Food writer Alison Roman makes a comeback, serving brisket for Passover


(New York Jewish Week) — What first caught my eye about Jewish food writer Alison Lohmann wasn’t a single recipe. Rather, it was her photo that was published in the New York Times in 2019. Roman was in a tiny kitchen in Brooklyn, kneeling in front of an overstuffed, undersized refrigerator. She was wearing jeans and her T-her shirt and her legs were bare and dirty. I simply liked the clutter, joy and imperfection of it all.

In the photo, Pierre Franny and his ready-to-eat successor to Thanksgiving, written by the young and up-and-coming star who was first introduced to The Times readership just over a year ago. A selection of recipes were accompanied.Roman’s Thanksgiving menu included dried salted turkey, hand-torn sourdough bread stuffed with celery and leeks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flaky seaweed. It included a salted leafy greens salad. Friendly and obviously not fussy.

That anti-perfect attitude is characteristic of Roman’s style, and is arguably the subject of her latest cookbook, Sweet Enough, due out later this month. “Dining In” and “Nothing Fancy” preceded it), according to Variety, which had already “climbed to the top of bestseller lists” before its release.

Although this new cookbook is focused on desserts, it also has some delicious recipes. No special know-how or special equipment is required. She even encourages readers to eat these treats straight from the bowl or pan in which they were prepared.

In a surprisingly short time, Roman has become an important part of the food conversation in this country. By the time she was hired full-time at The Times at age 32, she had a meteoric rise at her Bon Appetit magazine, moving from freelance recipe her tester to senior her food her editor in four years. Did. By then, she had already published her first cookbook and had a cookie recipe that went viral on Instagram.

Her downfall in May 2020 was even faster. In an interview with the online publication The New Consumer, she spoke with two prominent women of color, Japanese organizing guru Marie Kondo, and Asian-American model and cookbook author. and criticized prominent Twitter user Chrissy Teigen for licensing the name and essentially “selling out”. In the weeks that followed, the online backlash was swift and violent, accusing her of everything from inappropriateness to racism. In the meantime, her column in The Times was interrupted.

Six weeks later, on June 21st, she created a Substack newsletter simply titled “Newsletter.” Currently, she is getting 229,000 subscribers every week and her YouTube channel ‘Home Her Videos’ has around 213,000 subscribers. Looking back, Roman describes the post-interview period as “challenging,” but as she told New York Jewish Week, “And I think it’s a good thing.” ”

Recently, Roman, 37, who describes himself as “half-Jewish,” is about to embark on a book tour. Ahead of the release of “Sweet Enough,” she spent her Jewish Week in New York talking about her favorite Jewish dishes, food philosophies, and what she loves about Passover, which begins at sunset on Wednesday, April 5th this year. talked.

This interview has been lightly condensed and edited.

new york jewish week: How did you come up with the idea for this book?

Roman: Not an aficionado of baked goods and desserts, I felt the need for a dessert book from the perspective of someone somewhere between indifference and enthusiasm. I felt that there must be others like me.

Accept the fact that desserts weren’t designed to be perfect, nor do they have to be. People accept the flaws of, say, a roast chicken, but a skewed cake can ruin the day.

I’m trying to normalize the fact that not everything is perfect, and that’s okay.

you are from california How has your cooking changed since coming to New York?

Living in New York, I’m very focused on accessibility. I don’t always have access to the best produce. It becomes more difficult when things get out of season. You have to be resourceful, so that makes my job stronger.i can do this [dish] Few items?

On the Jewish Culinary Society podcast, he said he made many Jewish friends in New York. I attended my first Bar Mitzvah hereLiving in New York, are you leaning towards Jewish recipes and foods?

necessarily. We have created a new Passover menu that will be published on March 30th in Passover Home Movies and its accompanying newsletter. I think the older I get, the more inclined I am to hosting and doing the Sabbath. Because it feels important to me.

Do you have a favorite Jewish dish?

Matzah ball soup is my favorite food. Otherwise, the most popular Jewish deli foods are the ones I gravitate toward even before I realized I was “Jewish.” Latkes, and things like that. I like Jewish deli culture. And I loved that these foods that my dad and I both love and enjoy are related to my legacy, my dad’s legacy.

What is your favorite Passover dish?

I love brisket. I don’t always like brisket, but I think the ones I make are great. Stewed meat. Crispy salad with plenty of herbs and apples. Crispy Potatoes — This year I made a cheeseless gratin with olive oil, potatoes, salt and pepper. I haven’t grated potatoes or fried anything. It doesn’t smell like eggs like Kugel.

One of the reasons I love Passover is that, like Thanksgiving, it’s a time when you know what to eat. No need to think about it.

Following your comments about Marie Kondo and Chrissy Teigen, have the past three years changed you as a writer and as a cannibal?

yes and no. We are all different than we were three years ago. I think everyone is a little different with the passage of time, pandemics, etc. It was challenging at the time, but it made me write more and write more for myself.

How do you structure your food philosophy?

“Modest” pretty much sums it up. Don’t overthink it. My way of cooking is very instinctive and very natural. I don’t try to manipulate something into what it isn’t. It feels very intuitive. Feels like no performance. It feels very real to me.

Where did your aesthetic for rustic, carefree, and approachable food come from?

I consider myself independent and most things I do come out of myself and my intuition. Like everyone else, you are influenced and influenced by the world around you, but ultimately you have to be your authentic self.



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