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Chef-author Eden Grinshpan is the host of Top Chef Canada.
In her debut cookbook, Eating Out Loud, Eden Grinshpan shares more than 100 recipes reflecting her Israeli heritage.
Cracked freekeh with pomegranate, walnuts and mint from Eating Out Loud.
Roasted cauliflower with date-parsley gremolata from Eating Out Loud.
Our cookbook of the week is Eating Out Loud by Top Chef Canada host Eden Grinshpan. To try a recipe from the book, check out: Roasted cauliflower with date-parsley gremolata ; cracked freekeh with pomegranate, walnuts and mint ; and baharat whole-roasted chicken with shallots, preserved lemon and sweet potatoes .
“I’ve been told my whole life to use an indoor voice,” says Eden Grinshpan, “and I just don’t seem to have one.”
The Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based chef and TV host wholeheartedly embraces this inclination in her debut cookbook, Eating Out Loud (Penguin Canada, 2020). Drawing on her Israeli heritage for more than 100 recipes, she captures the energy of not only the flavours, but the way of life.
“This is the way I like to eat when I’m in Israel, and the way a lot of families eat in Israel. It’s very welcoming. It’s very loud,” she says. “I wanted people to feel like this is definitely not quiet food. This is food that’s in your face — that is satisfying. It’s filling, but it also just so happens to be good for you as well … I feel like there’s such a beautiful balance.”
Grinshpan grew up visiting Israel every summer. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in London, England, with a Grand Diplôme in cuisine and pastry, she travelled throughout Israel, India and Southeast Asia. Her culinary education “opened (her) eyes,” she says, and enabled her to experience food and culture in new ways.
When she eventually returned to Israel after her training, she explored it differently than she had in the past. Asking questions about the food, and digging deeper into its origins gave her a fresh outlook on dishes she had long loved eating.
Now the host of Top Chef Canada , Grinshpan moved to New York City following her travels to embark on a television career. After creating Eden Eats (with Samantha Schutz) and Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan , she co-founded DEZ, a fast-casual Middle Eastern restaurant in Nolita. “The only food I really wanted to create,” she says, “was food inspired by my background.”
Though the restaurant is now closed, people responding so positively encouraged her to write Eating Out Loud . Fresh and bright, Grinshpan set out to share recipes people could easily incorporate into their regular repertoires — all of which she developed in her Brooklyn kitchen.
Central to the ease and accessibility of Grinshpan’s style is the intensity of flavour she creates with relatively few ingredients. She naturally leans on pantry staples in her cooking, she says, and while calling for a handful of specialty items, she also made a point of repeating them throughout the book.
Preserved lemons, for example, show up in her brisket and sticky lamb tagine with apricots, fennel and honey, as well as in the accompanying Thanksgiving-appropriate recipes for baharat whole-roasted chicken with shallots and sweet potatoes, and roasted cauliflower with date-parsley gremolata. (She also includes a recipe for preserved lemons in the book; you’ll need a month’s lead time, but not much else.)
“I didn’t want to put anything in the book that would be too intimidating. And that doesn’t just go for technique — but also for ingredients,” says Grinshpan.
She had a clear idea of the flavours and methods she wanted to showcase from the outset, “ with specific little tips that make such a difference.” Including h ow to make “incredibly creamy” hummus using canned chickpeas; how to char a whole eggplant, infusing the meltingly tender interior with smokiness; and how to make “easy peasy” pita.
There’s a playfulness in Grinshpan’s approach to food, something she hopes to inspire in readers whenever they step into their kitchens. Cooking should be fun, she says, and lacking certain ingredients shouldn’t stop you from experimenting with what you have on hand. It’s easy to get caught up in the details of a recipe or idea, but the magic happens when you have the confidence to play around.
“It’s about rolling with the punches, and I’m all about that. I don’t want anyone to feel like things need to be too perfect or precious,” says Grinshpan. “ Eating Out Loud is about getting a little messy and being totally cool with it. I want people to sit around their table with loud music, their friends that they love, their family that they love, hopefully wearing loose-fitting clothing or their pants unbuttoned. Eating with their hands, talking with their mouths full and not thinking about what anyone else is thinking — just enjoying.”
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020