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Aran and Alison Transcript

 “Our Cookbook Crushes: Alison Roman and Aran Goyoaga In Conversation”

Kerry Diamond:             Hey, everyone. Welcome to Radio Cherry Bombe, the number one female-focused food podcast in the universe. I'm your host, Kerry Diamond. How's everybody out there doing? I'm okay. I'm fortunate to be at home in Brooklyn, where I'm recording this, hanging out with my rescue cat Dusty. For today's episode, we're airing a special conversation from Jubilee Seattle with two of my favorite cookbook authors, Alison Roman and Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille. Let's thank our sponsor, the wines of Rioja for supporting this show. Rioja produces an incredible range of styles. Reds, whites, roses, and my favorite, sparkling wine. To learn more, visit

Kerry Diamond:             I have some good news to share with everybody. We're finally selling digital issues of Cherry Bombe. You can get all the beautiful photography, great profiles and features, and more. Wherever you happy to be in this world, for just $10 per issue. I know Cherry Bombe is hard to get outside the US, so here's your chance to catch up. Visit Also, Jubilee 2.0 is coming up soon. This global gathering of the Bombesquad will take place entirely on Instagram on Sunday, April 5th. We've got an inspiring day planned for you. It's free and all are welcome. RSVP via

Kerry Diamond:             Now, here's Aran Goyoaga and Alison Roman from Jubilee Seattle.

Aran Goyoaga:              10 years ago, if you would have known this was going to happen-

Alison Roman:               No.

Aran Goyoaga:              What would you do? What would you be thinking?

Alison Roman:               I would not have thought that. Actually, today my mom, as she periodically does, she sent me a barrage of images from things that she was cleaning out of the garage. Every so often she goes, "Do you want me to keep these?" And I say yes. Today, she found a box of my old notebooks from when I worked in restaurants and recipes and things like that, and there was a note from my old boss, and it was like ... He was so complimentary, it was when I was leaving my first restaurant job, and this was 12 years ago. It was like, "Travel the world, taste the food." It was very inspirational. "You can do anything you want to do."

Alison Roman:               It was really sweet to see how long ago that felt. 10 years ago I had just moved to San Francisco, and I was working as a pastry chef, and I had no idea what would come of me. I knew that I loved doing what I did, and that was kind of all I was concerned about. I was very, "Do I like it right now? Good, I'm going to keep doing it." That's kind of how I live my life in general.

Aran Goyoaga:              No five year plan for you.

Alison Roman:               No, I have no plans. There are no plans.

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah.

Alison Roman:               Yeah.

Aran Goyoaga:              You are from LA.

Alison Roman:               I am, yes.

Aran Goyoaga:              But you live in Brooklyn. You've been living in New York for 10 years?

Alison Roman:               10 years, yeah.

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah, 10 years. But you have a ton of family in Seattle.

Alison Roman:               I do, yeah. They're all in the back, hi guys!

Aran Goyoaga:              You were saying to me earlier that you love Seattle.

Alison Roman:               I do, I-

Aran Goyoaga:              What ... Yeah.

Alison Roman:               I really like it. I feel like it reminds me of both San Francisco, which is a place that I have lived and loved, and also Maine, a place that I will also probably one day live and love. But it has a Nordic fishing village vibe that I'm into. But also, the Pacific Northwest, ocean meets tree is really important to me. I feel like if I ever am going to relocate away from New York it has to be coastal. I feel like if you've grown up near an ocean, it's really hard to imagine living away from one. I just think it's ...

Alison Roman:               The older I get also, and I think also the longer I live in New York, natural beauty becomes more important.

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah. For sure.

Alison Roman:               To be like, "Oh, a tree, I remember you." Seeing a star, wow. Stuff like that is increasingly rare and important.

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah. I wanted to kind of ask you about LA, because even though this cookbook and the cookbook before, and a lot of kind of the work we know you for happened in New York, I feel like when I think of you I still think of LA. I actually was telling Lara of Book Larder earlier, I think of you as ... The food that you make is kind of like a Joan Didion, Mike Nichols movie from the '60s.

