Smitten Kitchen

Before I even thought of creating a blog I was already amassing a collection of posts and thoughts. When one of my favorite bloggers was coming to Canada to talk about her new cookbook I made sure I was going and guess who was second in line for the event.

Who: Friday November 16th @ 7pm
Where: George Brown Chef’s School Campus

“Fearless cooking from a tiny kitchen in New York City” that’s Deb’s tagline. We will see a lot of comfort foods stepped up a bit; and she is wary of excessively fussy foods or pretentious ingredients. She thinks food should be accessible and is certain that you don’t need any of those fancy ingredients to cook fantastically.

This event initially was meant to be held at the cookbook store (the hosts of the event) but the small store front could only hold 40 people and the owner thought it would be a wine and cheese event. She underestimated the power of smitten kitchen. The venue was changed to a accommodate 300 plus people and when I saw that tickets were available I called immediately. I got the 7th last ticket for the smaller event. I just made it in before the venue change I heard when I meet a girl who works at my gym in line. She was on a waiting list as this event sold out fast.

I first learned about Deb and her blog when I “Stumpled upon” her on my iPad and I have never looked back. I hope one day my pictures and her way with words rubs off on me. Her knack for great food styling and plating is admirable and this book has been on my wish list for a long time as I awaited its release.

I stayed late at work and decide to arrive @ 5:30 for the 7:00 show. I wanted to be near the front. I was second, me and another fan (and I must say a bigger fan than me where the only two for a while. She had mention she wanted a second copy so she could keep one pristine and the other for actual cooking; now that’s a real fan in my eyes. We had arrived a little too early and nothing was set up yet so we were escorted to the area where the signing and interview would be held, and we chatted about Deb and our favorite recipes

Tara O’Brady of Seven Spoons Blog interviewed Deb, as she has been a fan of hers for a very long time. Smitten Kitchen gets 5 million views per month, 150,000 comments from the blogs inception till today. Deb noted doing the book was really hard and took 3 years to get her recipes into a book. She quipped to us that blog to a book doesn’t translate like you think; ideally it should but it doesn’t. Her format of the blog has been recipe, photo and story. Deb is a genuine person who seemed a little surprised that all these people would come out to see her and even a tad nervous but she was humorous.

While getting the book started recipes were tested over and over; Dutch baby became Jakob’s favourite dish as he had it for 2 weeks for lunch while mommy was testing it out. He also loves blintzes, noodles, potatoes and meatballs. Jakob is a picky eater like his mom and she doesn’t like fish, but the one fish recipe in the book she’d eat once and awhile. When asked a question she said “I’m the best Jew ever” I like pork and mussels and clams. The audience laughed.

Deb finds chef recipes the hardest as they don’t always translate to the home chefs kitchen, which is why they team up with others for help. Her favourite styles of cooking are American Seasonal, Eastern European, French and Italian. One of the books she always re-visits is the Joy of Cooking.

The holidays were coming up and she was looking forward to American Thanksgiving. She isn’t allowed to make any of the dinners as her cousins or in-laws and her family always have big dinners for 20 plus people each year. She is in charge of the desserts and always brings the deep dish apple pie (she created this dish so she only had to make one pie as everyone in her family wants pie). For the in-laws they all want her ginger snap cheesecake tart. Deb thinks the wild rice gratin is the tastiest dish in her book and its vegetarian; but she finds it hard to photograph recipes that are green and brown. She told us to stay creative as she is always jotting down recipe ideas even when she is not baking or cooking; some may never come to fruition but they are written down.

This was a very fun and intimate show. I learned a lot more about her than a blog can reveal and I left with a personalized autograph and a photo. A great night was had by all.

***The Cookbook Store closed down this summer due to a new Condo going up where they were leasing store space. This cooks haven in now gone, but there are still events from time to time being held around Toronto.***

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: