Kitchen Careers is a regular feature that goes behind-the-scenes with chefs, bloggers, critics and others in the food industry to get the inside scoop on what its like to cook, or eat, for a living.
With a love for all things food, Rivka Friedman transformed her enthusiasm in the kitchen to create Not Derby Pie, a blog where she shares her healthy and delicious recipes and encourages a community for others to share their passion for cooking. Rivka can be found on Twitter.
Who is your culinary icon?
Julia Child, because she didn’t try to smooth away her quirks the way today’s TV personalities often do; Madhur Jaffrey, because her cooking reflects a yearning for a homeland and culture that’s utterly contagious.
Why do you love to cook?
Why don’t I love to cook? I love creating things with my bare hands, I love feeding friends, and I love creating a community around food.
What is the best part about being a food blogger?
My readers, without a doubt. A while back, I wrote a piece about my grandfather and his love of food. I received such lovely comments on that post – both on the site and privately by email. Blogging offers some of the same joys that that cooking and hosting do: it creates a community around the pursuit and celebration of good food.
Who would you want to battle on Iron Chef?
Mario Batali, mostly so I could see what he made and copy him next time. I’ve eaten at several of his restaurants and have watched his show for years. He’s a quirky guy, he’s not afraid to show it, and boy, is he a top-rate cook.
What was your first published recipe?
Traditional Basil Pesto, but hand-chopped for a more rustic texture. I freeze a few batches every year, and use it in everything – in pasta, on sandwiches, atop minestrone, you name it.
What is your favorite food city?
Probably New York. San Francisco comes close, but I lived in Manhattan for 4 years, and no other city pulses with food energy the way New York does. There’s a meal for every person, every occasion, every season, you name it. There’s no better way to understand New Yorkers than to eat your way through the city.
What three PBS personalities would you invite to dinner (animated, muppet, or living)?
Cookie Monster, Miss Piggy, and Julia Child. What a guestlist!
What meal/snack is your guilty pleasure?
Savory French toast: stale challah, dunked in a mixture of eggs, milk, scallions, dill, chives, and sriracha, fried in butter, served with sriracha-ketchup on the side. Now I’m drolling.
What is your favorite under appreciated kitchen tool?
My bench scraper. Great for clearing the counter of scraps, scooping chopped vegetables into the pan, etc.
In one tweet (140 characters or less)- what is your culinary style?
Mostly veg, but love meat. Cook weeknight dinner, but crave cooking projects. Eat healthily, but love cookies & really good butter. Always serve homemade ice cream.
When outside the kitchen, how do you spend your time?
I’m sort of a hobbyist. I’ve taken a bunch of pottery classes over the years, and I also make jewelry. I’m a gym nut, so I’m often bouncing between spin class, boot camp, and my newest, “gladiator camp.” Pretty nutso.
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