Sara Ortega

Favorite food: Well if condiments count as food, which I believe they should, my #1 go-to that comes to mind is Tapatio sauce. Call me crazy, but I eat it like it’s going out of style. I serve myself a dish and then typically pause to see if a touch of salty spice would make the dish even better. The sauce surely doesn’t compliment every food, but a little spice never really hurt anything I’ve ever eaten, so I tend to add it to anything and everything—from cucumbers to soup!

Most impressive dish you’ve whipped up using only ingredients on hand: I was recently making a yummy pot of pasta for a handful of guests when all of a sudden I realized we were fresh out of pasta sauce. I immediately knew to search for “easy” Alfredo Sauce recipes and thanks be to Google, I found this delicious gem and I also happened to have all of the ingredients on hand. I’ll never forget it—it was so gourmet and I didn’t even plan for it!

Favorite local restaurant: Trying to think about my favorite local restaurant makes me laugh since I can never think of these places when I’m hungry! I recently had the best gourmet grilled cheese at The Grange—3 cheeses, caramelized onions and green apples, oh my. I also first fell in love with Thai food at Bangkok on 12.

What’s your foodie confession? I am a gourmet mac and cheese fiend. Bacon on top? Always. I mindfully cut out cheese in other places in my diet to compensate for my over-the-top obsession with mac and cheese when I eat out. Favorite family recipe: Without hesitation, my mom’s recipe for homemade Chile Verde Enchiladas with Chicken can turn any day from bland to grand in just about an hour—tops.

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