Alison Roman:               Oh my God, thank you. That is on my moodboard.

Aran Goyoaga:              Super modern, right?

Alison Roman:               Thank you.

Aran Goyoaga:              Throw some anchovies on it.

Alison Roman:               Yeah.

Aran Goyoaga:              And that's kind of what I think of Alison Roman food.

Alison Roman:               Yeah, like a half a bush of herbs and you're all set. Yeah, I don't know. I think that California is deeply embedded in my personality and in my cooking style and what I like to eat, and how I like to cook. I don't know, I feel like it's a dated thing to think of New Yorkers as really uptight and Californians as really relaxed, because I'm an uptight Californian who lives in New York. I feel like it can go any way.

Aran Goyoaga:              You are you uptight?

Alison Roman:               Yeah.

Aran Goyoaga:              Tell us more. Please.

Alison Roman:               Yeah. Someone called me out the other day. They're like, "Interesting that you wrote a book about unfussy food when you're the fussiest person I know." I was like, they don't have to know. But yeah, so I feel deeply still rooted there. I worked at a farmer's market in LA, I worked in restaurants there. It's where I grew up, and I don't know, I feel very much at home there. I'm in no rush to move back, I probably won't ever. But to me, California just has a deeper identity about their food. New York to me kind of just seems like a hodgepodge of everywhere else in the country, for better or for worse.

Aran Goyoaga:              Let's talk about Nothing Fancy, which by the way, I'm like ... Nothing Fancy, why didn't I think of that title first?

Alison Roman:               Yeah.

Aran Goyoaga:              So good. You open the book dedicating it to your grandmother Prue. Tell us about your grandma and her crudités, what she taught you about crudités.

Alison Roman:               It's not so much what she told me about it, it's just what I observed from her. Again, my family insists this is very funny, but she was a horrible cook. She still is, she's still with us. Cannot cook, notoriously bad in our family. We had a joke that we would come over and our grandpa would be like, "Did you guys bring any food?" Or something. We were like, no we didn't bring any food.

Alison Roman:               But she was ... She is extremely glamorous, and even on her worst days insists on having an eyebrow pencil and her lipstick handy, and that's very important to her. I sort of ... Wow. It translates to her cooking style, where even on her worst days, when she was cooking dinner, she still would spend the time to carve an animal out of a squash, and put the peppercorns in for eyes and toothpicks for legs, and make a rose out of a radish. You had this appearance of, wow, this woman really knows what she's doing, and then the brisket would come out and you'd be like, wah wah.

Alison Roman:               I learned that, and so in the book I ... How to put together a vegetable plate, it's called Don't Call It a Crudité, because I feel like unless you're doing Grandma Prue level sculpture garden, it's just vegetables on a plate, and we should just downgrade it. We should take away the mystique of crudités. It's vegetables on a plate. And the wine on ice. I feel like I was like, "Why is Grandma's water yellow?" But it wasn't, it was wine on ice.

Alison Roman:               She drank it with a cocktail onion as well, which ... I mean, I feel like you drink vermouth with a cocktail onion, so it's not that weird. But that, I haven't adopted. But the wine on ice I have fulled embraced as my own.

Aran Goyoaga:              She seems really fancy.

Alison Roman:               She's nothing fancy.

Aran Goyoaga:              Wow.

Alison Roman:               She is the embodiment of this book. Again, because it was like stuff she would ... Oh my God. We would go over to her house, and for dinner ... She doesn't throw anything away, and so she would have Peeps.

Aran Goyoaga:              What's that?

Alison Roman:               The Easter candy, it's the Easter marshmallows?

Aran Goyoaga:              Oh yeah yeah yeah, yeah.

Alison Roman:               In October. You're like, "I know these haven't been sold for months, because that is an Easter treat and it is October." She's like, "No no, they're still good," and she would microwave them for us. To soften them up, it works. That works. Just in case you ever have a hard Peep, you know what to do. But yeah, it was that balance of put together and not. But I don't know. She still had people over, even if she wasn't good at cooking. That to me is what Nothing Fancy is all about.

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah.

Alison Roman:               I don't know, don't be afraid of people not enjoying it because they're still going to come over. You know.

