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Adeena and Sarah Transcript

 “Books and Baking with Adeena Sussman and Sarah Owens” Transcript

Samin Nosrat: Hey, this is Samin and you're listening to Radio Cherry Bombe. You're the bombe.

Jess Zeidman: Hi, Bombesquad. Welcome to Radio Cherry Bombe. I'm Associate Producer Jess Zeidman. I'm filling in for Kerry today. She's up in Rhode Island on press for the next issue of Cherry Bombe magazine. That's right. We have a magazine. And guess what? It's amazing. You know what else is amazing? Today's show. In the first half, Kerry sits down with a fantastic baker and writer Sarah Owens to talk about her new book Heirloom, and about her Big West Coast move. Then, in the second half of the show, we'll hear an interview with Cherry Bombe favorite Lauren Goldstein and Adeena Sussman, the writer behind the amazing new Israeli cookbook, Sababa.

Jess Zeidman: Let's thank Le Cordon Bleu culinary schools and Emmi Cheese from Switzerland for supporting this show. You folks are the bomb. Before we get to this all star episode, let's do a little bit of housekeeping. First off, thank you to everyone who spoke, volunteered and attended Jubilee Seattle this past weekend. The weather and the food and the community was unreal. One of today's guests, Sarah Owens bakes some incredible sourdough bread that was at the Kerry gold table all day long. There was some of the literal best vegan ice cream I have ever had from the rock stars at Frankie and Joe's. And to top it all off at the end of the day, we got to enjoy a glass of that trendy natural orange wine from our new friends at juice club. Oh my gosh, incredible.

Jess Zeidman: We are so thankful to everyone who helped put it together. If you couldn't attend, don't worry. I'm editing the talks and panels for future episodes of Radio Cherry Bombe. So, stay tuned.

Jess Zeidman: Speaking of Jubilee these tickets for NYC Jubilee are on sale now. We'll be back at the Brooklyn Expo on Sunday, April 5th. And the theme this year is best chefs in America. Early Bird tickets are going fast, so be sure to get yours soon. Visit for more information. All right, it's almost time for today's show. But first, let's hear a word from our friends Emmi.

Kerry Diamond: Hey, Bombesquad. Let's talk about Emmi cheese from Switzerland. Emmi's beautiful variety of cheeses are crafted from the freshest milk from local Swiss farms. One of our favorites is Emmi Raclette. It's a fabulous cheese that you can grill or melt over your favorite foods. Or you could take a page from Erin McDowell, author of The Fearless Baker cookbook and the upcoming book on pie. And to make our Pear and Raclette Stuffed French Toast, made with thick slices of brioche, salted pears and lots of Emmi Raclette. It's a delicious way to spice up breakfast or brunch at home. Or how about some of Erin's holiday baking recipes? There's her Skillet Citrus Almond Danish with Gooey Raclette Caramel. The showstopper combines flavors a bright blood orange, almond cream and a truly rich caramel sauce made with nutmeg Emmi Raclette.

Kerry Diamond: If you are looking for a new recipe to wow them with this season, look no further. You can find these recipes and more at And you can find Emmi's delicious cheeses from Switzerland, the ones with the distinctive blue and red logo at your favorite grocery store or cheesemonger.

Jess Zeidman: Here's a conversation between Kerry diamond and writer and baker, Sarah Owens.

Kerry Diamond: You are one of the reigning sourdough queens. How does one become a reigning sourdough queen?

Sarah Owens: I'm glad I'm a queen and not a princess.

Kerry Diamond: Would you rather be a Princess? You could be a Princess.

Sarah Owens: As sourdough queen, well, I've been baking for quite a while now, I think this is my ninth year of baking, also teaching and I started writing cookbooks writing about it. And I think my first book was published in 2015. So I've been around for a little while. And during that time, I've been baking professionally. So doing a lot of wholesale baking, but also, my favorite kind of baking, which is baking for subscription, tagging on to a CSA Community Supported Agriculture share system, which I love, because it's a very direct relationship with the customer and avoids waste and allows you to predict what your workload is. And when you have a life that's like a freelancer and you're doing lots of different things. I love that business model for that reason.

Kerry Diamond: That's brilliant. More people should do that. Totally.

Sarah Owens: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: But that still doesn't explain who you become royalty?

Sarah Owens: Sure, sure.

Kerry Diamond: You're a very modest I can tell already.

Sarah Owens: The story, starts with just the fact that I was having some issues with digestion. And I was doing the traditional route where I'm going from doctor to doctor and I'm trying to figure out what the source of the problem is and not getting some very clear answers. And long story short, basically, I found that fermentation was my best friend. For not only reintroducing probiotics back into my diet, but I started having to think a little bit more about prebiotics and fiber and how to work that back in.

Kerry Diamond: Explaining more to prebiotic is.

Sarah Owens: Yeah, so I think a lot of people don't quite understand that our bodies are mostly made up of microbes. There's different studies, but we're up to you about 90% of our body is as microbial beings and it just so happens that our human cells happen happened to be a lot larger. So we see ourselves as human, but we're really sort of a microbiome of lots of different things. And so in order to keep all of those things in check, we have to make sure that the microbes are well fed. And one way is to incorporate prebiotics, which basically is just mostly fiber. Things that feed the microbes and keep them going. When I realized that that was a big part of the problem for me, then I started thinking about different ways that I could treat those particular ingredients and incorporate them back. One big way for me is fermentation. So that's sourdough baking, which includes bacterial and yeast fermentation.

Kerry Diamond: How remarkable that a health issue, you took your healing into your own hands and found your passion in the process.

Sarah Owens: Yeah, we're not all that lucky, I definitely was able to do so in a way that allowed me to slowly heal my gut. And I also had to be very aware of other things like managing stress and getting enough sleep. And I tend to when I'm in an environment like New York, that pushes you. I have a tendency to want to keep up with that pace. And I love that challenge. And that's what I've loved about being here and growing into what I do now in New York City.

Kerry Diamond: Where are you from originally?

Sarah Owens: I grew up in East Tennessee. In the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, which is a beautiful place, very beautiful. I lived for a long time and Louisville, Kentucky. And it wasn't until I started working in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden that I really started thinking about food from a botanical perspective. And that was a few years after I moved to New York. Well, I went through horticulture school at the New York Botanical Gardens and then I started working at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.

Kerry Diamond: I love that garden.

Sarah Owens: It's amazing.

Kerry Diamond: So beautiful, especially the roses that little lilac forest that's there when it's tulip season. That's my favorite. When tulip season starts and rolls through lilacs and pennies into roses.

Sarah Owens: It's the best time of the year. I was the curator of the rose collection for about six years.

Kerry Diamond: So special.

Sarah Owens: Yeah, and the lilac collection was right next door. So it would just be clouds of fragrance, like for months at a time. And it was a really lovely job. But it was a little bit stressful. I know that sounds kind of silly.

Kerry Diamond: Everything in New York City stressful.

Sarah Owens: Yeah. Yeah. I began baking as a side job during that time.

