat! A self-taught chef with an incurable curiosity about food has encouraged her to taste, create, and study everything epicurean. As the founder of The Kitchy Kitchen - a respected food blog-turned-cookbook - she provides readers with exciting and inspiring takes on classic dishes and as the Host of ABC's "Food For Thought" she opens viewers' eyes to how everyday life can inspire breathtaking culinary creations. We quizzed Claire on her favorite seasonal treats, dream dinner guest and more as our latest Guest Editor.
The main goal of FOOD FOR THOUGHT is to teach young teens to cook. Were you a fan of cooking growing up? What was your “signature dish?”
I grew up in a food family where my mom was an amazing cook, so I never felt the need to step into the kitchen. Right out of college I got a not-so-great job that wasn’t very creative, and my parents saw me struggling. By this time I had started baking my feelings, so the remedy for my creative muddle was obvious: Food blog! I spent three months to develop my own recipes and practice shooting food photography. Soon I was able to quit my job and started working as a food stylist. From there I worked as a food photographer in LA, and after about a year started playing around with the idea of producing recipe videos shot like tabletop. It's crazy what messing around in your kitchen can lead to. My first dish was Bachelor Pasta, which is a very simple sausage and vegetable pasta that my family loved, it's in my cookbook if you want to check it out.
You’re stuck on a desert island and you can only bring three ingredients – what are they?
Ah! I'm wondering if it's just pantry items, or if Butter, Potato, Salt.
It’s February! What are some of your favorite seasonal ingredients and preparations?
Winter is a bit of a deadzone when it comes to fresh produce, but citrus is really exciting right now. Gather up meyer lemons and satsumas (the more tart the better!) and make citrus pies and tarts.
What’s the perfect dinner party for you? What’s on the menu and who is invited?
Oh such a hard question! I feel like I should be deep and meaningful and say Jesus and Einstein, but if it was for laughs I'd invite: Amy Sedaris, Steven Soderbergh, and Nigella Lawson. How amazing would the dinner party banter be? I'm pretty sure I'd just awkwardly hoard the bread basket and eavesdrop on the amazing conversation, but even that would be enough to let me die happy. Food would be simple but awesome: butter roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, arugula salad, and chocolate cake.
What are five things we could always find in your fridge/pantry?
Butter, sriracha, eggs, really nice cocoa powder, those baby diet cokes.
It’s Happy Hour. What’s your drink of choice?
An inch of whiskey with one ice cube.
Do you have a favorite local artisanal treat?
My friend Jonathan is an amazing chocolatier and the owner of Compartes, so definitely his Coffee and Donuts chocolate bar. He actually goes around to LA's best donut shops and crushes the donuts into the chocolate. It's mad but it's delicious.
Midnight snack of choice?
Double stuff oreos, a cold glass of chocolate milk.
What’s up next for you? Any exciting culinary travels or ventures to share?
I'm looking forward to some really fun book signing events this spring! All of the details will be on my site.