BEHIND THE APRON
Thank you for stopping by!
My name is Kylie Mazon-Chambers and I am the writer / cook / photographer behind Cooking with Cocktail Rings. I am a West Coast transplant who grew up on the East Coast and enjoy traveling everywhere I possibly can. I love to take inspiration for what I cook from my experiences.
My world has, and always will, revolve around food. As soon as I finish one meal, I am planning for the next. I am in no way a classically trained chef. It may seem strange that someone who isn’t actually a chef is writing a blog, giving advice on what to cook and how to cook it. I learned to cook because my mom hated to! She is, however, a wonderful baker and I have included some of her recipes in my “desserts section”, but when it came to thinking about what to make for dinner she turned to me. My dad and I often cooked together; he would man the grill, and I would do the rest. Food brings people together.
It is somewhat funny that I am writing a food blog because when I was younger I was a very picky eater. My diet consisted mainly of plain pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese, white rice, chicken with ranch dressing, really anything as long as it was covered in ranch dressing. My mom actually had to carry around packets of ranch dressing. Needless to say I was an embarrassing child to eat with. These days a dozen oysters on the half shell with mignonette sauce or freshwater eel sushi are among my favorite dishes. Obviously my palate has evolved!
My brother was always the adventurous eater, when he was 6 we were eating at a restaurant in Martha’s Vineyard and he ordered twin 1 ½ lb. lobsters. Everyone in the restaurant started to stare at the petite blonde boy as he took down both lobsters in one sitting.
My uncle is a chef and my food idol. I love driving down to his house in Capistrano Beach, Orange County because I can always expect a gourmet five-course meal, including delicacies like homemade cured bacon, or duck confit tacos. He helped me break into the world of good food and get away from my safety blanket, ranch dressing.
For me cooking is cathartic — it doesn’t have to be perfect, and there is plenty of room for experimentation. Whoever told you that you shouldn’t play with your food is wrong. Think of instructions more as guidelines, written to show you the general way. Recipes are meant to be enjoyed the way that you like them. I usually eyeball each ingredient when I make food instead of carefully measuring it out (but don’t worry I do measure when I write recipes!) This allows more room to experiment and make food to taste.
I have also been lucky enough to have a met great mentor and editor -- Riki Senn, who creates, writes and edits curriculum for the Viking Cooking School and was previously the director of the cooking school at the Greenbriar. She has been nice enough to help me navigate the food industry, and to edit my recipes. I am thankful for her guidance!
I love trying new foods and new restaurants. One of my favorite things is to recreate foods that I enjoyed and put my own spin on it. When I do that I realize how much work goes into making one dish and decide that it is a better option to just stick to ordering it at a restaurant (but at least I know I can make it if I want to!)
And again, thanks for stopping by!
Photos by Holcomb & Co. Photography.