Saturday, March 07, 2009

The mixing bowl: Rachel Zoe Insler


The first time I bit into a Bespoke truffle, I was instantly smitten. But the first time I met Rachel Zoe Insler, I was wowed. She's got the smarts and talent of a chocolatier trained in London, but the cool down-to-earth vibe of someone who's passionate about the city and can cop to loving Tasti-D-Lite.

Growing up, my favorite sweet was:
Honestly, I think I've always been a salty girl, but a quick call to my mother indicates that I had a serious thing for Baskin Robbins' bubble gum ice cream, which I received whenever she and I went to the laundromat together.

My favorite sweet now is:
A mini coffee eclair purchased from a Parisian patisserie. It's one of the few sweet things I actually crave.

My personal Bespoke favorite:
The Southampton tea truffle. I give the credit to the tea, which is so wonderfully aromatic. The good folks at Amai introduced me to it, and I've been using it ever since!

What I love about the East Village is:

How dynamic my neighborhood is...which is 100% due to the people who live here and have set up small businesses here. Since I both live and work here, there are full weeks where I don't leave the East Village but want for literally nothing in terms of fun, food, drinks, entertainment or people-watching. Plus, it's close to Brooklyn, where so many of my friends have migrated!

Truffles or pralines:

Truffles to make....pralines to eat!

White, milk or dark:
Dark

Caramel, ganache or cream:
Caramel....salted, if possible. Plus, sugar is so fascinating to the latent scientist in me.

The perfect pairing:
A night off with my fiancé and a bottle of red wine.

I'd love to create a flavor for:

My mom. She doesn't really like chocolate, but I think if I make something with enough nuts and salt, I'll win her over!

Kitchen essentials:
Spatula, ladle, palette knife and scraper. Induction burner and chocolate melter are non-essential but SO helpful!

Style essentials:

I usually work in yoga pants and clogs, so I'm not all that stylish, but I have been loving my lavender bandanna from Montana Knox, my new neighbor on Extra Place. It's nice to cover my hair in style when I'm in the kitchen.

Chocolatiers I admire:

My mentor, Keith Hurdman, and Kee Ling Tong, who is my one-woman-chocolate-shop-pioneer inspiration.

I'm most inspired when:
I'm spending time with my amazing friends and family.

How much is too much?
When the mail carrier you've never met tells you look exhausted....it's too much.

Favorite movie snack:
Popcorn with copious amounts of salt and a "small" diet Coke that is about 36 oz.

Guilty pleasure:

Tasti-D-Lite and Diet Coke. I try to eat only real food....but Tasti-D and DC are so fake and yet SO GOOD.

Other favorites:

Music: Jack Johnson on a day off...nothing says "relaxation" like that; Gnocchi, eaten preferably in Italy; New York, Paris and Montalcino; the movies, Clueless & Clue.

2 comments:

Teanna said...

Tasti D Lite is my FAVORITE. When I was living in NYC, I ate it every. single. day. And when I move back this summer, I will return to eating it every. single. day.

Great interview!

Sweet Freak said...

Thanks, Teanna!

There's no shame in loving da Tasti-D-Lite. We all have our special vices. I love Out of the Kitchen's cupcakes because they taste exactly like Duncan Hines. Can't touch that.