At j. weekly, I alternate food columns with an editor there, Andy Altman-Ohr. He specializes in bagels and delis, while I pretty much cover everything else. So when I got an assignment to cover a bagel operation for Berkeleyside, I had to think twice. Can I do it? Of course I can. It was great to meet the brothers behind Authentic Bagel Company, and taste their almost-New York bagels. (They're from Rhode Island, after all, and we have Bay Area water here, not New York water, but still). They're bagels are pretty damn good, and so much better than what's been passing for bagels around these parts for so long.
Inviting friends to try food from a new cookbook is always a fun time. With "Mayim's Vegan Table," I knew I had to get some kids involved, since this is a cookbook that is geared towards what vegans feed their children. While the girls who helped out aren't vegan, they fully enjoyed the food, so I give the cookbook a thumbs-up, even though I wouldn't buy it myself.
I really do fall in love with every couple I write about. I love hearing how couples met and fell in love, because each story is so unique. But this wedding was one of the most interesting to write about. While many of us have these worries about marriage, I had never met anyone who faced them head-on like this. As I told the couple in our interview, I felt that while many of us had these problems with marriage, we just knew that our marriages would be different. Kudos to Casey and Levana for coming up with such an original solution.
It's a lot of pressure writing about someone you know. I've known Adam Berman for many years now, and his story is quite inspiring. This was my first long profile in over a year, and I really enjoyed working on it.
It doesn't seem fair to compare a self-published cookbook to a professionally published one, so I don't want to draw comparisons between Orly Ziv's "Cook in Israel" to either my much beloved "Jerusalem" by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, or Einat Admony's "Balaboosta." However, I gave Ziv a thumbs-up for having recipes that were much less fussy for those that want that. Despite a few issues with her recipes, I like the book overall.
I had heard about the Local Butcher Shop for a long time already, but hadn't found an occasion to go in. I finally did recently to interview one of its co-founders for my food column. I love the way they use every part of the animal.
I love trying out new cookbooks and writing about the results. There were so many good sounding recipes in Einat Admony's "Balaboosta" that it was hard to choose. While the dumplings weren't successful, the beet soup with meatballs was still delicious and a wonderful winter dish (even with our warm California winter). Check it out here:
Alix is a personal chef and freelance writer in the SF Bay Area. You can keep up with her writing and cooking here.