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Daryl Sisson and Kathy Brooks, owners/chefs of Daisy Café and Cupcakery.

Jeremy Sailing

Name: Daryl Sisson and Kathy Brooks

Ages: 49 and 47.

Co-owners/chefs at: Daisy Café & Cupcakery, 2827 Atwood Ave.

How long have you been at the restaurant: Since we opened it together in May of 2009.

How long have you been cooking: Since our childhoods.

Did you go to culinary school: No, neither of us.

Where have you worked in the past: We've never cooked professionally before the Daisy. We both learned tons about cooking from our parents. Since then, it's been a steady stream of home cooking for family and friends. But we have also developed menus for several restaurants, including Monty's Blue Plate Diner (where Kathy worked for 20 years).

Favorite foods: Classics that have been imaginatively updated - like at the Daisy, where we've got five variations on meatloaf, including a Reuben version and a terrific chicken, gorgonzola and leeks version.

Favorite ingredients: All fresh vegetables, especially garden-fresh tomatoes, garlic, onions, and chard. Also chicken thighs - they're inexpensive, versatile, and tasty. Also homemade soup stocks - we save whatever bones and veggie scraps we happen to have so the stocks never come out the same, but they always lead to a great soups!

Favorite restaurants: Taqueria Guadalajara, Lombardino's, Sardine, Nostrano, Palace Kitchen (Seattle).

Best tip for home cooks: We have several! 1) Make new recipes straight the first time, then play with them to suit your tastes. 2) Allow enough time when trying a new recipe to be relaxed and have fun as you work it through. (A glass of wine while prepping can help with that.) 3) Collaborate! Share ideas and experiences with people who love to cook and take a chance on new ways of doing things. (You can always go back to your own way if you don't like how things work out.)

Favorite cookbook: The Silver Palate cookbooks (by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins) are favorites of both of us. But we've collectively drawn from at least 75 cookbooks over the years, especially for help mastering ethnic cooking.

 

Please share your favorite recipe: Pasta with smoked salmon and vegetables

Pasta with smoked salmon and vegetables

Ingredients

1 pound pasta (shells work particularly well, but any is fine)

1 cup olive oil

3 cup yellow bell peppers, cut in 2" strips

1 cup green onions, chopped

3 Tbsp garlic, minced

1 pound smoked salmon, chopped

1 Tbsp capers

Lemon juice from ½ lemon

½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp ground black pepper

Chopped tomatoes for garnish

Slivered fresh basil for garnish

Preparation instructions

Sautee peppers, green onions, and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add chopped salmon, capers, lemon juice, Old Bay, cayenne and black pepper. Cook to warm and mix flavors. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Serve sauce over pasta and top with chopped tomatoes and fresh basil.

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