Peering Into The Heads of Amazing Chefs: A Conversation About KITCHEN CREATIVITY With “Good Food” Host Evan Kleiman

In the studio at NPR member station KCRW Radio in Los Angeles

“That’s Karen Page.  Together with her husband, photographer Andrew Dornenburg, she’s written some of the most respected tomes on modern cooking today.  Karen and Andrew recently released their 11th book — called KITCHEN CREATIVITY.  In it, they offer culinary education from the world’s greatest chefs, without relying on a single recipe.”
Evan Kleiman, host, “Good Food” on NPR member station KCRW (Los Angeles)

It’s always a joy to be interviewed by a really thoughtful, passionate radio host — and former restaurateur Evan Kleiman is one of the most thoughtful and passionate radio hosts by whom we’ve ever had the pleasure of being interviewed.

She’s hosted KCRW’s “Good Food” show for more than two decades now, bringing out the insights of thousands of food experts and chefs through weekly conversations on this must-listen radio show and its podcasts.

During our unforgettable book tour stop in Los Angeles (which we’ll share more about soon!), we had the privilege of being invited to join Evan in the studio for one of our favorite conversations to date about KITCHEN CREATIVITY.  If you listen to only one interview about KITCHEN CREATIVITY, we hope you’ll make this the one:

Kitchen Creativity, Deb Perelman, and the myth of ‘easy cooking’

We’re looking inside the modern home kitchen. Cookbook authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg are unleashing creativity. Deb Perelman looks back on Smitten Kitchen and talks everyday meals. Amy Trubek says home cooking has come a long way. And food historian Rachel Laudan explains why ‘easy cooking’ is far from it.

What was the most transformational moment in modern gastronomic history? What can we learn from those who were in the room where it happened? How can we apply the lessons of the world’s most creative chefs to make ourselves more creative, whether in the kitchen or beyond?

You’ll hear insights into the creativity of chefs like Ferran Adria (3:00), Rick Bayless (9:41), Daniel Boulud (8:22), Jeremy Fox (1:57), Daniel Humm (10:47), Eric Ripert (10:05), Michael Scelfo (5:38), Joshua Skenes (10:40), Jacques Torres (3:00), and more.

“I feel like every time I open one of your books, it’s like peering into the heads of all of these really amazing chefs.  And I feel like — particularly with this book — I’m wondering….Would it have been possible, this book, without all the previous conversations you’ve had with chefs for all the other books?”
Evan Kleiman, host, “Good Food” on NPR member station KCRW (Los Angeles)

And you’ll learn our resounding answer to Evan’s provocative question as to whether a one-of-a-kind book like KITCHEN CREATIVITY would even have been possible were it not for the conversations that were started in books like BECOMING A CHEF, CULINARY ARTISTRY, WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, and THE FLAVOR BIBLE.  

Enjoy!

KCRW’s “Good Food” has been a must-listen show for food lovers hosted by Los Angeleno Evan Kleiman for more than 20 years.  kcrw.com

KITCHEN CREATIVITY Panel Discussion with Celebrated Chefs Amanda Cohen, Damon Baehrel, and Michael Anthony

If you weren’t able to join us for the recent panel discussion Karen Page moderated around our brand-new book KITCHEN CREATIVITY at Rizzoli in New York City, never fear — you can listen to the insights of acclaimed chefs Amanda Cohen (of Dirt Candy), Damon Baehrel (of Damon Baehrel), and 2015 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef Award winner Michael Anthony (of Gramercy Tavern) here:

And if you’re curious about some of the insider references therein:

– Karen has celebrated her birthday every recent May with “CBS This Morning” legal analyst Rikki Klieman (wife of former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, who was also in attendance at Rizzoli) at Gramercy Tavern.

– The first vegetarian restaurant to earn a two-star review from The New York Times was Bart Potenza and Joy Pierson‘s Candle 79 in Manhattan.  (Potenza and Pierson attended the Rizzoli event.)

– The Ayurvedic chef-restaurateur featured in KITCHEN CREATIVITY and in attendance at Rizzoli was Divya Alter of the acclaimed Ayurvedic restaurant Divya’s Kitchen and the Ayurvedic cooking school Bhagavat Life in Manhattan.

