'Domestic Daddy' on Zuni Cafe's Cookbook, Travels to India, and a Pea Soup Mishap


We’re so inspired by Christopher Nordquist, the blogger behind Domestic Daddy. The former high-powered attorney is loving his metamorphosis into a stay-at-home father, which comes through in his recipes for coq au vin and margarita pizza. They’re excellent, homey dishes perfect for sharing with the people you love.

On Monday, we learned about Nordquist’s globe-trotting childhood and his foodie-in-training daughter’s love of stinky blue cheese, but we still had a few more questions for him. Below, Nordquist dishes on the glories of “humble parsley,” hating dill, and pouring olive oil on vanilla ice cream. (It’s surprisingly delicious.)

Favorite food:
Warm buttered toast—with sourdough bread from San Francisco and cultured butter from France.

Go-to kitchen utensil:
My fingers.

Most underappreciated ingredient, in your opinion:
Humble parsley! It’s everywhere as a garnish, of course, but people don’t use enough of it to really appreciate its fresh and lively flavor. I sometimes even toss it into salads.

Oddest flavor combo that you love:
Vanilla ice cream with a generous pour of good olive oil and a sprinkle of flaky salt. There are people (whose opinions I otherwise respect) who can barely watch me eat this, but I love it.

Kitchen “sin” for which you won’t apologize:
I’m pretty casual with expiration dates on ingredients that will be cooked. (The nose knows.) And I never proof yeast, but I doubt anyone cares about that.

Essential cookbook:
The Zuni Café Cookbook by the late Judy Rodgers.

Culinary “eureka!” moment:
Traveling to India and realizing there was a whole world of flavors I hadn’t known.

Splurgiest kitchen purchase:
Imported butters that are wrapped like Christmas presents and make you think you’ve never tasted butter before. Worth every centime.

You’re about to bite the big one. What’s your last supper?
A Manhattan (rye not bourbon), Kumamoto oysters (with mignonette), Caesar salad (extra croutons made from chewy Acme bread), Zuni Café’s roast chicken with bread salad (with a good Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine), apricot tart with whipped cream (unsweetened), and a cup of Peet’s coffee, black (Major Dickason’s Blend).

Proudest food moment:
When my six year-old daughter told me that I made the best pizza in the world.

Toughest dish you’ve mastered:
One of the simplest ones—roast chicken with crispy, mahogany-colored skin and super-moist meat.

Kitchen skill you want to learn:
How to sauté properly. That is, make things jump in the pan (and not out of it) with that jerking motion, which I can’t get right.

Best thing your parents taught you about food:
Try everything!

Caramel or hot fudge:

Hamburger or hot dog:
Hamburger, without a doubt.

Cheese or pepperoni pizza:
Cheese. But not too much.

Ingredient that you just can’t stand:
Dill. I know it’s a perfectly respectable herb, but it ruins everything for me.

You can only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life. What is it? 
Italian. (I thought about a more unusual answer, but I was worried that someday someone would hold me to it.)

Dream vacation spot (for eating, of course):
The Amalfi coast.

Ingredient or tool that you always buy in bulk:
Tellicherry peppercorns.

Oldest thing in your kitchen:
My partner David’s grandmother’s flour sifter.

Worst kitchen blunder you wish you could undo:
Coating the kitchen of an elegant Victorian house in San Francisco with a fine spray of pea soup. It took a long time to clean up, but I learned what immersion blenders are for.

More from previous bloggers of the week:

Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog dishes on her Paris dreams

My Name Is Yeh blogger Molly Yeh talks about her proudest food moment

Nom Nom Paleo’s Michelle Tam fesses up to her fish sauce obsession

Who’s your favorite food blogger? Tell us below!