Kerry Diamond: As really a side job? Like a side hustle not a hobby.

Sarah Owens: As a side job. Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Okay.

Sarah Owens: I went to City Hall, got a business license and approached my local CSA and said, "Hey, how about tacking on a baking share?" And we sat down at a table.

Kerry Diamond: That's so smart. How did you come up with that idea?

Sarah Owens: I was basically looking for a way to fund my habit. I was just geeking out about the baking and I wanted to get better. But there's only so many mouths you can feed when you're taking your loaves of bread to work.

Kerry Diamond: You didn't want to open your own place at that point?

Sarah Owens: No. I don't think that's really my trajectory.

Kerry Diamond: Never say never. Look at my life.

Sarah Owens: No, it's true. It's true.

Kerry Diamond: I'm kidding, sort of. So you connected with a CSA and ask them to include baked goods.

Sarah Owens: Yeah. And they were very open minded and very encouraging. And so the CSA actually gave me the capital to find a communal space with the right equipment, buying the flour. The great thing about that situation is that they were part of the grain market system. And it's a different percentage now, but at the time, you had to bake with x percentage of local ingredients. And I had learned to bake with industrialized flour and was like, "Oh, what is that local flour? What does that mean?" And that really started me down the path of baking with better ingredients, which got me even deeper into the process of sourdough baking and-

Kerry Diamond: There's been a cool grain revolution in New York State. You know whether it's the Amber Waves girls out in the Hamptons, or a lot of folks Upstate.

Sarah Owens: Yeah. And they typically know quite a bit about what they're selling, which is good, because that's the challenge with these local ingredients, what are the particularities of them and how do you shift a recipe according to those requirements?

Kerry Diamond: Yeah. But this is happening everywhere, which is great. We've got folks like Ellen King and Evanston, who's pushing for local grain.

Sarah Owens: Yeah, she's great. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the meeting conference in Maine a few years ago and hear her speak and tell her story. And what she's doing for the grain community in the Midwest is really incredible.

Kerry Diamond: Wait, the meeting conference, does this happen every year?

Sarah Owens: It does. It does.

Kerry Diamond: I want to get to the meeting conference. I need to go.

Sarah Owens: Yeah, yeah. It's a beautiful gathering. It happens right in the middle of the state of Maine, in July, which is the most beautiful time of the year to be in Maine. And it's a gathering of people from all over mostly the Northeast, but people come from all over the world. It's a series of workshops, there's panel discussions, there's always a keynote speaker, I was keynote two years ago. And it's just a great time to get together and hear about what other people are doing, but also learn. I'm almost always teaching, so I love the opportunity to actually be in the room with other bakers. And it's funny that it's the same process, but there can be so many different ways to tweak it, depending on your production.

Kerry Diamond: The same process around the world for thousands of years.

Sarah Owens: Yeah, exactly. And we're coming full circle, because we started in a very simple way with simple grains and natural fermentation. And then we went through this whole industrial cycle, and now we're coming back around, but in order to do that in a way that's delicious, we really have to reinvent the wheel. And a lot of that is just sharing information. I love connecting with communities like that and meeting in conferences is a good one.

Kerry Diamond: How did you make the jump from working at the garden to being a full time baker?

Sarah Owens: Well, I started my little business and I was baking for the CSA I call it a CSB, Community Supported Baking Share, and it snowballed, and then I was contacted by my now literary agent, and she said, "I read this article about you in Edible. And I read another one on Gardenista and I think you should write a book." And I was like, "Oh, gosh, I don't know that sounds like a lot of work." It was funny because I had been speaking with a friends at dinner a few nights before I got this email and she was saying, "Sarah, you really should write a cookbook from the botanical perspective, you have such a strong handle on plants and their value beyond just aesthetics, which is when you're working on public quarter culture, you're really just working toward aesthetics and maybe curating a collection." I was like, "Yeah, that's an interesting idea." But didn't really think much about it.

Sarah Owens: When this opportunity came up, I really started diving a lot deeper into that and trying to understand plants and how they were working with microbial communities. And it's interesting because I was doing that anyway, with the rose collection, I was gardening organically and trying to solve a particular problem within the collection, with organic means, and a lot of that is just taking care of the soil. And in order to take care of the soil, you really have to nurture the microbial communities. It was interesting that all of this was happening at the same time and-

Kerry Diamond: Microbes inside and out.

Sarah Owens: Yeah, yeah. I think the book really sent me in a very different direction personally and professionally. In 2014 when I decided it was my last year of the garden, it wasn't necessarily to become a full time baker or to become a full time writer. It was just time for me to move on from that position. And it was during that time when the organization was going through a lot of shift and change and restructuring and I felt like it was best for me to step away from that. And so I found myself in this position with a grant to do project in Kentucky and I tried to leave New York. But I actually ended up boomeranging back.

Sarah Owens: When I did, I moved to Rockaway. It's a beach community. It's part of New York City. A lot of people don't realize it's in Queens, but it's a tiny little peninsula that's buffered on one side by the bay and on the other side by the Atlantic Ocean. And it's a super quirky place. There's a lot of different types of people that gravitate there including creatives, but now we have the ferry so there's people that come into Wall Street and there's a huge surfing community. I started baking there, because of an opportunity that I was presented with. That was a very generous situation for me to bake for the community.

Kerry Diamond: What's Rockaway, like in the off-season?

Sarah Owens: It's beautiful. It's very quiet. The weather can be a little bit harsh and a little bit extreme, but you have the whole place to yourself. People do tend to hole-up. Come like January, February. You're like, "Where is everybody?"

Kerry Diamond: You must suddenly feel like you're part of New York City? I've never been out there in the winter.

Sarah Owens: Yeah, it is a very different vibe than in the summer. Absolutely.

Kerry Diamond: Let's talk about sourdough baking a little bit because it is the thing right now and tell us about your very first sourdough experiments.

Sarah Owens: I failed quite a bit. Yeah, I did. I tried to make a sourdough starter and lots of different ways. And I have to admit, I probably didn't read the instructions that well. And I always tell people now and when you get any cookbook, make sure you read all the way through the instructions because it really does help. But I tried different methods, the pineapple juice method, and this and that. My most successful method was to make... a yeast water first. You're basically just harvesting yeast off of a dried fruit and I use raisins and I created a very vigorous bubbling mother. And so that's the method that I included in my first book, but you really only need flour and water.

Sarah Owens: When I left New York the first time I left behind, and sort of a metaphorical fashion like this is a new chapter. And when I got to Kentucky, I created a new starter using just flour and water. And during that time, that was when I was really transitioning into using all stone ground local flour. I used this really good stone ground local flour from Kentucky. And it became also a very rigorous starter and when I moved back to New York, I brought it with me.

Kerry Diamond: You did.

Sarah Owens: And it loved being in Rockaway.

Kerry Diamond: Why wouldn't it?

Sarah Owens: Yeah, it became this really strong culture. It's gone through different names over the years.