Aran Goyoaga:              You say you have an aversion to the word entertaining.

Alison Roman:               Yeah.

Aran Goyoaga:              Which I feel like, do you think it's just semantics, though? Isn't entertaining-

Alison Roman:               It's 100% semantics. I don't know, it seems old and it seems fussy and it feels dated, and it feels like ... If I am going to entertain, if I'm like, "I'm entertaining on Saturday," you better come over in a ball gown, because I am going to be dressed to the nines. There's going to be a glove involved or something, and a tray service. I'm going to be like, "Hell yeah, we're entertaining. We're leveling up." But if it's any ... If it's just regular having people over, there's no need to call it something that it isn't. Yeah.

Aran Goyoaga:              I just feel like the whole book has that feeling ... I mean, obviously of having people over, but also the shots at the pool. It just feels very 60s to me, I don't know. And Michael and Nicole's photography too is sort of, just really complements what you're doing and your personality.

Alison Roman:               Yeah, thank you. We work really really closely together, and for shooting the book I rented a few different houses that we all basically move into, and we ... It's like we had summer camp twice. We had many shoots. Two different shoots at two different upstate New York locations, and then we shot also in my apartment, and then also at my friend Greta's apartment. Between those four locations, we got a really nice mix. But I feel like the nice thing is that you can't tell leafing through the book necessarily, where one ends and one begins. It feels like you could be all in the same house.

Alison Roman:               It wasn't, we did four different locations to get four different vibes. It was that we wanted a different vibe, internally and creatively, so we weren't just feeling like we were in the studio. That's how I shot Dining In as well. I knew that from the moment I was able to make cookbooks that I did not want to shoot in a studio. I had come from magazines, and so I know what that's like, to shoot in a studio, and I also know what it's like to shoot on location. Shooting on location is 20 times harder, but 40 times harder, and I was willing to have the difficult-ness.

Aran Goyoaga:              It's hard to recreate kind of a little world in a studio, or to make an entire home-

Alison Roman:               Yeah, unless I owned a studio, which maybe one day I will. I feel like just being out in the world, for all its imperfections. You know, you're doing your own food as well. I'm styling my own food, so it's really just us cooking in houses and then shooting it.

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah. I feel like ... I mean, I know it was shot on the East Coast, but I feel like it's very ... I'm back to my LA thing, but it feels very West Coast.

Alison Roman:               No no, it definitely had a lot of Topanga Canyon stuff on my moodboard and color palette. I felt like for Dining In it was very pastel, direct sun, bright, airy, bubblegum-y. For this one, I wanted a lot of jewel tones, I wanted it to feel a little sultrier, velvet. I don't know, if the other one was like linen, this one's velvet. Stay with me. And wanted to kind of come back from the brink of ... I'm sure you feel this way occasionally, but there are a lot of cookbooks out there, and there's a lot of capital-C Content out there, constantly being produced, and we're barraged with it, and we're inundated with it. I was just getting fatigued with seeing so much of the stuff that I felt like looked the same, and was not coming from ... I just felt like people kept copying each other, and we were just seeing the same stuff.

Alison Roman:               I was like, "Okay, how do I break this cycle for at least myself, and just be like okay, I'm going to do something different?" And believe me, had a lot of anxiety about not putting a cool color on the cover of my book.

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah. I mean, I want to kind of touch on two things you said. One goes with the book, which is the content. Because you have so much output of different-

Alison Roman:               I'm a robot.

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah.

Alison Roman:               I just ...

Aran Goyoaga:              Dining In came out two years ago, right?

Alison Roman:               Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Aran Goyoaga:              Then this one now, and then all your New York Times columns, and plus other work that you ... I don't know, do you still write for Bon App, or not?

Alison Roman:               Yeah, I have a column there once a month.

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah, so all of that is so-

Alison Roman:               Yeah, it's a lot. It's a lot, and I feel like I am entering a phase in my career where I am going to start evaluating what it is that is worth my time. Because I think that even though I've been cooking professionally for now 15 years, and in the writing world for 7 or 8. I feel like I'm still hustling, and I feel like I'm still trying to prove something. I feel like I'm still trying to, if I say no then no one's ever going to hire me again, and if I turn down work then everyone's going to forget I exist. It's a crazy ... It's not a good way to live your life, I don't recommend it.

