friday link love

I don't think this light will ever get old. It's so infrequent it's like a treat each time.

Hi, friends, and happy Friday. We’re off to see our families for Passover and eat lots of matzo smeared with salted butter. I’ve been put in charge of dessert and I’m making a double batch of this cake. I did a test run of it earlier this week, made a few tweaks, and it was deemed a success by the book club, which I hosted this time. Some of you have asked me what we read and how we pick books, and here’s how our book club is structured. We rotate homes and the host makes dinner and picks the next book. And on and on we go. This way, your interests get a fair representation and we get to read books that we otherwise might not pick. Some of them we like, others – not so much. There’ve been highbrow picks like this and this, and lowbrow ones like this one (I won’t even make apologies for it, but I did lose a few braincells in the process). But we read, we get together, eat, discuss. We’ve been at it for over a decade I believe, though I joined about 8 years ago.

In other news, this has been a busy but manageable week (thank you, universe!) and I’m finally getting my brain in order to make real impact with the ice cream book. It feels like spring outside, and I’m looking forward to what our farmers’ market will have next week. I found a lovely yoga studio in our neighborhood and took a couple of classes and now – yowza! – so sore! – but in a good, happy, blissed-out way. I haven’t felt like this in awhile, and it’s wonderful. I’m looking forward to running in the park and yoga – and figuring out how to make time for “wellness”.

And finally, some exciting news, the book that I coauthored with chef Marc Forgione hits bookshelves on April 29! You can pre-order your copy on Amazon or pick up a copy at your local bookstore in a few weeks. I was particularly excited to be included in Saveur magazine’s April’s Books Worth Buying list, sharing the spot with David Lebovitz, whom I’ve deeply respected and admired over the years, and whose latest book has quickly become one of my favorites. David’s post on what goes into creating a book is particularly fantastic as it gets into the nitty-gritty of what it is to write a book. And let me tell you — it’s a process, and then some!

And that’s about all! I hope you have a relaxing, beautiful weekend ahead. xo, olga


Life in the overwhelm. Fantastic, and a must read for anyone who feels they’re juggling too much and are constantly behind. I’m going to guess that’s most of us.

The psychological price of entrepreneurship.

Number of stay-at-home moms is on the rise again.

I’m a total kitchen voyeur – especially fridges – here are some fridges of NYC chefs.

Turmeric is joining chia seeds and acai as a superfood. Finally. I’m normally way behind the ingredient trends, but I’ve relied on turmeric for years. It used to be really hard to find it fresh, and now Whole Foods is carrying it.

Looks like the CIA had something to do with the popularity of Dr. Zhivago (the book) in the USSR.

Amanda Cohen, chef of Dirt Candy, on chefs, PR, and “smoke and mirrors” in restaurants. Well said.

Why teaching poetry is important.

The little change that instantly gets you in the work zone. I’m kind of loving this – it works for me at home. If you work from home, have you tried it and do you find it easier to concentrate in cafes than at home?


  • Brian

    I liked your link to Amanda Cohen! One day people will wake up to the reality of being a chef! I always compare being a Great Chef to being a Movie Star or a Professional Athlete. Think about the careers of Movie Stars and Professional Athletes, how many people aspire to be one and how few of them become one, and of those who do, how long they are successful.
    I get to see this on a regular basis, when I mold their minds to do these
    jobs! And the last scary thought for the public is, How much debt they incur when they go to Culinary Schools.

  • olga

    Brian – Agreed. I think what chefs do is tremendous and there are some crazy talented folks out there, but it’s like what Cohen said – this isn’t curing cancer. It’s plating food and feeding it to people. The reason I never went to culinary school was because I couldn’t afford it and the prospect of incurring more student debt scared the daylights out of me. Now – if some lovely benefactor paid for me to to go, I’d do it in a heartbeat :) Education is always a good thing, I think!

  • Robert

    I was lucky to go to culinary school (California Culinary Academy – CCA, which stands for Can’t Cook Anything…) in 1995; I tend to feel that our class was the last class not to be influenced by things like the Food Network and celebrity (though, in 2007, I did go to a Top Chef cattle call; wasn’t selected :)). That said, there was one classmate, fresh out of high school, who, on the first day of classes, as we introduced ourselves and our goals, exclaimed that he was going to be a “star”…later that day, while prepping for our first service, he cut 4 fingers on one hand with his new knife. Two weeks later, in our butchery class (!), he reached into an oven to pull out bones roasting for stock…without a side towel. Last I heard, he hadn’t become a “star”.

    Outside of the debt incurred that took 5 years to pay off, I’m proud of my time in professional kitchens, but, am even more proud to dazzle my wife and young son with the skillz on a daily basis. It’s still food, it’s still creative, and I have the best customers.

Leave a Comment