Top left: Mike Anthony, Karen Page, Damon Baehrel, and Amanda Cohen; Center: Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, Karen Page, Andrew Dornenburg, and “CBS This Morning” legal analyst Rikki Klieman; Bottom left: Candle 79 co-owners Bart Potenza and Joy Pierson

KITCHEN CREATIVITY was named one of the best cookbooks of 2017 in media from Forbes to The Washington Post, and ranked by EatYourBooks.com as the #2 non-recipe food book of 2017.  It won the 2018 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Food Writing – U.S.

Moderator Karen Page is the author of KITCHEN CREATIVITY.

Amanda Cohen is the chef-owner of Dirt Candy in New York City, and the author of Dirt Candy.

Damon Baehrel is the chef-owner of Damon Baehrel in Earlton, NY, and the author of Native Harvest.

Michael Anthony is the chef-partner of Gramercy Tavern in New York City, and the author of V is for Vegetables. 

KITCHEN CREATIVITY Named Winner of 2018 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for “Food Writing” – USA

KITCHEN CREATIVITY is the winner selected to represent the U.S. in the Food Writing category.”
–Zhang Yaping, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

Christmas came a day early for us — as we were delighted to wake up this morning to this email notification:

“The Gourmand World  Cookbook Awards are delighted to announce that KITCHEN CREATIVITY is the winner selected to represent the U.S.  in the  Food Writing category.  The awards event will be Saturday, May 26 and May 27, 2018 in Yantai, China. You would be most welcome.  Your book will now compete in its category against other countries for The Best in the World. The results will be announced on May 26, 2018, at the annual Gourmand Awards Ceremony.”

Last year’s winner of Gourmand’s Food Writing award for the USA was “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi for her memoir Love, Loss, and What We Ate.

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to the creation of this book — including everyone at our publisher Little, Brown, especially editor Mike Szczerban, not to mention 100+ of the world’s most creative chefs whose wisdom, inspiration, and ideas are featured in it — and everyone at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for recognizing it.  Thank you all so much!

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau. Every year, they honor the best food and wine books, printed or digital, as well as food television. Books from 205 countries participate in these prestigious awards, the only international competition for culinary literature. It is free, and open to all languages.  

With the huge network created around the Gourmand Awards, Edouard Cointreau decided to launch the Paris Cookbook Fair in 2010. After three years at Le Centquatre, the fair moved to the Carrousel du Louvre in 2013, and Beijing in 2014. Since then, the World Cookbook Fair takes place at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

To learn more, visit cookbookfair.com

KITCHEN CREATIVITY Named One of “7 Great Food & Wine Books for Holiday Gifts” by Forbes Columnist Adam Morganstern

“Forget recipes. This whimsical book aims to unleash your kitchen creativity by talking about flavors and their combinations, techniques and ingredients. Learn what inspires top chefs to create their own dishes in interviews with chefs like Dan Barber, Daniel Boulud, Amanda Cohen and Eric Ripert.”
–Adam Morganstern of Forbes, in naming KITCHEN CREATIVITY to his list of “7 Great Food & Wine Books for Holiday Gifts”

If you’re trying to choose from among half a bakers-dozen of great books this holiday season for last-minute gifting, look no further than Forbes columnist Adam Morganstern‘s list of “7 Great Food & Wine Books for Holiday Gifts,” which features our own KITCHEN CREATIVITY.

You can find Morganstern’s entire list, which also includes The Dirty Guide to Wine by Alice Feiring with beloved master sommelier Pascaline Lepeltierhere.

Forbes — long “a leading source for reliable business news and financial information” — is online at forbes.com.

The Washington Post On Our Book KITCHEN CREATIVITY: “One of the Best Cookbooks of 2017”

“Author Karen Page…achieves a substantial feat in condensing what motivates dozens of America’s greatest chefs, including José Andrés, Patrick O’Connell of the Inn at Little Washington and Rasika’s Vikram Sunderam.”
–Bonnie Benwick, The Washington Post, in naming KITCHEN CREATIVITY one of “The Best Cookbooks of 2017”

We’re traveling at the moment, conducting research for and shooting our forthcoming book THE FLAVOR ATLAS (Little, Brown) — but we wouldn’t be surprised if you could hear or sense our delight to discover today that The Washington Post had featured our new book KITCHEN CREATIVITY on its list today of “The Best Cookbooks of 2017.”

Our heartfelt thanks to Washington Post editor Bonnie S. Benwick, who explains that KITCHEN CREATIVITY is a “book about cooking and not quite a cookbook,” making it an outlier on the list to which she names it regardless — no doubt understanding that creativity is the result of “not copying,” and that to spur it make take an unconventional approach.

Congratulations to the other books named to The Washington Post‘s list of “The Best Cookbooks of 2017,” which you can find here.

From KCRW Radio’s “2017’s Best Cookbooks” feature

KITCHEN CREATIVITY has been named to several 2017 holiday gift lists and lists of “The Best Cookbooks of 2017,” which we have apparently had a hard time tracking during our recent travels — but which we will look forward to catching up on fully when we’re back home in New York City (or feel free to let us know what we might have missed)!  They include:

The Washington Post‘s celebrated Food section has been a multiple-time James Beard Award winner for “Best Newspaper Food Section.”   www.washingtonpost.com/food

Shelf Awareness Names Its “Favorite Cookbooks of 2017,” Which Include Our Book KITCHEN CREATIVITY

Sara Catterall reviews KITCHEN CREATIVITY for Shelf Awareness’s list of “Favorite Cookbooks of 2017”

“[KITCHEN CREATIVITY] will appeal to cooks at every level, and those interested in creativity, whatever the medium.”
–Sara Catterall, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Awareness has evolved into a daily must-read for those in and around the field of book publishing, by delivering on its motto “Daily Enlightenment for the Book Trade.”  

In naming “Our Favorite Cookbooks of 2017,” their editors muse, “How many chefs does it take to whittle down our favorite cookbooks of 2017 to only 20? Many–and from all culinary corners, including some who couldn’t sauté if their lives depended on it, a few who can and will happily follow complicated recipes with tasty success, and those who just want to eat, already!”

We’re delighted that Shelf Awareness‘s list includes KITCHEN CREATIVITY. About it, reviewer Sara Catterall writes:

“Recipes are a good place for anyone to start cooking, but it can be more rewarding to learn how to cook inventively to please your tastes, with the best ingredients available to you. Food writer Karen Page (THE FLAVOR BIBLE) has written many acclaimed books with photography by her husband, Andrew Dornenburg. In KITCHEN CREATIVITY she compiles the advice of successful chefs, and studies how they manage their creative lives. Sections discuss techniques, how flavors and textures work together, and how to invent new dishes. In sidebars and subsections, Page offers a five-step creative process, historical origins of flavor combinations, sources for the best ingredients, book recommendations and lists of award-winning chefs and restaurants. An encyclopedia-style section is meant to spark ideas with entries such as Altitude, Enneagrams and Summer. This book will appeal to cooks at every level, and those interested in creativity, whatever the medium. Discover: A top food writer presents the creative lives and technical advice of professional chefs in this combination creativity study and cooking manual.

For the entire list, click here.

Shelf Awareness is a free e-newsletter about books and the book industry, which comes in two separate versions:

  • For Readers: Discover the 25 best books coming out this week as selected by its industry insiders. (Tuesdays and Fridays.)  Sign up here.
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Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg Interviewed About KITCHEN CREATIVITY by Scott Giambastiani for “Talks At Google”

Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page with the team at Google headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, on Nov. 7th

“Award-winning authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg share that great cooking is as much about intuition and imagination as it is about flavor and technique. Their new book, KITCHEN CREATIVITY, is a paradigm-shifting guide to inventive cooking (without recipes!) that will inspire you to think, improvise and identify ways to bring dishes that have made lasting impressions over your life into your own home.”
Talks at Google

The “Talks at Google” program brings authors, innovators, scientists, actors, actresses, artists, filmmakers, musicians, and speakers of all kinds to Google for talks centering on their work — and we were happy to be invited to speak to a packed room of Googlers in Sunnyvale, California, earlier this month about our new book KITCHEN CREATIVITY: Unlocking Culinary Genius–with Wisdom, Inspiration, and Ideas from the World’s Most Creative Chefs:

Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg: “Kitchen Creativity” | Talks at Google

Award-winning authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg share that great cooking is as much about intuition and imagination as it is about flavor and technique. Their new book, Kitchen Creativity, is a paradigm-shifting guide to inventive cooking (without recipes!)