Kerry Diamond: I was just about to ask that. What's its name right now?

Sarah Owens: Well, it vacillates sometimes. Most of the time, I call it the beast, because it's just such a strong presence. Sometimes when I travel because traveling with a starter is a little bit tricky, especially if you're on a train. But if you don't have time to feed it, people think that it's such a demanding culture, but you can just simply make it into something that's a lot stiffer. So I call it stiffy, when I travel.

Kerry Diamond: Do you put it in the fridge?

Sarah Owens: I do. I make it into this very stiff balls, stiff as I can. I just take some starter and knead as much flour into it as possible until it almost crumbles and then I ball it up, and I bury it in a small sack of flour. And I always use rye flour. That's my preference. But this is an old technique.

Kerry Diamond: Yeah, I hadn't heard of this method. You put it in a bag of flour, and then in the fridge?

Sarah Owens: Yeah. The old technique is called Dsem, it's an old Flemish to think.

Kerry Diamond: Dsem, okay. How do you spell it?

Sarah Owens: D as in dog. D-S-E-M as in mother. Traditionally it was made with whole wheat flour, but my preference is whole rye. Traditionally you would bury it in a sack of flour and you would keep it in your basement because people didn't quite have refrigeration way, way, way back when. So they would just keep it in the coolest place they could. The stiffy that doesn't starter create a rind, it absorbs more and more flour. And on the inside of the ball, it maintains its consistency. And when you can hold it that way as long as it's cool for months at a time. If you're going on vacation or you just aren't baking because it's too hot during the summer, then you can do this and just keep it in the fridge. And then when you're ready you can take a little bit from the center of the ball.

Kerry Diamond: Do you break it open?

Sarah Owens: I like to break it open. Yeah, I grab some from the center, depending on how long it's been in may be a little crumbly.

Kerry Diamond: Yeah, I was going to ask is it like a baseball? Is it like?

Sarah Owens: Well, it depends. Most people make it into a baseball size. Sometimes I'll make it into a long rod shape, which is easier to wrap up if you're traveling, then yeah, you just break it up into some water, let it dissolve for a little bit, feed it with equal parts by wheat flour and water. And then you let it bubble. And you have to maybe do that two times before it really gets its vigor back. But I try to spread the word about this method because it really does make the whole process a lot easier and less like a plant and more like I can do this when I really want to.

Kerry Diamond: A plant?

Sarah Owens: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: A succulent or something. Sourdough is your first book?

Sarah Owens: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Toast and Jam your second book. Heirloom, your third book?

Sarah Owens: Yes.

Kerry Diamond: How is Heirloom different from the first two?

Sarah Owens: Heirloom, again it explains the sourdough baking process. If you have never owned a copy of Sourdough or Toast and Jam, you can definitely pick up with Heirloom. The beautiful thing about Heirloom is it does... I wish I could have dedicated the whole book to heirloom grains, but it does address some of the issues when you're using heirloom or local products, grains and flours. But it's more than just baking. It looks to different traditions, and techniques for preservation, for fermentation, for incorporating lots of different ingredients back into our diet in a very traditional way. I focus a lot on porridges, I think about plants, in terms of their medicinal value as well and even cocktails. I'm trying to make them into a potion where we're extracting the beautiful, bitter qualities of a plant and using that as a way to harness flavor, but also the health benefits of it. There's a lot in this book. There's ways to use waste ingredients like wheat to make caramel.

Kerry Diamond: How do you do that?

Sarah Owens: Oh, it's quite easy. You really just boil down wheat with a sweetening agent.

Kerry Diamond: Does it taste different?

Sarah Owens: It has a little bit acidic. It's a little bit of a sourness, but when you use that caramel with the proper, other flavors, different types of fruits. I like to use it for an upside down cake. Yeah. So doing that on the bottom layering fruit and then doing a cake on top of that. That's absolutely delicious.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, that sounds like heaven. Gosh, I love using wheat in soup but that's easy.

Sarah Owens: Yeah, and I have a recipe for making seviche with wheat which sounds strange and people are like, "Durian and seafood?" But it works really well. It's an acidifer. It works really well to tenderize and you don't particularly taste wheat. But it works really well with lime juice, and it's really delicious.

Kerry Diamond: Tell us what the gateway drug recipe is in this cookbook. There's so many beautiful things to make in here. But where should someone start?

Sarah Owens: Well, if you're interested in baking, the gateway recipe is something called the table loaf, and there's different ways that I explain how you can tweak it. So you can start by making it and practicing that loaf and using stone ground flour and getting used to that process before you move on and say, increase the whole grain or add nuts or add dry fruit. That recipe can be a gateway or it can really take you a lot deeper if you want. But then I also talk about using sourdough as an ingredient. Making other things like pie crust into a fermented product. Using sourdough fermentation, as an agent of digestibility.

Sarah Owens: But then there's a strong emphasis on not just using wheat not just using the things that we rely on as crutches in sourdough baking, but looking to other grains and legumes and other plants that are part of a whole system of agriculture, that as bakers, we really have to remember that we need to support all of these different tiers, we have to grow the legumes to take care of the soil. We have to grow the tubers like the sweet potatoes. This is part of a bigger picture. And I go into a little bit of it in the book, and then try to provide different recipes like the really good sweet potato tart and a delicious coconut pecan date crust and there's a sweet potato hummus that goes really well if you're making bread, you might as well.

Kerry Diamond: You might as well. It sounds so great. Okay, I want to ask the most obnoxious New York question. If you're too busy to have a starter, but you really, really want to bake bread.

Sarah Owens: Keep it stiffy.

Kerry Diamond: Keep a stiffy, okay, okay.

Sarah Owens: Keep it stiffy. Yeah. So, stiffy you can keep... You have to start it. You have to get it going or get some-

Kerry Diamond: You have to start the starter.

Sarah Owens: You can get some from somebody else.

Kerry Diamond: I was going to say, yeah. Can you just beg a friend?

Sarah Owens: Yeah, exactly.

Kerry Diamond: Befriend a baker.

Sarah Owens: Yeah. If you think okay, I'm not going to be baking for a month, then you can do this process of kneading and making a stiff starter and burying it in a sack of flour putting in fridge and you're fine. You don't have to worry about it. You don't even have to wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night wondering if your starter's been bad or not.

Kerry Diamond: That's ever happened to you?

Sarah Owens: Occasionally.

Kerry Diamond: You're moving, can we talk about this?

Sarah Owens: We can, yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Why are you moving?

Sarah Owens: It's a long story, but I had something happen over the winter where my apartment... I was traveling and a pipe burst, a hot water pipe. It didn't water damage but it steamed everything for weeks. And every single thing I owned moulded to the point that I had to throw basically everything I own into the trash. It was wild. They had to gut the floor, the ceiling, the walls, the appliances, everything had to come out. I was kind of stuck in Mexico for a couple months, which was great. But when you're removed from your life, and all of a sudden realize you're not attached to physical items. It's an incredibly freeing opportunity and you start realizing that you aren't identified by place, you aren't identified by things. It's like one door closes and another door opens and door started opening and this opportunity in California came up.

