When Craig got his L.A. job offer and I knew that we’d be moving out here, I took great comfort in the fact that Zach Brooks, creator of the legendary N.Y.C. food blog Midtown Lunch, made a similar move a year prior. Which is why, when I thought of starting up my web series “Someone’s In The Kitchen With” again here in L.A. (check out my new L.A. kitchen in the background!) I knew precisely who my first guest should be. Join us as, then, as we chat about Zach’s blog, his childhood, his life in radio, how he thought up the idea of a site that’d tell office workers where to eat a good lunch in midtown Manhattan and how he’s expanded his empire to include downtown New York, Philadelphia and, of course, L.A. Thanks, Zach, for being my first L.A. guest! Your final interview bit about L.A. makes me excited to be living and eating here.
If you haven’t heard of Penny De Los Santos, you clearly don’t follow many food folks on Twitter. The woman is a superstar to the nth degree. Beloved by food bloggers everywhere for her photography (she works regularly for Saveur and National Geographic) and for the stirring lectures she gives at food conferences, the woman is unstoppable. So how lucky am I that she came to my kitchen (when I still had a kitchen) to talk about her career and the nitty gritty of food photography? Learn how to take great pictures of food (essential tip: it’s all about the light) and scratch your head as I make a weird Harry Potter analogy. Thanks, Penny, for dropping by!
Today’s episode of “Someone’s In The Kitchen With” takes us to Porsena in the East Village where Chef Sara Jenkins (who also owns the amazingly popular Porchetta) talks to me about the challenges of opening a new restaurant, her childhood in Italy (and Lebanon), the benefits of dried pasta vs. fresh pasta, and how she fed porchetta sandwiches to 300 troops in Afghanistan. (That story is not to be missed; make sure to stay for that). Thanks so much to Sara for taking the time to do this! I enjoyed talking to her so much, I could’ve stayed for many more minutes.
Amanda Hesser has lived in my kitchen for as long as I’ve been cooking. Well, in cookbook form: her “Cooking For Mr. Latte” (which I refer to as a cookbook even though it’s really a memoir (with recipes) about her courtship with New Yorker writer Tad Friend) is a constant go-to resource for me. The almond cake in it? It’s one of my all-time favorite recipes. So it was a big deal to have her and her Food52 co-creator and collaborator Merrill Stubbs here in my kitchen today for this latest installment of “Someone’s In The Kitchen With.” We chat about The New York Times Cookbook (Merrill assisted Amanda in writing it), the creation of Food52, and–later on in the conversation–what it’s like being women in a male dominated internet start-up world. Plus, I served them this coffee cake and Amanda already Tweeted that she’s coming back for more tomorrow. I cooked for a cookbook hero and she wants to come back for more (that’s a good feeling).
Someone’s In The Kitchen With…Ed Levine (PLUS: Win Free Tix To The Serious Eats All-Star Sandwich Festival)
The man, the myth, the legend, Ed Levine–creator of Serious Eats–stopped by my kitchen on Monday to chat with me all about his career; from his book “New York Eats,” to the TV show he hosted with Jeffery Steingarten (and a surprising moderator) to the creation of Serious Eats itself. We also talked about the big Serious Eats sandwich festival coming up on Governor’s Island on July 23rd. There’ll be sandwiches from Torrisi, Locanda Verde, Gramercy Tavern, Salumeria Biellese, Taim Mobile; plus our friends from the Big Gay Ice Cream truck will be there too. Oh and lots of booze. Tickets are $65 each (buy them here) but Ed generously agreed to give away TWO pairs of tickets to Amateur Gourmet readers. So: to win, write a recipe for your favorite sandwich in the comments (make sure to use a valid e-mail address). I’ll pick the two best sandwiches and those folks will each win a pair of tickets to the event. And I’ll be there too, so see you there!
My “Someone’s In The Kitchen With” series continues from the rooftops of New Orleans, where I join celebrated photographer and food blogger Matt Armendariz (author of the brand new “On A Stick” and the blogger behind MattBites.com) for a stimulating conversation all about Matt’s career, his book, why he likes food on a stick, food photography (how to make your food photos better) all while sipping trashy drinks purchased on Bourbon Street. Thanks Matt for taking the time to do this! And thanks for the booze.
Doug burst out laughing when I told him that he and Bryan, of the world famous Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, were my first celebrity guests on “Someone’s In The Kitchen With….” And though his laughter was pretty sincere, you’ve got to admit: Doug and Bryan have made it pretty big. They have a book in the works, a new store opening up, not to mention their appearances on Rachael Ray and Andrew Zimmern. Here, in this chatty podcast, we cover everything from what it’s like to drive a big gay ice cream truck around New York City to the truck’s significance in the gay rights movement. (Also: the night that I cooked them dinner.) Thanks to Doug & Bryan for trekking all the way here on their day off!
On this, the third episode of “Someone’s In The Kitchen With…” (though really the second official episode, since episode 1 had major technical issues), I play host to Cara Eisenpress & Phoebe Lapine from “Big Girls, Small Kitchen” who have a new cookbook out called, fittingly enough, “In The Small Kitchen.” Watch as the “girls” teach me how to make and plate sweet pea crostini while we kibbitz about cookbook writing, The Barefoot Contessa (they were on an episode of the show!), catering parties, and how to collaborate on a cookbook without killing your co-author. Also: if you have happen to be in L.A., Cara and Phoebe are hosting a book party this Thursday (June 2nd) at the Thompson Beverly Hills Rooftop from 7 PM to 10 PM. RSVP here. Oh, and don’t miss their recipe for Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce which I blogged about in the post below.