Alison Roman:               I am trying to figure out, okay, how do I get more of a balance? How do I actually weigh what is worth my time for the money, working in the industry that we do? It's very much a one for me, one for you mentality. I do a lot of work for no money because I believe in it, and I love it, and I love working for those people. Then I do some other projects that are the money-makers, that I'm less maybe creatively passionate about, but trying to bridge the gaps and get more money for the things that I love doing, and also do less of the work I'm not passionate about. Hopefully narrowing the gap, and we'll see what happens. That's what I'm working towards, so maybe one day it's the same thing.

Aran Goyoaga:              Well, now you're a New York Times Bestseller, so.

Alison Roman:               Yeah. They did not send me a check, interestingly enough.

Aran Goyoaga:              Kudos for that

Alison Roman:               It was crickets up there.

Aran Goyoaga:              That's collateral. You can negotiate.

Alison Roman:               Yeah, I told a friend that, and they sent me a bunch of dollar sign emojis. Then I just sent them the dollar sign that's flying away emoji, because I was like ... There's no money that comes with it. The book deal is done, I don't get a bonus check for doing a good job. That's really just personal validation, that I'm ... You know.

Aran Goyoaga:              But you're going to sell so many books.

Alison Roman:               Which is worth a lot. Yeah, hopefully, yeah.

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah.

Alison Roman:               Let's outsell that advance, baby. Yeah.

Aran Goyoaga:              That's amazing.

Kerry Diamond:             We'll be right back after this quick break.

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Kerry Diamond:             Now, back to Aran and Alison.

Aran Goyoaga:              Because you worked in editorial for so long, you must have a ... You worked in photo shoots, so you know kind of the relationship between not just writing a recipe, but also the visual aspect of it. How do you ... Also me, because I shoot my own food. How you edit yourself-

Alison Roman:               Yeah, I can't believe you style and shoot, that's crazy.

Aran Goyoaga:              Well, it takes me seven years to write a book, but that's another issue. How do you go about it? Do you write it, make it, then see it and then edit it if you need to-

Alison Roman:               The recipe itself?

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah, or just-

Alison Roman:               The book process?

Aran Goyoaga:              Just cook it longer, the buttered pistachios on the squash. Or things that you're thinking are kind of adding texture and ... I mean, obviously you're doing it for flavor, but also visual interest.

Alison Roman:               Yeah. I think that-

Aran Goyoaga:              How do you think of that?

Alison Roman:               I think that everything that I eat, I want to have ... I want it to be very salty and very textured, and I feel like you get a lot of palate fatigue when you eat something, an entire plate of it. My test is, do I want to finish this plate? Or is it a one bite and then I'm like, meh. I really like crunchy things, I really like lemony things, I like bold intense flavors. Few of them concentrated on one plate, rather than being like, this dish has 12 ingredients because none of them are that interesting, and I'm just piling them on. I'd rather start with six really good ingredients and enhance them through different techniques and ways of using them.

Alison Roman:               But for the process of the book it's basically, I start with a table of contents of, okay, what do I want this book to be? Here are the recipes that I think would be good in each chapter. Then I start developing from there. I'll start cooking through things, and there's a lot of stuff that doesn't make it. Or that sounded good in my head and I'm like, "Eh, it's not that good." Is it either not cute, is it not an attractive dish? Or is it boring?

Aran Goyoaga:              Is not cute a factor for you?

Alison Roman:               Yeah. I feel like it has to be. But for me, there's food where I'm making ... Which I think I made a concerted effort to, in this book there's a lot of brown braises. Two of the brownest braises ... The brownest braises in the world is a short rib and a brisket. I resisted the urge to scatter them with herbs at the end, or do anything gussy. I really wanted them to be brown meat in a bowl, and show the texture of what it looks like when you sear the short ribs, and what the juice looks like at the end. Letting it just be beautiful food without being like, "Oh I need to add something to it to make it look good." I find that if it has the right texture and you can kind of see the oily pools of the fat, it looks really good.

Alison Roman:               Just trying to honor the dish a little bit more than being like, "Oh, I need to throw cilantro on everything," because that's my first instinct. For the brisket, I have herbs and stuff as a garnish if you want, but I didn't shoot it that way because I really was like ... I don't know, I was really enamored of how it looked, sort of in its naked state.

Aran Goyoaga:              That's probably the question I get asked the most when I teach little classes and stuff. People are just like, "How do I make brown food ..." Let's say it's someone from Lebanon, or someone that sort of making ... Or Indian. Well, Indian food is very colorful. Let's say a lentil dish. People are always asking me, "How do I make lentils ..."

Alison Roman:               Lentils, not cute.

Aran Goyoaga:              Just embrace what it is, and me, back in the day when I started doing this. I probably would have thrown a bunch of microgreens on top of it. But I'm like, no microgreens anymore. I try.

Alison Roman:               Lentils are hard, I will say. Other than a beluga lentil, lentils are challenging.

Aran Goyoaga:              Or just plating a little bit less, or something that's a process of being eaten or something, so there's more light can kind of go in there.

Alison Roman:               Yeah. Yeah, and if something is so impossibly delicious that I couldn't imagine not putting it in a book, but I'm like, "Eh, it doesn't look awesome compared to all these other images I have." Maybe that's the recipe that doesn't get an image, because the books can't have an image for every single recipe.

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah.

Alison Roman:               They just simply cannot.

Aran Goyoaga:              Well, I feel like it's really ... I mean, this is a ... It's heavy.

Alison Roman:               It's a big one.

Aran Goyoaga:              It's full.

Alison Roman:               I wanted it bigger. I felt like I could have written it twice as long, and I almost did, and a lot of stuff got cut. It was like ... Because when I was writing it, it came out so easily, and I had such a good time writing it. I had so much to say. I got my notes back and the first thing was like, "This is so long. This is so long that it's too long, actually." There were just hunks of text that both in the first round of edits, which just happens in a Microsoft Word document, we lost. Then once it goes into layout, I lost a lot of stuff too. You guys will never know, but I know.

Aran Goyoaga:              Once you write those recipes that sort of get cut, do you feel like you've done that, you've moved on, or is that something that you're using? Those ideas that you're using for other things?

Alison Roman:               You know, I'm so bad at saving stuff. I kind of just move on. I'm like, eh. If it's that good of an idea, it'll come back to me. Or if it must see the light of day, then I'll find a way to include it in something. But for me, my books are such a different, unique way for me to write recipes and talk about food, and all the things involving that. The New York Times column, for example, is a very specific mission for me, and that's a very specific type of recipe. Very few of those recipes would ever appear in one of my books.

Aran Goyoaga:              Tell us a little bit about that, how ... Because I still feel like even though they're ... I kind of know what you mean.

Alison Roman:               Yeah.

Aran Goyoaga:              But I still feel like if I see that, I know it's an Alison Roman recipe.

Alison Roman:               Well thank you. That's nice, that's a very high compliment, yeah.

Aran Goyoaga:              Isn't that the ultimate goal?

Alison Roman:               For me, the New York Times is like, "What should I make for dinner tonight?" I want it to be ready in under an hour, I want it to be basically a complete meal. It's pasta, it's sheet pan dinners, it's one skillet meals, it's very efficient and it's very ... There's a starch, or there's a this. It's mostly meant for four and under. Four people and under, not your are. It's mean to be with me and your person, or just yourself, or whatever. I feel like my books, especially Nothing Fancy, while a lot of them are serving four to six, they're meant to be doubled and they're meant to be accompanying a table of food. Although I've seen a lot of people make a dinner out of one of the side dishes with an egg on it, or chicken added at the last minute, or something like that

Alison Roman:               But the books are fun for me, because I love vegetables so much that ... I'm not really able to publish vegetable sides in the New York Times, because that's not necessarily dinner.

Aran Goyoaga:              Make a full meal, yeah.