Sarah Owens: About two years ago, I traveled out to the west Sonoma County area and taught a couple who has a small farm there, how to bake sourdough bread. I spent about a week together. And since then we've kept in touch. They've come out to the east coast, taken a few more workshops. And they had some shifts also happening on the property. And they had been wanting to incorporate more of an educational angle into what they were doing, which was making small batch cheeses using the native cultures using sourdough or a wild culture to make bread making charcuterie for themselves, that sort of thing. But they wanted to incorporate more of an educational angle. And they said, "Well, how about you entertain the notion of coming out and helping in start this, cook the farm experience on our property? We have a little house that you could live in."

Sarah Owens: It just sounded like the dream. They have a couple of farmers, two women that farm pretty much every day of the year. So there's fresh produce. There's cows, goats, sheep. It's a dream of mine to really be not just doing production, baking, but being able to teach at the source of the ingredients. And I said, yeah, that's pretty easy decision, actually. And I had been feeling like, it was time to do a shift from New York. I love it here. All my closest friends are here. My professional network is here. But lifestyle wise, I've been wanting to shift into something that I felt like I could age into. I'm getting to that point in life where if I stay up all night, it takes me three days to recover.

Sarah Owens: I can't go with the same place I have been. Just felt like the right time, the right place, the right opportunity and the right people to collaborate with and that doesn't often all come together.

Kerry Diamond: I know you need time to settle and all that. But for your fans who want to take classes with you, when will do you expect all of this to come together?

Sarah Owens: Yeah. So we are building from the ground up. And we are breaking ground actually in spring of 2020. So we're probably not going to start offering classes until late fall, early winter of 2020. I am taking that opportunity to travel and teach. Heirloom is kicking off this domestic tour. And then in 2020, I'll start doing some international touring which is really exciting.

Kerry Diamond: Wow, where are you going?

Sarah Owens: I have to firm up some details. But on my website, I'm going to definitely be listing everything. But it's looking like in January will be India and that'll take me through February and I'm hoping to also do some green research while I'm there, on sorghum and millet. Then I'll be back stateside and I'll do a couple of other things that I wasn't able to pack into the domestic tour this year. And then I'll end up going to Sicily where I'll be leading a week long workshop at The Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School, which is a beautiful, beautiful place. I'm so excited to go back. And that's going to kick off European jaunt to Majorca and then I'll stop in Barcelona and then go to Moscow.

Sarah Owens: I've always personally wanted to go to the Republic of Georgia. So I'm going to take I think a week and just hang out there. And then I started small bakery in Beirut, a number of years ago with someone who's there permanently. And the bakery project works with refugee women to learn how to bake with sourdough and it's moving from Tripoli to Beirut. I plan on going back to visit and do some more work with them.

Kerry Diamond: How often do you get to go there?

Sarah Owens: I haven't been back since I helped started two years ago. I try to help raise funds through fundraisers and get the word out about the project. The bakery is really meant to support the educational programming for the young women that come through. I will be stopping off there. And then again, I love Istanbul there. I'm probably going to try. I've done some consulting work in Istanbul before. So probably stop, stop off there again.

Kerry Diamond: You have had such an interesting life and continue to have a very interesting life. It's remarkable. Before we go the speed round, we try to talk about how people actually make money. Sometimes in the world of food, especially when you layer in social media and beautiful cookbooks and things like this. It seems so magical.

Sarah Owens: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: You just making money and you don't realize what's behind it. And I loved the whole subscription model that you talked about. And I think that that is so interesting and could be a solution for a lot of folks. I know you talked about you went and got the license. That was the first step, you found a CSA. And it did seem to come together nicely for you. What are some do's and don'ts or tips and tricks you have for people who are listening? Who are like, wow, that could be... Or even for people who have existing bakeries. You could still do a subscription thing just to get people visiting on a weekly basis or monthly whatever, you decide.

Sarah Owens: I think it's an interesting model because different communities will react in different ways to it. Brooklyn loved that model. And I actually up until August of this year, I was still baking a subscription for this same CSA in Brooklyn. Because it was very convenient that they could just do a one stop shop every week for their freshly picked vegetables, fruits, eggs, bread. Rockaway didn't really subscribe to it as much as enthusiastically. A lot of people in Rockaway really wanted to go to the market and pick things out and have the power of choice. Every community reacts in a very different way. But Rockaway was very supportive and very enthusiastic about the bread, but just wanted different options. I think you have to feel it out. And you have to be reactive to what obviously, your customers want.

Sarah Owens: But I think the thing that I'm very excited about with California is there is such a strong appreciation for getting ingredients and getting food products from the source. The farm where I'll be teaching and baking already has a very strong CSA model. I think partnerships no matter what you're doing, whether you're baking or you're freelancing and food partnerships and collaborations are how you build community. I'm really, really excited about that opportunity, for sure. But I think it really is just reaching out to people, seeing what their wants and needs and desires are and seeing how you could maybe fulfill those or become a part of that.

Kerry Diamond: I love that. All right, we're going to jump to the speed round.

Sarah Owens: Okay.

Kerry Diamond: Okay. Song that makes you smile?

Sarah Owens: Smile. I love Neil Young, and I love Harvest Moon. And every time it comes on, it just fills me with this warm and fuzzy feeling.

Kerry Diamond: Or the girl from Ipanema. Food you would never eat?

Sarah Owens: I don't know. There's not much I wouldn't eat. Although I was just in Colombia and someone offered me balls.

Kerry Diamond: Balls? You can say it.

Sarah Owens: Bulls' Balls soup. And I think the texture of the soup, I was like, "Mm-mm, no, I'll pass."

Kerry Diamond: Did you eat Wonder Bread?

Sarah Owens: I have. If I were desperate maybe but not typically.

Kerry Diamond: I did love eat some Wonder Bread when I was a kid. Yeah.

Sarah Owens: Yeah, well.

Kerry Diamond: A treasured cookbook, doesn't have to be your favorite cookbook, but just a treasured cookbook in your collection.

Sarah Owens: Oh my goodness, Claudia Rodin. I came back to her books. And I don't know if I could pick a favorite.

Kerry Diamond: Dream vacation destination.

Sarah Owens: Right now I'm dreaming about the Republic of Georgia. I'm trying to work out an opportunity with a travel company to lead a tour there in October of next year for grape harvest.

Kerry Diamond: If you had to be trapped on a desert island with anyone food celebrity, who would it be and why?

Sarah Owens: Oprah does she? She loves bread.

Kerry Diamond: Oprah is a food celebrity these days.

Sarah Owens: She loves bread.

Kerry Diamond: She loves bread.

Sarah Owens: She has her own food line.

Kerry Diamond: Yeah, Oprah counts.

Sarah Owens: Okay. Yeah, I think I grew up with Oprah. I would come home every day at 4:00pm and she was just like such a leader and conscious living for, I think my generation, also my parents. I've always wanted to meet her, but also cook for her and I think she would just have so much to talk about. But would also be able to carry her weight on a deserted island.

