She writes cookbooks, she cooks with big-name chefs, she has her own radio show.
And triple threat Julia Turshen does nearly all of it out her cozy, super-efficient kitchen—which she's graciously offered to show us around—in Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighborhood.
You may recognize her name from the covers of cookbooks by Gwyneth Paltrow, Jody Williams and, most recently, Dana Cowin. Or maybe you've heard her on the airwaves of Heritage Radio Network, where she hosts the Radio Cherry Bombe segments each Monday.
But above all, you know her for the stories she tells, or from the thousands of recipes she has tested, perfected and presented to home cooks in the many books she's written and worked on.
"I feel like I can spend all day testing recipes," says Turshen of her favorite part of the cookbook process, perched on her bright pink couch.
"It's really different than just cooking. It's this moment when you're not trying to make a meal for you or your family or friends. You're trying to get the best expression of this recipe and record it so that anyone else can make it."
Now, after years of working with chefs and celebrities to put their cooking expertise to paper, Turshen's working on her own book, Small Victories, set to come out in 2016.
"It's a technique-driven book for home cooks, all about empowering them to understand that if you can really master a handful of techniques, you can make so many things," she says. "I've felt really privileged to help people tell their own stories, but I'm excited to now tell my own. Food is a great way to talk about places you've been. It's very transportive."
Turshen is about to go into hard-core cookbook mode for the next six months, but she graciously invited us over to check out her must-have kitchen gear (see the slideshow).
Her apartment is beautifully furnished with giant, twiggy wreaths and colorful little trunks (she is married, after all, to Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney). Shelves are stuffed with cookbooks, boxes brim with spices and a ukele. The only background noise this hot October day comes from whirring fans, but when Turshen's testing recipes, there's always reggae music playing.
She may be a respected voice in the culinary world, but at the end of the day, Turshen tells us, she considers herself one thing: a home cook, like her readers.
"I would feel like a fraud if I was telling you how to do molecular gastronomy," she laughs. "I've been a home cook my whole life. And for so long, so I've given people advice on how to cook for their families, and it's so nice to actually be able to do that for my family. It's the most wonderful thing."
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