Alison Roman:               I can do vegetarian meals, of course, but those tend to be a soup, a stew, a more composed situation. Whereas Nothing Fancy, Dining In, I do salads and side dishes and grain dishes and things that kind of live on their own, that accompany anything else that you might be making that night. Meaning you can make your own salmon, or chicken, or your favorite whatever recipe, and then be like, "Oh, I'm also going to make this salad from Nothing Fancy." That feels like it can ... It's a lot more versatile to me, and it's also just a different clientele, I've noticed.

Aran Goyoaga:              Seems more pragmatic, maybe.

Alison Roman:               Yeah, it's a bit more pragmatic, and I ... It's nice for me that each of those ideas has a home. I was thinking, "Maybe I'll write a weeknight cookbook one day," but that just doesn't feel like me, for my cookbooks. I don't know. I feel like the cookbooks, because I'm not working for anyone else, is my chance to be as bold and myself as humanly possible. Even with the New York Times and how much I love being a contributor there and having that column every other week, there is a certain amount of editing that goes on to make it sound like the New York Times. I don't know if you've noticed, there's a lot about me that's not very New York Times friendly.

Aran Goyoaga:              That brings me to the other question, which ... I listened to the podcast with Julia Turshen. When you both were talking about, you kind of hid on ... I don't know if you were hiding, definitely not. But you were sort of using recipe developer as your thing, and not really embracing the food writer aspect.

Alison Roman:               Yeah.

Aran Goyoaga:              I feel like in the New York Times ... I mean, obviously you have two cookbooks. But in the New York Times you really are a food writer, because your introductions to the recipe are quite extensive, and-

Alison Roman:               Long.

Aran Goyoaga:              You're actually writing. Why do you think that that was ... Was that something, you just weren't-

Alison Roman:               I don't know. I felt like a fraud. I felt like there was a big imposter syndrome thing happening there. I didn't start calling myself a writer until a year after Dining In came out. I think that was because I had worked in kitchens, and I'd always just thought of myself as a food person. I felt like food writers are people that are writers that write about food. And that can-

Aran Goyoaga:              Investigators or something, right.

Alison Roman:               Yeah, like a reporter. They're on the beat, I don't know. And I write about food. I'm like a cook who writes. I still have a hard time describing what I do, if I meet someone for the first time and they're like, "What do you do?" Now I say, "Oh, I write cookbooks." I don't know, writer is open-ended because you can write about anything, and I'm a ... I don't know. I struggle to find the words. Yeah, I felt like it was a bit of, I didn't graduate college, and I didn't get an MFA, and am I a writer? There's so many people that I consider to be really amazing writers, and I think that I'm just a cook who happens to have the ability to write how they speak, and that translates okay. But I don't ... There's a laundry list of people that I would be like, "Oh, they're writers. I'm just a person over here who puts words on a page." They're like, "That means you're a writer." They're like, "You write books, you're a writer."

Alison Roman:               I don't know, there seems to be a roadblock for me in accepting that.

Aran Goyoaga:              It's funny how ... One thing that actually Kerry asked me when I was in New York for the Cherry Bombe podcast is, if I thought of myself as an influencer. Do you think of yourself as an influencer?

Alison Roman:               Oh, that word makes me die inside. In the same way I guess ... No. No, I don't. I don't, I hate that word. It makes me-

Aran Goyoaga:              That was my same reaction.

Alison Roman:               It really bums me out, and I think if you isolate the word, is it a person who influences something? Yeah, if you read my cookbooks you may buy anchovies. Then I'm an anchovy influencer, great. But I do not consider myself one in the current way that we use the word, and I think that calling someone like you that because you have a high Instagram count cheapens the work that you do. You don't ... You don't have influencers. You don't have followers because you're trying to be an influencer. You have followers because you're really talented at what you do, and people want to see your recipes and your work and your creativity out in the world. That's why people follow you.