Kerry Diamond: And I think we've said this before of some other celebrities, but you probably wouldn't be stuck on that desert island for that long because the world cannot live without Oprah.

Sarah Owens: The helicopter.

Kerry Diamond: Somebody would come and find Oprah.

Sarah Owens: Yeah, I think so. Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Well, Sarah, thank you so much.

Sarah Owens: It's been a pleasure.

Kerry Diamond: It's been really lovely talking to you. We're huge fans of yours and everything you do. We know a lot of folks in the Bombesquad absolutely adore you.

Sarah Owens: Thank you.

Kerry Diamond: Thanks for all the goodness you put out into the food world.

Jess Zeidman: We'll be right back with the second half of our show after this quick break.

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Jess Zeidman: And we're back. Here's Lauren Goldstein with cookbook writer Adeena Sussman.

Lauren Goldstein: Hello. Hello, Adeena.

Adeena Sussman: Hello.

Lauren Goldstein: I'm so excited to be doing this interview.

Adeena Sussman: Two continents in one month.

Lauren Goldstein: I know. So for anybody listening to the show, I was lucky enough to spend some time with the Adeena when I was in Tel Aviv, last month, and I was lucky enough to take a personalized tour of a lot of the places that we're going to talk about in this interview. They're excited to get started.

Adeena Sussman: So happy to be here. Thank you.

Lauren Goldstein: So we'll jump right in. Why don't you tell us about your career path and what your first job in food was? And how you got to where you are today?

Adeena Sussman: Sure. Well, my real first job in food was working at a neighborhood sandwich shop in Palo Alto, California making sandwiches and then I left that for a while. I graduated from Boston University with a communications degree and I didn't work in food in my 20s. And then I decided that I wanted to do this. I was living in Israel at the time actually in Jerusalem working in television, and I moved back to New York just around the time that food media was really becoming a big thing. And I eventually got a job at gourmet magazine as a copywriter on the marketing side of the magazine. I learned a ton about how magazines work from a business perspective. It was also the heyday of both magazine publishing, and Ruth Rachel's tenure there.

Adeena Sussman: So there was just so many incredible things going on. So many amazing people coming through the office, I got to travel I got to meet amazing chefs. And eventually I left and went to culinary school at the Institute for Culinary Education.

Lauren Goldstein: In New York?

Adeena Sussman: In New York City. I did some traveling in between in Asia and Europe, a lot of food related traveling. And after school, I started developing recipes, private label recipe developing for cookbook authors and chefs. And worked a lot with Ellie Krieger, who at the time, had a show on the Food Network, a Healthy Cooking Show. From there, I just started working with other magazines writing recipe stories doing food and travel stories. And at the same time, the Israeli food scene was starting to bubble up as something new and interesting. So I started covering that. For places like Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, Wall Street Journal. And at the same time, I started writing cookbooks, co authoring cookbooks. And to date I've written 12.

Lauren Goldstein: Wow.

Adeena Sussman: Yeah. And about five years ago, the same time that I met my future husband, I met Chrissy Teton. And I've co-authored two books with her that were New York Times bestsellers, and there will be a third at some point in the future. And then I started writing my own book about two years ago.

Lauren Goldstein: It's so exciting. Okay. Lots of information there. Let's backtrack a little bit. You mentioned that you started co-authoring cookbook?

Adeena Sussman: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lauren Goldstein: What was that process like for you? How did you get started there?

Adeena Sussman: I was a big fan of Melissa Clark's work and as someone who was an avid reader of cookbooks, I kept seeing her name on the cookbooks that were being put out by a lot of my favorite chefs. And I was, "Who is this woman? And how is she involved?"

Lauren Goldstein: Did you ever reach out to her?

Adeena Sussman: I met Melissa. I went to a cookbook event that she did way back for the New York Women's Culinary Alliance, which is another female focused organization. But we just casually knew one another, and also because I was a food writer, I sort of knew her. But we weren't friends. But I definitely had in mind that what she did was something that I was interested in doing. And then I was very fortunate. Doris Cooper, who's the associate publisher at Clarkson Potter happens to live in my apartment building in New York City. And I kept seeing this nice woman in the elevator for years and did not know what she did or who she was until I saw her at Barney's at the opening party for one of Liev Schriber's cookbooks that I wrote that she published. I said, "Oh, you're the lady from my building, what are you doing here?" And she was like, "I'm the associate publisher and Vice President of Clarkson Potter. What are you doing here?" I was like, "I was the assistant food stylist on this book." So we just became friends. And she'd helped me find my first agent actually, and has been a very important mentor in my career.

Lauren Goldstein: Was your agent integral in building your relationship with Chrissy Teigen? Or how did you get that deal?

Adeena Sussman: No, actually, she came on into my life after I was already working with Chrissy. That happened many, many years ago, I met Andy McNichol, who is literary person at William Morris.

Lauren Goldstein: She is also our book agent.

Adeena Sussman: A very small world. I met her just in a speculatory way. I had been talking to Chris Santos from Beauty and Essex in Stan social about doing book many, many, years ago. I was trying to get my first cookbook project going. I just met with Andy for like, 10 minutes, 10 years ago and Chrissy ended up doing a cookbook for like six or seven years. And just really coincidentally, I met Candace Nelson from sprinkles in 2013. And she wanted to work with me and Andy represented her. We wrote our book proposal together. And that was very well received and sold quickly. And unbeknownst to me, I really didn't know a lot about talent agencies in their literary arms. She also represented Chrissy and that was around the time that Francis Lam, the editor at Clarkson Potter had approached Chrissy about doing a book. I was recommended just to meet with Chrissy. And it was really just a personal meeting at the Bowery hotel, the day after Thanksgiving with her and John.

Lauren Goldstein: What was that meeting like?

Adeena Sussman: It was great. I'm really dorky. So I brought them a home baked cake.

Lauren Goldstein: What kind of cake?

Adeena Sussman: It was a pumpkin cranberry loaf.

Lauren Goldstein: Very seasonal.

Adeena Sussman: Very wrapped, home rapping nothing sophisticated. They were just cool. It was a late night meeting. They had a lot going on and I was flexible with time. It just happened to be around that weekend. And yeah, we just sat and talked. We just hit it off on a personal level, and I really didn't know what was going to happen. And then I was told that they wanted to work with me and that's how it all started.

Lauren Goldstein: And the rest was history.

Adeena Sussman: Yeah, it's been a great relationship. She's an incredible person. She's such a force as everyone knows, she's super funny. She's a generous, smart woman, obviously has an incredible family and I just love that she is so out there with her political convictions, her feelings. She's very honest. You always know where you stand with her and she's been an amazing, amazingly supportive and great to work with.

Lauren Goldstein: That's so great to hear. So we're going to shift gears. I want to talk about why you're in New York City.

Adeena Sussman: Okay.

