Episode 81
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Remixing your favorite pantry ingredients with cookbook savant Charlotte Druckman

"The same reason I had originally gravitated towards art—which was that it wasn't just words—I thought the same thing about food. But also that you could talk about bigger ideas and … things that don't always seem palatable. You can talk about politics and economics and gender and all of that stuff. You could do that and still make it fun and still make it accessible and make people want to read it."

*In response to travel restrictions and social distancing due to COVID-19, this week's interview was recorded remotely and not in-studio. Thanks for listening.*

NEW YORK—This week, we're excited to welcome Charlotte Druckman to Salt & Spine, the podcast on cookbooks.

Charlotte is a food journalist whose work has appeared in nearly every major food outlet — from Food & Wine to Bon Appetit to Cherry Bombe — and national publications like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and more. She’s also the co-creator of Food52’s Piglet, the site's much loved (though now defunct) annual cookbook tournament.

The compilation she edited last year — Women on Food, featuring 115 voices from the industry in a genre-fluid format — was recently nominated for a James Beard Award.

Her latest cookbook — Kitchen Remix: 75 Recipes for Making the Most of Your Ingredients — couldn’t have come at a better time, as people spend more time in the kitchen. The “remix” concept takes three ingredients — many of them staples — and offers three suggested, and usually quite different, recipes using those items. Take the Zucchini/Pistachio/Mint chapter: starting off with a slow-cooked zucchini with ground pistachios, then you’ll find a raw minty-fresh zucchini salad with marinated feta, and finally an olive oil zucchini bread studded with fresh mint and pistachios.

In today's show, we're talking with Charlotte about:

  • the path that took her from an art history student to a preeminent food journalist;
  • about how she came up with the idea for the Food52’s Piglet and then fell into a career as a cookbook author herself;
  • and about her work on gender in the restaurant and food media worlds.

Plus, of course, we’re playing a game -- putting Charlotte to the Kitchen Remix test! And Paula Forbes, editor of Stained Page News, joins us to preview food memoirs being published this month.

VOICES featured in this episode:

RECIPES featured in this episode:

COOKBOOKS featured in this episode:

Episode Transcript: