Wednesday, September 19

Profile: Joanna Weinberg

I love London author Joanna Weinberg's new book How to Feed Your Friends with Relish. After I received my copy (thank you Kate) I read it cover to cover in a weekend. More than just a great cookbook, it’s a celebration of food, friendship and comfort cooking.

Joanna’s love affair with cooking began when she was away at university. While existing on pasta and other typical college fare her sister would call from London with sensational stories of extra virgin olive oil, smoky pancetta and hunks of fresh Parmesan. Inspired, Joanna started cooking for her friends and realized early on that a great meal was as much about the food as it was the fun and the feelings shared among good friends.

How to Feed Your Friends with Relish is replete with great menus for every occasion, from an impromptu kitchen supper to an all-encompassing birthday party; from a cosy afternoon tea to a summer barbecue.

I personally cherish memorable dinners at home surrounded by friends, and Joanna’s book indulges my obsession for entertaining. This book will be the gift to give and get this holiday season.

What is your idea of a perfect dinner party?
Sitting around my kitchen table, tucking into a steaming plate of stew and masses of red wine, with old friends who haven't seen each other in a while and have lots of catch up on.

What is your entertaining trademark?
I like to use old-fashioned linen tea-towels—the ones with the plain stripe of colour through them—for everything: napkins, or tablecloths, or to wrap around ugly saucepans. I like to drink wine out of tumblers. And I never make starters.

What did you most enjoy about writing Relish?
Testing all the recipes - sometimes I'd have made a sensible balanced meal, but more often than not, I'd get engrossed in perfecting something, so friends would come round for tastings. Once, I ended up feeding 6 people nothing but pudding - 5 different kinds, and they left on a total sugar high.

Have you always been passionate about cooking and entertaining?
No, but I have always been passionate about eating. The cooking started at university when I decided I'd had enough on institutional food, and I've never looked back.

What is your favourite CD at the moment?
I feel like I've lost track - I'm a complete luddite about some things and iPods have got me foxed. But I listened to the boy least likely to a lot - it makes me smile, and has made up for the lack of sun this summer.

What is your favourite luxury in life?
A massage at home.

What is your most prized possession?
My two Burmese cats - though they're so much their own people I'm not sure they can be counted as possessions.

Who would you most like to meet and how would you spend the day?
My baby - but I'll have to wait a couple more months for that (I'm due in late November). I'd love to get a preview of what he or she will be like as a grown up, so I'd probably just want to hang out with them - but I'll have to wait a lot longer for that.

Profile by Ronda Carman


Brilliant Asylum said...

Great book title! I will put it on the wish list.

Pigtown*Design said...

I just read about this book, I think it was in the GUardian. I can't wait to see it.

Laura said...

She sounds adorable--and like the perfect hostess.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't her story remind you of someone? That's right: Nigella Lawson! She also started out cooking for friends during college and loves experimenting and not being so perfect. How nice to see that she hasn't cornered this niche though, and that other talents like Joanna are given a chance to blossom, too. What pleases me, too, is that some of the most popular chefs these days come from England - not exactly the country one used to associate with great food!

girl meets glamour said...

Ooooo! I have to get this book! Thanks for the info :)


Habitually Chic said...

What a cute little book! I used to cook so much more when I lived in my old apartment. Maybe, she will inspire me to start up again!

ALL THE BEST said...

I love the book title too BA.

It's been written up in a few of the UK papers Fairfax, it's a great book!

ALL THE BEST said...

From all the photos that I've seen she looks adorable too Laura.

Hi Kerstin thank you for your comments. Your right about the chefs and foods from the UK!

ALL THE BEST said...

You'll love it Kate!!

Hope it inspires you HC!