Lauren Goldstein: So you came up all the way from Tel Aviv to New York City to celebrate the release of this gorgeous book, Sababa.

Adeena Sussman: Thank you.

Lauren Goldstein: Which is available everywhere now. Can you tell us a little bit about the title of the book and what the word Sababa means?

Adeena Sussman: Sure. So Bob was actually derived from an Arabic word Sababa. And it actually means the highest form of love in Arabic. There are a lot of Arabs living in Israel, there are over a million Israeli Arab citizens, and they're also a lot of Jews in Israel who come from Arab countries and speak Arabic. There's a lot of interplay between the two languages. A lot of the best Israeli slang words are actually Arabic words. And Sababa was adapted to mean somehow, everything's cool, it's all good. There are a lot of different applications of the word. You could say, "Guess what? I got tickets to the Madonna concert. She's coming to Israel." And you'd be like, "Sababa." Or you'd be like, "I can't make it to your house this weekend. I'm really tired. Sababa." Or, "Listen, let's make a deal here. I want to buy two of these can you throw in a third, sababa." It's a covering, sort of. It's all good, cool. Also, it's a great way to like pay a compliment to someone if you think something's amazing.

Adeena Sussman: It's also easy to say. So it's a word that I quickly adapted. And unlike a lot of other slang words that came and went, it's somehow has become a permanent part of the Israeli lexicon. And it's also just a word that represents the vibe that I like to convey in my kitchen. I cook all the time, but I'm not a very structured and formal cook. I like things to be loose. I like it when things are a little messy. And when I have guests over, I like them to see what goes into the making of the sausage. Everything doesn't have to be all cleaned and put away. And it's just about the looseness of Israeli entertaining. People stopped by a lot. It's less formal, someone's on the couch, someone's at the table. Meals take a long time to happen, starts with a course of salateem which are dips and spreads and little salads that you hang out and eat.

Adeena Sussman: And then there's typically a main course and more salads and a lot of drinks and a lot of coffee. To me Israeli food is as much a vibe and an ethos as it is about the food itself.

Lauren Goldstein: And you thought sababa really captured that vibe?

Adeena Sussman: I did and it's such a fun word to say. Actually, there's a huge pop star in Israel named Netta Barzilai, and her most recent pop hit is called Basa Sababa. And a lot of people have pointed that out to me.

Lauren Goldstein: It was good timing for you for the release of the book?

Adeena Sussman: Yeah.

Lauren Goldstein: So you mentioned that Sababa was one of the first words that you picked up when you moved to Israel. And you mentioned that you were born in Palo Alto.

Adeena Sussman: Yes.

Lauren Goldstein: And you spend sometime between Israel and New York. What made you move to Israel full time.

Adeena Sussman: I had been spending more and more time in Tel Aviv as a visitor. And then I met someone who lives in Israel my now husband Jay. And he has a more conventional job where he can't just jet off and write about strange yogurt fruit. I started spending more time in Tel Aviv. And we eventually got engaged and got married a couple of years ago. And I say in the book that I moved to Israel for love, but I stayed for the Shuk. The Shuk being the Shuk Hacarmel, the Carmel market which is the area where we live.

Lauren Goldstein: So you stayed for the Shuks?

Adeena Sussman: Yeah.

Lauren Goldstein: I think that's a really great transition point to talk about, the Shuk because in the book, you call the Shuk, your constant companion and you mentioned you try to go there every day. So for our listeners who aren't familiar with Israel, can you describe the Shuk and what it feels like and the experience of being there.

Adeena Sussman: For those of you who have been to like a storied market in Europe with the beautiful stalls, and the immaculate awnings and the perfect drainage systems and garbage disposal systems that is not Shuk Hacarmel.

Lauren Goldstein: No, it's not.

Adeena Sussman: It's a raw, gritty, loud, messy, amazing place. It's been in some form of existence for almost 100 years. And it started out as just a series of stalls because Tel Aviv is actually a very modern city that was only founded in 1909. And people needed food and people started vending at the top of what's now the Carmel market. It expanded from there.

Lauren Goldstein: The Carmel market is the same thing as the Shuk Hacarmel?

Adeena Sussman: Market and Shuk are the same word an Arabic word for souk. So if you're in Morocco or Tunisia or North Africa, you hear the word souk, esouk, Hebrew and Arabic have so many similarities. And it's close to the beach. So in the morning when I go early, and I'm watching the vendors trim the ends off of the herbs I feel the breeze coming off of the beach. There's a combination of smells of strong coffees, cigarette smoke, fresh produce little beachy vibes going on. But it's really at heart. It's an outdoor supermarket. Not all the produce is organic. It's not a place where every tomato has a birth certificate. It's a real place. And there is some special and amazing stuff there. It has to be revealed sometimes it's not polished, but it's my home. And it's a place that I love to shop. There's incredible meats, you can get great butcher shop there now.

Adeena Sussman: There's great fish, amazing Israeli cheeses. I buy my olive oil there. I don't really go to the supermarket in Israel. I'm very lucky that I live so close that I can pick up everything that I need in that area.

Lauren Goldstein: And is that common? Do a lot of Israelis live that way? Or is that a decision you've made for yourself?

Adeena Sussman: A lot of cities in Israel have a market. Some of that larger cities, it's a daily market. But let's face it, I'm a freelancer, I have time to pop in and out and buy groceries every day. That's not practical for everybody. A lot of people go to the Shuk on Friday, or Thursday. Friday is the beginning of the weekend in Israel. So Friday, Saturday is the weekend and Sunday is a work day. The busiest days in the Shuk are Thursday and Friday, and many people come... Israelis come as tourists because they live in other parts of Israel and they want... and there're restaurants in the Shuk now or around the Shuk. There's amazing snacks and it's just a place full of life and bustling.

Adeena Sussman: And it's also connected to the Yemenite Quarter, which is a really historic neighborhood of Tel Aviv that absorbed 10s of thousands of immigrants from Yemen who were flown to Israel after the founding of the state. They have their own special food traditions and religious traditions and a lot of the vendors in the Shuk have those roots. It's a historic and interesting part of Tel Aviv. For me, it's a community, it's a place to check in. I've made friends with vendors. I asked them what I should do with the things they're selling. It is a place that helped me adjust to my new life in Israel.

Lauren Goldstein: For our listeners who don't live in Israel, and who wants to cook from Sababa, but don't have access to the Shuk where can they find the kinds of ingredients that you need to make the recipes in your book?

Adeena Sussman: One funny thing that happened over the course of the writing of this book is Trader Joes started selling pretty much all of these condiments. I love that actually. People say, "Oh, would you ever buy store bought hummus?" And I say, "Yeah, if the alternative is not having it, and you want hummus. Buy the best when you can find, and maybe put my roasted cherry tomatoes on top. Or toast some pine nuts and drizzle some good oil on it" And the same is true zhoug. It's better to make your own zhoug but like the fact that Trader Joes is selling a refrigerated version of this Yemenite green hot sauce.

Lauren Goldstein: That's so cool.

