Q&A with Chef Lynne Bennett

Lynne Bennett,Ā one of ChefsBest’s Certified Master TastersĀ®, was hired at The San Francisco Chronicle after her culinary externship with the Food & Wine department over a decade ago. As a staff writer and test kitchen director for The Chronicle, she writes about food and wine, creates recipe stories, and contributes to culinary scene coverage of the Bay Area.

In her test kitchen director role, Lynne oversees recipe testing and styling and supervises culinary externs. She also writes The Chronicle’s Pairings column, for which she develops recipes with wine recommendations.

Lynne co-received the 2003 James Beard Award for best series in the newspaper category.

In this Q&A with ChefsBest, she shares some fun facts about herself.

What is your favorite meal to prepare?

It may be trite, but I enjoy a perfectly cooked steak and a great Cabernet Sauvignon or Pasta Bolognese with Zinfandel.

What is the most original dish/recipe you have ever created?

I’ve developed hundreds of recipes for the San Francisco Chronicle Food and Wine/Home section, and one of the more recent recipes that I’ve made is short ribs braised with Asian fermented black beans and chipotles en adobe – a delicious combination.

What is your favorite ingredient in the kitchen and why?

I find myself often using fish sauce (just a little, mind you) in everything from enhancing a Caesar dressing to adding an additional level of savoriness to braises to providing depth to soups. Fish sauce has a ton of umami taste and gives all types of dishes a subtle boost in flavor.