We did a four-day, 33.5-mile hike over a mountain. We stayed in huts. I had to carry all of our food and cooking gear. I survived it. It was something that was so different than before. My friends were amazed.
What destination is at the top of your list?
If I could make it to Greece and Italy next year, that would be it. The key is finding friends to go with. A lot of my friends are not on the same level that I am on.
Your other activities seem to involve competition. Is that a coincidence?
That's definitely my personality. It's probably what drew me to being a lawyer. I always loved to argue. I like competition in all its forms. The reason I got into poker, it was such a scary thing. You walk in there, puff your chest out and act like you are as good as they are.
One of the things I have encountered a lot is, there's a lot of sexism in poker. They have these expectations that women aren't really good players. That we make these real risky moves. It just made me crazy. I eventually turned it to my advantage. It's the same for a young woman as a litigator. Kind of the same mindset. You underestimate me at your own peril.
So there are similarities between bluffing in the courtroom and the poker room?
On cases at my previous job, I would act dumb. They really wanted to teach the dumb girl. And it worked every time. Same with poker players. You go in there and act like you're going out [broke] in 10 minutes.
How about similarities with "reading" the opposition?
Reading people is something I've always prided myself on, both in my practice and in poker. From my time as a plaintiff lawyer, which I did briefly and hated, I can tell when someone is lying to me in their deposition or when they are having trouble with their attorney or if they don't want to go to trial. I think I'm pretty good at that in the poker world as well.
If you wind up in a cooking competition, do you expect it to be more or less cutthroat than poker?
It would probably be more cutthroat. I think cooking can be pretty brutal, but it's something I'm very good at. My entire family on both sides was really big into cooking. My grandmother is still the best cook I've met in my entire life. I have an aunt who's an amazing gourmet cook. We try to outdo each other at family dinners. I learned to cook when I was really young, 8 or 9, when my mom said, "You need to play a role in this."
I recently made white truffle mac and cheese. I totally did it from scratch and it was perfect.
How did you venture into making cupcakes?
Cupcakes were really big at the time. I went to one of the cupcake bakeries in town and they were beautiful. But they didn't taste that good. I thought I could do better.
I was making them a lot for friends and for parties and work. One of my friends said, "Why don't you make them for my wedding?" I didn't realize I would have to make 200. I made all the frosting here, froze it, shipped it to Baltimore for the wedding, decorated them the night before.