“Look Outside Your Window” by Don Fensler (painting by Sharon Franke)
How long she's been at GHI:Since 1987, when she was hired as an assistant primarily to develop recipes for the magazine's column on microwave cooking.
What she does:Sharon tests every piece of cooking equipment that could possibly find its way into the American kitchen. Everything from a humble wooden spoon to pots and pans to coffeemakers, toasters, and mixers to ranges and refrigerators falls under her scrutiny.
Her background:Before joining GHI, she was a chef in restaurants in the World Trade Center.
Outside of GHI:Sharon cooks (weekends only), reads cookbooks, and drinks lots of coffee. During the week she's an avid restaurant patron and serves as a Zagat for workmates, friends, and family.
What she cooks on at home:A more than 35-year-old Magic Chef gas range with an oven that still needs to be lit with a match.
Greatest cooking triumph:When one-year old Caitlin Hannah couldn't stop eating Grandma Sharon's stuffed pasta shells.
Question she's asked the most:What's the best coffeemaker? Well, her own home coffee-making system is a stovetop kettle, a porcelain Melitta filter with a broken handle, and a mug. Sharon uses a heavy dose of a personal mix of beans ground to her specifications by an Armenian roaster in her neighborhood.
Her #1 piece of equipment advice:Keep your knives sharp. #2: Dry your lettuce.
Darkest moment during a product test:Overdosing on homemade vanilla ice cream while working on an ice cream maker buyer's guide.
Video: Inside Good Housekeeping's Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab
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