Last Wednesday afternoon, we had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Julia Collin Davison, the executive food editor of the cookbook division at America’s Test Kitchen and on-air test cook for America’s Test Kitchen TV and Cook’s Country TV.
For a whole hour, Julia shared with us her knowledge from the kitchen and who she is outside of it. She fielded questions from our followers on Twitter from the @TestKitchen account, and did her best to answer the landslide of questions. Here are some highlights from our #ATKchat with Julia.
Getting to Know Julia
@sjlmcpike: What inspires you to new ideas for the Test Kitchen, Julia?
@TestKitchen: Good question. I eat out a lot, and read a ton. Also, I think about what I would want to make for my family… -Julia
@davidrlee: Hi Julia! Are you going to be trying anything new for Thanksgiving this year? Looking for a creative side dish.
@TestKitchen: Not cooking this year – I’m going to be a guest! Love it. Oh – try the spicy coconut mashed sweet potatoes. – Julia
@bakerbydesign: Hey Julia! If you could choose just one kitchen tool/gadget, what would it be? (sort of a ridiculous question)
@TestKitchen: My answer is also ridiculous. Tons of clean side towels… I can’t cook in a mess – Julia
@broder13: You’ve spent a long day at the @TestKitchen – what do you go home and cook for yourself or would you rather #drivethru
@TestKitchen: Wine or a smoothie. I am usually so full at the end of a work day. My husband is a great cook, so he cooks a lot – Julia
@textiff: Should eggs always be room temperature to use for cooking & baking?
@TestKitchen: Not necessarily. We have done a lot of testing on this. For delicate cakes it helps… Easy way to warm up egg is to soak in hot tap water for a few minutes -Julia
@1chefdiva: Good morning! What is the secret to keeping cheesecake from cracking in the middle?
@TestKitchen: Hard one. You can run a paring knife around edge often as it cools but sometimes I think it just will crack. – Julia
@SaqibSaab: Hi, Julia! We don’t consume any alcohol. Any recommendations to sub red/white wine, bourbon, cognac, tequila, etc.?
@TestKitchen: Hard, but you will need to add a bit more liquid, some extra acidity, and some aromatic herbs.. – Julia
@debmorrisDE: How low do you turn the burner down on stove for “simmer”? All the way down?
@TestKitchen: Depends on stove – use bubbles in pot as guide. Should have small bubbles. Or use ring of foil as flame tamer – Julia
@larakoch: Anything to do with leftover pureed pumpkin after a more complex recipe is done? I hate letting it go to waste!
@TestKitchen: Make pumpkin bread from ATK Family Baking. I make it all fall long… – Julia
@textiff: I always have problems cooking salmon. Do you have a fail proof technique/recipe for cooking it?
@TestKitchen: Yes- check out the Oven-Roasted Salmon recipe with orange relish. Make it a lot. – Julia
In the Test Kitchen
@DomesticBecky: What recipe have you had to test the most amount of times to make it perfect?
@TestKitchen: Fudge. over 100 times. And we never printed the recipe because it just wasn’t foolproof enough. – Julia
The Best Answer of the Day…
@archangelcin: What do you think is the difference between a chef and a cook?
@TestKitchen: Yes – Chefs run a kitchen. They are in charge of everything. Cooks just cook. I’m a cook. – Julia
We would like to thank Julia for taking the time to answer all of the questions. We would also like to thank you, our fans, who showed up and said hi. And congratulations to our four lucky tweeters — @clstar, @DomesticBecky, @ChasHawk8, and @sjlmcpike — they won copies of our new Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook!
We hope to see you again tomorrow — Wednesday, October 25, 2011, at 12pm EST — when Christoper Kimball (@cpkimball) joins us for another #ATKchat.