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updated: 8/29/2012 11:58 AM

Rachel Hencz 25, Des Plaines

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  • Rachel Hencz of Des Plaines

       Rachel Hencz of Des Plaines
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • George LeClaire/gleclaire@dailyherald.comCook of the Week Challenge contestant Rachel Hencz's with heart shaped on Tuesday, August 21, 2012.

      George LeClaire/gleclaire@dailyherald.comCook of the Week Challenge contestant Rachel Hencz's with heart shaped on Tuesday, August 21, 2012.

 

Rachel Hencz

25, Des Plaines

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Homemaker and business owner

What is your favorite ingredient and how do you like to use it? My favorite ingredient is love; it goes into all my dishes! But seriously, my favorite ingredient is shallot. It is so versatile and it lends a beautiful flavor to any savory dish calling for onions and garlic, whether it be scallop risotto or creamy portobello mushroom soup.

Describe your style or approach to cooking. I'm creative and I get bored with making the same things every week. After awhile, I feel a need to challenge myself. I like to step outside of my comfort zone to try and bring you a spectacular dish that is unforgettable. ... I usually have a brilliant spark, but it's the inspiration from other recipes that help me fan the flame to make it into a truly inspired dish.

Why do you want to be part of the Cook of the Week Challenge? I want people to know how easy it is to make something good at home for unbelievably low costs! My husband and I just spent $112 on two weeks worth of groceries and we have breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. I was also able to throw a celebratory brunch for seven. If you are a versatile cook, you can find anything in the kitchen to serve that spectacular meal that would ensure your "husband would never leave you!"

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