Adeena Sussman: And amba mango. They have amba now. They call it amba mango sauce. They have harissa. They have preserved lemons. They have Za'atar, which is a spice blend made with Za'atar and sumac and sesame seeds and salt. 10 years ago, people say, "Oh, is Israeli food a trend?" What I say is in the 70s or 80s balsamic vinegar was a trend. Fresh mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, those are flavors that Americans hadn't tasted. Once something finds its way into the culinary canon of a country and takes hold, you know if Trader Joes is selling it, it's here to stay. Although I'm not sure about the Cauliflower gnocchi, if they're here to stay.

Lauren Goldstein: Cauliflower everything.

Adeena Sussman: Great. That's one example. You can mail order many, many things from places like Sahadi's or Kalustyan's Whole Foods has a lot of these kind of things. A lot of regular supermarkets like at Kroger or at Safeway or Lucky's they're jumping on board. You can buy a lot of these, you can buy za'atar in some of these places. If you live in a neighborhood that has a large Orthodox Jewish community, there's kosher stores are a good source for these kind of things. I also have a shopping guide in the back of the book that gives sources for a lot of these places and where to order them. There's a great company based in New York called New York Shuk, that's based in Brooklyn.

Lauren Goldstein: I love them.

Adeena Sussman: They make amazing spice blends and the most beautiful package-

Lauren Goldstein: I heard so with preserved lemon, is like the best thing in the world.

Adeena Sussman: Yeah. That's an incredible thing. If you can't make my preserved lemon paste, order theirs by all means. Just look for good quality products.

Lauren Goldstein: It sounds like these ingredients are a lot easier to find than some people might think?

Adeena Sussman: Yes, but I don't want to take for granted that somebody might not. A lot of the food in the book is about a spirit of cooking. I have a really great recipe for chicken wings that are cured in like a sour lime powder. And then they're brushed in pomegranate molasses and they're amazing. I have a recipe for pomegranate molasses, you could buy a liter bottle of palm wonderful pomegranate molasses and make your own in less than an hour. Or if you can find it, you can find a jar of pomegranate molasses that will last you for years if you keep it in a cool dry place. But I also give an alternative for just grating fresh lime zest and using fresh lime juice instead. Because not everyone's going to be able to find Omani lime powder or say you want to make it that night and you don't want to wait to order from Amazon or Kalustyan's.

Adeena Sussman: I try and give things that project the sunniness and the spiciness and the brightness and the spontaneity of Israeli cooking, some with special ingredients but most are more a lot about a feeling, a lot of fresh produce, a lot of acidity, a lot of spice, a lot of toasted nuts, herbs.

Lauren Goldstein: It sounds like the recipes in the book are really accessible and you've done the work to try to make it possible for anybody to cook from Sababa?

Adeena Sussman: I hope so. There are some recipes that understandably require a little more work or time. I do have a traditional cooking background and I have a really good recipe for short ribs with Hawaij, which is a Yemenite spice blend that's typically used in soups. It's got a lot of turmeric and cumin and pepper, it's spicy. And I thought it would go really well with red meat. So I cook it the traditional way, I season the meat, I brown it, I reduce wine, I add stock, I add aromatics, and then you slow cook it in the oven. But somehow it comes out tasting like a combination of a classical braised short rib but with an Israeli twist. That's my hope that the dishes reflects my two cultures. I'm still an American woman. And I'll also make fried chicken sandwich.

Lauren Goldstein: And tahini blondie?

Adeena Sussman: Yes.

Lauren Goldstein: It seem to have gone. I know you don't like the word viral but they seem to really have gone viral.

Adeena Sussman: People are into those and they're great. And if you close your eyes and bite into it, the texture is something we all are familiar with. But then there's also these amazing spices and sesame seeds and caramelised flavor. So yeah, that was the goal. And I hope I capture that duality, but in a way that feels like unified in people's kitchens.

Lauren Goldstein: Yeah, the recipes do feel very inspirational where you think, "Oh, maybe, I never thought of adding cardamom to that. I never thought of adding tahini to that.

Adeena Sussman: Yeah, for instance, it's the last few years you'll see B'qued salmon on a lot of menus. And I love that recipe, but I did mine with turmeric and so the salmon has a yellow, a golden... And it also has a slight... Turmeric is one of those flavors, it's dusky it's not that strong but again it's a little bit evocative of that part of the world. And it has fennel in the salt and sugar-qued and it has dill. It's like a combination of my Russ & Daughter's life and my Israeli life combined together. And obviously the pictures are just so pretty and you pitaquiles is another example. It's like chilaquiles which I love but instead of using tortilla chips I use stale pita because nobody ever gets through a bag of pita.

Lauren Goldstein: Never.

Adeena Sussman: You always throw it away. Or if you freeze-

Lauren Goldstein: I tried to freeze it and then-

Adeena Sussman: ... now it gets icy.

Lauren Goldstein: ... you put it in the toaster.

Adeena Sussman: Yeah.

Lauren Goldstein: It's weird.

Adeena Sussman: You make these amazing za'atar toasted pita strips and then you soak those in the sauce kind of like you would have pitaquiles. Just ideas that appeal to me but I like to do. I don't like waste so I'm not a zero waste person but I just don't want to waste a lot of bread.

Lauren Goldstein: If there recipe and book that you would recommend for somebody who never cooked Israeli food. What is the gateway recipe in this book?

Adeena Sussman: That's a really good question. I would say making the tahini sauce from the book. I mean all you need is a jar or a container of pure tahini paste. And then you just mix it with lemon juice and ice water and garlic and you all of a sudden you have this delicious nutty thing that you could eat alone or you can use in a lot of other... you can serve it with pita or crudité. And then I have a way to make it into a bunch of different colors.

Lauren Goldstein: It's one of my favorite pitas in the book.

Adeena Sussman: I know, it's pretty we're looking at it right now.

Lauren Goldstein: There's pinked in. I'm a sucker for any kind of pink food.

Adeena Sussman: I know.

Lauren Goldstein: I went right here.

Adeena Sussman: Yeah, my favorite tahini-

Lauren Goldstein: Page 120.

Adeena Sussman: Yeah, so my favorite tahini on this page is one that actually again, it's a bit of a no waste thing. It's not like I had that in mind, but I do a lot of charring of eggplant. And then you have the eggplant skin which is really black and really smoky. I take that skin and I blend it with the tahini.

Lauren Goldstein: Oh, wow.

Adeena Sussman: And it makes it, if you can see there's little speckles of gray and it gives it a smoky flavor and it's just such a cool looking thing. And then for each one and then I have one that's mixed with turmeric, one with fresh herbs, one with beets. And then I was like, "Well, these are cool, but it's like, "Oh, that's pretty to look at." But I wanted to make them practical. So then I found a cool topping to put on each one. I've seen a few people already posting the roasted sweet potatoes on the green tahini. I also to try and think visually obviously. So the green tahini has pomegranate seeds and fresh cilantro tossed in citrus with some red onion. Just pretty easy ways to adopt all the stuff.

