by Ariel Kanter
It’s possible you’ve been following the career of Eden Grinshpan for years. If so, you’d know that she’s a Le Cordon Bleu graduate who created a popular Cooking Channel travel show called Eden Eats, where she explored global cuisine all over the US. Or perhaps, you’re a recent fan—discovering her viral Instagram posts balancing pizza on her pregnant belly. Maybe you saw her new book “Eating Out Loud” flying off the proverbial shelves in September, making Best of 2020 lists everywhere. If you’ve somehow missed all that, let me sum things up for you: Eden Grinshpan is synonymous with passion, food, fun, and adventure. She’s a firecracker of silliness and at the same time as serious about cooking (and eating).
Between a move to Toronto, parenting, working, and a new pregnancy, Eden somehow still had time to chat with me about life during Covid, her book, and some very hot takes about some of her favorite food.
What are your favorite recipes from your book? Which ones do you want to see getting more limelight?
Whenever I look through my book, I’m constantly reminded of all these recipes that I haven’t seen in a while. I just posted about the lamb shakshuka recipe. It’s so rich and delicious; the lemony yogurt really cuts through that fattiness. It’s such a nice balance. The pistachio cardamom coffee cake is also amazing. The flavor is so magical, and the cake is really moist. For me, that’s always been a star and one of my favorite recipes.
I see so many people making pita, the green shakshuka, and the tahini Caesar. Since people gravitate toward the seasonal recipes, I’m not seeing as many watermelon salads or the peach and tomato fattoush salads, but I’m pretty sure once summer rolls around, they’ll be more popular again.
I’m surprised I’m not seeing more of the chermoula pork chop and the stuffed tomatoes with beef. I’d like to see more of those. [This writer will be making both of those soon.]
What are some skills you learned in culinary school that you still use in your home kitchen?
I went to culinary school with zero knowledge of the basics of cooking. The things I utilize most are knife skills, searing, sauce- and stock-making, being able to tell the doneness of meats, all the basics—techniques that can be applied to any type of cuisine.
(photo courtesy of @edeneats)
How has Covid impacted your cooking and eating life?
I’m obviously eating in much more. I’ve always loved to cook for friends and family, and I love entertaining, but it’s taken on a whole other life. Now, I’m planning breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. It’s more of a routine, whereas cooking used to be a lot more spontaneous.
What’s the first place you’re going to visit when you get back to real life?
Oh my god. Israel, just to see my sisters.
Ido [her husband] and I always play this game because we have this long list of places we’re dying to go to, but every time we book a trip, we only want to go to Italy. We had a trip booked to Japan but cancelled it because of Covid. Morocco has always been on my list. How have I never been there??
What’s your favorite takeout in NYC?
We always ordered a lot of Roberta’s, a lot of Joe’s, all the classic pizza. Half pepperoni, half plain.
What’s the best hummus in NYC?
I love 12 Chairs and Cafe Mogador. These are places that really capture how Israel feels. They remind me most of the food I grew up eating.
Who is your cooking idol?
There are so many. I’m obsessed with Mike Solomonov. I love him. He’s incredibly inspiring. His food is out of control, and his Israeli food empire is amazing. And he’s a mensch. Heart of gold.
I think Missy Robbins is incredible. I absolutely love her. All of her restaurants are incredible, and the quality of her food is consistently amazing. She always hits it out of the park.
Jody Williams. I think Via Carota is one of my favorite restaurants in New York. I love it for the food and the atmosphere.
And for TV chefs: Jamie Oliver. He is the perfect example of who everyone in the food space strives to be. Charismatic. Passionate. Incredibly talented. He knows so much about food. And he makes everything accessible and delicious.
What are the pantry items you can’t live without?
Tahini (Soom and Seed & Mill are my go-tos) and extra virgin olive oil.
(photo courtesy of @edeneats)
What’s in your fridge right now?
I always have a huge bunch of herbs: parsley, dill, cilantro. Definitely veg for the chopped veg salad in my book: cucumber, tomatoes, red bell peppers, and radishes. I have a ton of pickles and olives. We seem to collect them. Lots of hot sauces. I have the harissa that I made and my zhug. I love a little bit of heat—but a nice heat. Eggs. Always yogurt.
What is the best food for balancing on a pregnant belly?
Pizza! It’s the easiest food to stack. Second to that would be burgers and fries. The third would be spaghetti and meatballs.
Are there any kitchen tasks that only you do or only Ido does?
Especially because I'm pregnant, I try not to do the heavy lifting. I’ll call Ido to carry heavier pots. Sometimes when I’m really lazy, which is often recently, it’s the dishes.
What is the last thing you bought for yourself?
I bought Indian-ish two days ago. I have a deep love of Indian food. Before I backpacked through India, I didn’t know much about it. Then when I was there, I had this full-blown experience where I learned about everything all at once: the food, the culture, the music, everything. I fell in love. And I’ve been obsessed with Indian cuisine ever since.
What’s your favorite junk food?
I can take down a bag of chips like that. The worst thing about it is that I eat it so quickly I don’t even know what happened. Was I even a part of that experience? I love a chip.