Alison Roman:               I feel like there's a distinction ... Yeah. Let's give it up for her. I don't know, it's such a weird, weird world, and I'm still wrapping my head around it and trying the best way to navigate it. Because it is a never ending loop in your brain of, "Am I doing enough? Am I not doing enough? Is it too much? Should I stop? I have to, I mustn't." It's really crazy. I think that staying true to yourself and only doing the stuff that feels good to you is the only way to survive. I think that at the end of our days, when we're a million, and we're like, "Oh, I was a great influencer." You might want to re-evaluate what's going on.

Alison Roman:               I try to keep that in the back of my mind. When I had 50,000 followers, I was like, "I just want to get to 75." Now I don't keep track, I don't even care, because it becomes overwhelming, and I don't want it to define me. I want to keep my eye on the prize, which is to write books, create good recipes, get people cooking.

Aran Goyoaga:              But can I say that when you have people in this room and outside running to the bookstore to get your book, because they're so inspired by what you're doing. Isn't that-

Alison Roman:               That feels so good.

Aran Goyoaga:              Right?

Alison Roman:               Because it's a book. It's a physical object that you're reading, and I'm like, "Oh, people are reading and cooking."

Aran Goyoaga:              So you're influencing.

Alison Roman:               That's ... Yeah, well. I'll take it then, yeah.

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah.

Alison Roman:               That I will accept.

Aran Goyoaga:              Exactly. I wanted to ask you this, because the photo of the panna cotta has tarot cards.

Alison Roman:               Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Aran Goyoaga:              Was that the prop stylist, or was that you?

Alison Roman:               No, that was me.

Aran Goyoaga:              Yeah. So you're into tarot cards? Okay, awesome.

Alison Roman:               I love tarot cards. I grew up with my mom reading tarot cards and animal medicine cards, and that has always been a part of my life. It was always the thing she would bust out at the end of a meal. She would do reading for her friends and stuff like that. For me, that's a thing that I've now incorporated into my life. I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about. I definitely don't know how to read tarot, but I do enjoy learning about the cards, and find it a cool thing to do. It's like a fun little party trick at the end of your night, when you're having wine and the candles are lit. There's a vibe going, and you bust out the deck and talk about your future, I don't know. But it's like, we draw cards and then look up the meanings in the book, and just kind of talk about it. It's fun, I don't know. I like it.

Aran Goyoaga:              Totally.

Alison Roman:               It's a good ritual.

Aran Goyoaga:              It is. And it's kind of like what things that ... The little things we do after meals, that kind of carry the conversation and just extend the night, right? I love that. Thank you so much, Alison.

Alison Roman:               Thank you so much.

Aran Goyoaga:              This was amazing.

Alison Roman:               Thank you for talking with me.

Aran Goyoaga:              Congratulations.

Kerry Diamond:             That's it for today's show. If you're a cookbook fan, don't miss Alison's hit cookbooks Nothing Fancy and Dining In. Or Aran's newest, Cannelle et Vanille: Nourishing Gluten-Free Recipes for Every Meal and Mood. I hope this show put you in a good mood. It definitely helped me.

Kerry Diamond:             Thank you to the wines of Rioja for supporting this show. Visit for more. Don't forget to RSVP for the upcoming Jubilee 2.0 conference. Visit to sign up. It's free, it's taking place on Instagram, and you're all welcome to attend. Radio Cherry Bombe is edited and produced by Jess Zeidman. I miss you, Jess. Our theme song is All Fired up by the band Tralala. Thanks for listening, everybody. I wish you and your loved ones all the best in these trying times. You are the bomb.

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

Jess Zeidman:               Hi, everyone. It's Radio Cherry Bombe producer Jess Zeidman. I'm staying safe in my family's home in Rochester, New York, but I wanted to check in and let you know who I think is the bombe? I think the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation is the bomb. I first learned of them on Instagram, when I saw people sharing their post about emergency relief for restaurant workers. Since then, I've done more of a deep dive and have learned that they have 20 board members who span all areas of the restaurant industry, and that they've always been dedicated to making the restaurant community a more sustainable and equitable place.

Jess Zeidman:               In these times, it's really nice to see a community coming together to support those who really need us right now. If you want to learn more about the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, check them out on Instagram. Their handle is @rwcf. Okay. You're all the bombe. Talk to you soon. Bye.