Lauren Goldstein: It's really such a colorful book. I'm so excited to cook out of it.

Adeena Sussman: Thank you.

Lauren Goldstein: Is there a recipe in the book that's particularly meaningful to you.

Adeena Sussman: Yes, I would say the two recipes that are almost directly adapted from recipes that belong to my mom. My mom passed away Stephanie Sussman about 13 years ago. She was a great cook and entertainer and she also loved Israel. I was actually conceived in Jerusalem.

Lauren Goldstein: A holy baby.

Adeena Sussman: Exactly. And my parents spent a year there before I was born. My dad was doing a post doctorate fellowship at Hebrew University. But my mom was a very hamish means like home style cook. She made amazing chicken soup and she was the only person I knew who cooked her soup for 12 hours. She would put it on the stove, she was very no fuss cook, so she would put it on Thursday night, and then she would cook it overnight and then on Friday morning, she would take it off and cool it and then she would skim it so that it was like simple. And it developed this beautiful deep golden color that looks like the soup caramelised on itself, all the carrots. And somehow like the miracle of the soup is that the whole carrots and onions and the parsnips and everything kind of maintained their integrity.

Adeena Sussman: Sometimes you take those out there limp you don't want to eat them. At our house on Friday night dinner was chicken soup. And then oftentimes my mom was really busy with work or whatever, she would serve the boiled chicken from the soup with all the vegetables on a platter and Heinz ketchup. And we loved it.

Lauren Goldstein: I tell you Heinz ketchup.

Adeena Sussman: And on chicken like that, it was amazing. So I took her recipe, and I just refined it a little bit, I don't like when the chicken falls apart in the soup. It's great to use a whole chicken when you're making chicken soup. So I tie the chicken in cheesecloth. And that way, it just stays contained for as long as you want it to and the skin doesn't break off into the soup. And so I do the same thing that she did. I cook the soup, skim it at the beginning and then I just let it go for a really long time and then doing a lot of skimming of oil and scum and stuff like that until eventually you get... If you have time, you can chill the soup and then the fat rises to the top. And then you just end up with this clear, super golden delicious broth but then I add Hawaij, that spice mix to it. Or if I'm sick I'll add fresh ginger and turmeric to it. So it has like a little bit of brightness and then I'll put zhoug in it, because I love that sweet caramelized soup broth with that hot green Yemenite sauce. So that's how I make it Israeli.

Lauren Goldstein: Sounds incredible. How many recipes are in this book?

Adeena Sussman: There are 130, "real recipes" but with all the side dishes and things are probably 150 things you make from the book.

Lauren Goldstein: Wow. It's really comprehensive.

Adeena Sussman: It's comprehensive, but it's not like an encyclopedia. When I started out writing this book, I felt a lot of pressure to represent every tradition in Israel. There are dozens of ethnicities living in Israel and to give a comprehensive guide to every spice blend and every single thing and I have friends really talented, Michael Solomonov two books and Einat Admony has written books and those books are more encyclopedic in certain ways. This is the encyclopedia of my life in Israel. It's very much filtered through my traditions.

Lauren Goldstein: And your kitchen.

Adeena Sussman: And my kitchen and I realized that the book that I could write that would add something to the conversation was going to be one that had my very unique and home cooking perspective on things.

Lauren Goldstein: My last question for you before we move into our speed round, is what are your favorite Israeli restaurants in the US?

Adeena Sussman: I love Zahav in Philadelphia, Michael Solomonov is currently the reigning best chef in America according to the James Beard Foundation. I really like Taim falafel in LA. I like Hasiba, which is a really casual place that serves a lot of salatim and really interesting but casual food. Also in LA there's Bavel ori Menashe's restaurant. He also has Bestia, which I remember I went there for the first time In Downtown LA and I was like, "This is amazing Italian food but something is going on. I don't know who the chef is, but there's preserved lemon on my pizza." His restaurant is incredible. But you know these restaurants are popping up all over the country. Now, there are Israeli restaurants in Chicago, Denver.

Adeena Sussman: I tend to enjoy the home style restaurants of Israel. The truth is, if I'm being completely honest, someone asked me last night like, "What Israeli restaurant do you like to eat at when you're in New York?" And I'm like, "The great Vietnamese joint around the corner." I don't really tend to go to every Israeli restaurant when I'm here. But when I do I almost always go to the Zahav if I can if I can get in. Yeah, and I used to love Jenn Louis's restaurant Ray in Portland. She's an incredible chef who had an Israeli restaurant for a while and I loved the way she thought about Israeli food, similar to the way I do.

Lauren Goldstein: We're going to move into our speed round. I have five questions for you. What is your go to perfect snack?

Adeena Sussman: Individual packets of Skippy peanut butter.

Lauren Goldstein: What's the kitchen tool you can't live without?

Adeena Sussman: My hand crank citrus juicer.

Lauren Goldstein: I saw it. It's beautiful, and gigantic. I had looked at it and was like, "Is that a tortilla press, what is that?"

Adeena Sussman: Yeah, it's the one that the juice shops use and I can juice pomegranate halves and grapefruit halves and it's just worth every penny. It's amazing.

Lauren Goldstein: What is a food you would travel for?

Adeena Sussman: Pho.

Lauren Goldstein: What is one food you will not eat?

Adeena Sussman: Truffle oil. I'm not a fan of truffle oil.

Lauren Goldstein: Fair. Very fair.

Adeena Sussman: I love fresh truffles. Not to sound snobby. But if I'm privileged enough to have a good white truffle, I'll have it but I'm just not into the truffle oil thing.

Lauren Goldstein: Who would be your desert island companion?

Adeena Sussman: Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, someone who I could like hanging out with learn about the music that I love and also they could sing to me, that would be incredible.

Lauren Goldstein: I love that.

Jess Zeidman: That's it for today's show. Thank you so much to Sarah Owens and Adeena Sussman for speaking with us. You can find their incredible new cookbooks at your favorite indie bookstore. Also a huge thank you to Lauren Goldstein for interviewing Adeena. You're the bombe, Lauren. Both of these episodes were recorded at The Wing Soho. Shout out to our friends at The Wing. Thank you to Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Schools and Emmi Cheese from Switzerland for supporting this show. Radio Cherry Bombe is edited, engineered and produced by me, Jess Zeidman. Cherry Bombe is powered by the one and only Kerry Diamond Audrey Pyane, Maria Sanchez, Donna Yen, Kia Damon and our publisher is Kate Miller Spencer, our theme song is all fired up by the Band Tralala. Thanks for listening, everybody. You're the bombe.

When Harry Met Sally Clip: I'll have what she's having.

Katrina Goddard: Hi, my name is Katrina Goddard and I'm at home baker from Jacksonville, Florida. Do you want to know who I think is the bomb Laura Vitale. She is captivating online encouraging with her comments and straight up hilarious. She's a chef on YouTube, TV cooking show host and cookbook author. I adore her because she was the first chef who taught me how to cook and bake from YouTube videos.