We are excited to welcome Connie Askin as the new executive director of ChopChop Family. Connie’s experience spans industries, sectors, and professional skills—ranging from working with small non-profits to large corporations. Previous positions include serving as national director of development for Year Up, where she co-led an 80-person development team with staff in 15 cities. She also worked with City Year as the vice president of development operations; the Boston Harbor Island Alliance in Corporate & Foundation Giving; The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, where she was the vice president of finance; and for the AFS Intercultural Program as CFO. She was also a Coro Leadership New York Fellow. One of her favorite quotes is, “Vision without execution is hallucination,” by Thomas Edison.
We asked Connie some fun questions about cooking so our readers and supporters could get to know her better.
Do you have a signature dish?
My signature dish is what I call “Famous Chicken.” Preheat the oven to 375. Use frozen or partially-thawed bone-in chicken breasts. Place in clay baker. Brush with olive oil and heavily sprinkle an herb mix (Herbs de Provence is my favorite). And cook for 45 minutes.
What is a new cooking skill you’ve learned in the last year?
Fried capers! So delicious with steak.
What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?
The garlic press—so much easier than mincing by hand, and it is fast and easy to use and clean.
What is a food you wish you liked but don’t?
There is nothing I don’t like if it is prepared well. I have eaten some weird things I won’t try again (reindeer, frog tongue…).
What is a food smell that sparks a memory?
Vanilla reminds me of my grandma. She said she even used it as a perfume during the Great Depression!
Is there any food you grew up eating that you now realize was specific to your culture or geographic location?
Lefsa—it is like a potato crepe eaten cold. We spread butter and dusted sugar on them, used our fingers to roll them up, and ate them as a holiday treat.
What do you love about ChopChop Family?
So much to love. I have been passionate about the mission for years. It is a simple, old-school message that cooking with your family is good for your body, your relationships, and your understanding of cultures. As a new staff member, I love the team. This is a group of kind, smart, and incredibly talented people who are fun and inspiring to work alongside.
See the rest of the team on Our Team page!