Unpacking Heat At 25, I was living on Race Street in a high-rise loft, spending a lot of time in the kitchen slicing off the tips of my fingers. It’s a period of time I like to call Fish University because I was obsessed––completely obsessed––with fish cookery. This was before culinary school or the restaurant, so I […]

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Punch in the mouth

I used to be an optimist. Then I got punched in the mouth and all that changed. It was grade school. I had three text books tucked under my arm and I was walking down the hall to 6th period. Enter a toothy, female redhead with sharp, splintery eyes. A Goliath to my then 5-foot […]

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Breaking cornmeal bread

In 1995 my mother learned she had stage four breast cancer. The doctors tracked her white blood cells on a whiteboard while they pumped chemicals into her body. She promised me, wrapped in her white gown, shrunken from a liquid diet, that she would come home to make dinner again. In the mean time, I […]

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Lazy Shrimp and Grits

Quick is the game these days. If you’re not quick you get left behind, mentally and physically. This is the case in business––and it’s also the case in every restaurant kitchen I’ve ever worked in or observed. Slow movements burn the souffle. Slow cooks get their asses handed to them. There is indescribable reward in […]

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This is a short hello and “how do ya do!” and a I’ve not disappeared forever. This is a love letter about butter. For a stick of butter + any herb + salt = compound butter. Yesterday I threw in a handful of dill and some roasted garlic. No one was home. My dogs were […]

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Asparagus coins, lamb, Bing cherries

It feels ridiculous to be offering such a humble recipe after sucking down dirty martinis in swanky New York City bars, sashaying down Fifth Avenue and yes, breathing in the same airspace as Eric Ripert. I admit, I hadn’t worn heels in quite some time and walking on a downward slope took some getting used […]

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Chicken Curry

When I was living in Hyde Park as a preppy 23-year old white girl with a Mini Cooper, I’d fantasize about being the girl two floors up. She had deep black hair, always braided, a wildly colorful wardrobe and a small cat named Debbani. She was beautiful, but best of all, her apartment always smelled […]

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French toast with orange and honey

When I was working as an apprentice at Nectar Restaurant, I often took the Sunday brunch shift. I wasn’t allowed to do much beyond vegetable prep, but this French toast recipe was right in my wheelhouse. I’d jerk into action when an order came through the window: slice the bread, soak it in egg batter, […]

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Give me some s’mores

Last week I had lunch with a dear friend who was eating a slice of pizza and I wanted to poke his eyeballs out. For a dieter, eating with a non-dieter can be very tumultuous. Oh yes, you might be saying, everything in moderation! And it’s not a diet it’s a lifestyle! But life is […]

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Brussels sprouts, lemon, pecorino

I was working for a public school as a graphic designer – a cushy job that left me cold, passionless and slightly dangerous. The plan was to suck it up for as long as I could, make as much money as I could to pay for our wedding and then to find new work after […]

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