Faith Durand is
Executive Editor of The Kitchn, one of the United States' largest
websites devoted to home cooking, reaching over 14 million readers
a month. Faith is also the author of Bakeless Sweets, the first cookbook
dedicated to pudding and no-bake desserts. Her newest book is
The Kitchn Cookbook, coauthored with Sara
Kate Gillingham, published by Clarkson Potter and in bookstores
now. (You can enter our contest for your chance to win a copy
of The Kitchn Cookbook). We asked Faith about The
Kitchn and her new cookbook:
There are 3,449
recipes on The Kitchn (we know because they are all indexed on
EYB). How on earth did you manage to choose your best recipes
for the book?
Well, first off, most of the recipes in the book are new and
never before published on The Kitchn! We wanted to create a new
batch of recipes with all the things we value on The
Kitchn: warmth, ease, accessibility, but still a real sense of
drawing from smart cooking skills and different cultures. Having
said that, though, we did include a few all-time reader favorite
recipes. We just drew out the ones that have been so wildly popular
they deserved a victory lap in the book, things like Monkey
Bread with Bourbon Crème Anglaise, and Sparkling Peach Sangria.
The book also contains lessons for 50 basic skills that
every cook should master. How did you decide which skills
were most important?
As we developed the recipes we also made note of the things that
we do over and over again: boil water, chop onions, knead
dough. These are the skills that let you not only cook well but
learn to cook impromptu meals with no recipes at all.
Were there any skills covered that taught something even
to an experts like you?
I always learn something new, every time I write a book!
It's always a process of discovery. I loved how the veggie burger,
for instance, is baked in the oven (not pan-fried). That takes some
of the guesswork and hassle out of cooking veggie burgers and for
me anyway makes it more accessible.
Of course The Kitchn covers a lot more than just cooking
- kitchen design, storage, hygiene, shopping, etc. Again, how
did you choose from 9 years of excellent advice what to include in
It was really a matter of looking at essentials. We've published
so many fun and helpful tips over the years, but when you come down
to it, what's most essential to a clean, well-organized, and happy
kitchen? I hope that we emphasized these the most.
What are your favorite features of your own
I love the light in my kitchen. The sun comes in all day -
in the morning, in the afternoon, and even at sunset. I also have a
really deep kitchen sink that hides all my dirty dishes!
Are you a gadget junky or do you keep things simple in
I don't have a lot of gadgets, but I do have many, many
duplicate tools. For Christmas last year my husband gifted me with
about half a dozen 1 teaspoon measuring spoons, since I always seem
to need a clean one!
Whose kitchen that you have featured on The Kitchn do
you most envy?
The Kitchn has 14 million readers per month so presumably
you get a lot of feedback from them. How much did your
readers contribute to what was chosen for the book?
So much! We looked at what they like best and what they
respond to, and we even included a lot of reader comments in the
sidebars of the book. They have so much to offer; we really look to
them to decide what to write about.
Do you know what has been the most popular recipe ever on
Oh yes! Once you move past all our cooking lessons (How To
Cook a Turkey, et.al.) it's Emma's fab Thin Crust Pizza recipe
And finally, what is the recipe from The Kitchn that you
personally cook the most?
Well, besides Sara Kate's margarita recipe (does that count!?)
it's probably these absolutely perfect pancakes by Dana
husband is a cracking good pancake flipper and often makes
them on the weekends.