1. What food most reminds you of your childhood?
Chicken and dumplings. Having grown up in the South, I have vivid memories of enjoying this dish, which my mother and grandmothers cooked often.

2. Is your fridge well stocked or almost empty?
Always well stocked. Shopping at a grocery store is like a sport for me. I love searching out fresh veggies and other fresh ingredients. Besides, it's frustrating to find that you don't have what you need when making a recipe.

3. What's your guilty pleasure?
Bacon! I could find a way to work bacon into every meal of the day.

4. What's your must-have kitchen utensil?
My Cryotex chef 's knife. It's the one thing I can't do without.

5. How would you describe your eating habits?
At my core, I'm meat and potatoes, but I also really enjoy experimenting with different types of cuisine. I like Asian fusion, and I think there's always time for a delicious Italian meal.

6. What's your ultimate comfort food?
Mac and cheese in any form. I love all types, from home-cooked to instant, made with any kind of cheese. Don't just stick with elbow macaroni. Substitute twisty, curly, unusual noodles whenever possible.

7. What do you consider your specialty?
My Southern upbringing was rooted in comfort foods. These are the foods I know best and am most comfortable making, from basic cheeseburgers and fried chicken to the more complex foods I prepare in my pressure cooker.

8. What's the best home-cooked meal you've ever eaten?
My mother's Sunday beef pot roast. She has this special knack of making the most tender, flavorful meat. This is another meal that reminds me of my childhood.

9. Any foods you dislike?
Brussels sprouts. I have never liked them. Even after preparing them numerous ways, I can't seem to find a recipe I like.

10. Any last food for thought?
Don't be afraid to experiment and try a new recipe. If you love good food, you can find a way to become accomplished in the kitchen.




David's Favorite Recipe

French Onion Soup Meat Loaf with Mashed Potato Topping

2 lbs. ground beef
1/2-3/4 cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 package dry onion soup mix
2 eggs
2 slices of bread, crumbled
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Topping:
2 1/2 cups hot mashed potatoes
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Mix all the ingredients except the potatoes and cheese. Shape into a loaf. Bake in an aluminum nonstick loaf pan for 1-1/2 hours at 350ยบ. During the last 20 minutes, spread potatoes over the meat loaf and top with grated Gruyere cheese.

David Venable has been a program host with multimedia retailer QVC since 1993. Before joining QVC, he was an anchor and reporter for television stations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.




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