Fearless cooking from a tiny kitchen in New York City.
The Smitten Kitchen, in its current physical incarnation, is a puny 42 square foot circa-1935 sort of half-galley kitchen with a 24 foot footprint, a single counter, tiny stove, checkered floor and a noisy window at the end to the avenue below. [The prior incarnation, the pre-2009 Original Smitten Kitchen, was a whopping 80 square feet with a skylight on top, but we traded it in for an apartment with a dishwasher, elevator, and almost enough room for a tiny human.]
What you’ll see here is: A lot of comfort foods stepped up a bit, things like bread and birthday cakes made entirely from scratch and tutorials on everything from how to poach an egg to how to make tart doughs that don’t shrink up on you, but also a favorite side dish (zucchini and almonds) that takes less than five minutes to make.
What I’m wary of is: Excessively fussy foods and/or pretentious ingredients. I don’t do truffle oil, Himalayan pink salt at $10 per quarter-ounce or single-origin chocolate that can only be found through Posh Nosh-approved purveyors. I think food should be accessible, and am certain that you don’t need any of these things to cook fantastically.
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Deb Perelman is the kind of person you might innocently ask what the difference is between summer and winter squash and she’ll go on for about twenty minutes before coming up for air to a cleared room and you soundly snoring. It’s taken some time, but she’s finally realized that there are people out there that might forgive her for such food, cooking and ingredient-obsessed blathering and possibly, even come back for more.
In previous iterations of her so-called career, she’s been a record store shift supervisor, a scrawler of “happy birthday” on bakery cakes, an art therapist and a technology reporter. She likes her current gig – the one where she wakes up and cooks whatever she feels like that day – the best. When she’s not prattling on about galley and grub here, Deb is an occasional freelance writer and photographer.
Deb likes bourbon, artichokes, things that taste like burnt sugar and baked goods with funny names. She is aghast that there are cooks who actually clean as they go, preferring to leave behind a bombed-out mess of dishes and a thin film of flour behind in her cooking wake.
Alex, the husband, gets billing as occasional photographer’s assistant, majority-part dishwasher, cheering section and sometimes editor of grammar and spelling. He’s a great cook on the too-rare occasion his wife lets him help with anything but reaching bowls on top shelves. He likes salt, shellfish, things wrapped, stuffed or balanced on bacon, steak frites, dried cranberries, milk chocolate, Bloody Marys, pretty much anything pickled, and Deb, although she is usually not.
Jacob, the toddler, is extremely helpful in the kitchen — singing the alphabet, rearranging cabinets, trying to ride his trike through, even though it doesn’t fit — though not in ways that actually increase kitchen productivity, uh, yet. What he lacks in knife skills, however, he makes up for in great hair and general awesomeness.
Email [please read first]: Deb reads and answers all Smitten Kitchen email personally — nothing is filtered through an assistant and there are no auto-responders. Awesomely (I hope) it means that you’re talking to me, and me only. Sadly, this makes it almost impossible to stay on top of everything that comes through the inbox. So, in hopes to make email more effective for all of us (and so I can respond to yours sooner):
- General questions: Is this a quick question that you need a quick answer to? Check out the FAQ page; I might have already answered it and update the page frequently. Seriously, I even tell you how I keep my stove clean.
- Recipe questions: Is this a recipe question? Please leave it in the comments of the post it relates to. Emails can take weeks to respond to, but I respond to almost all questions posted in comments within a 24-hour period.
- [New! Hooray!] Press requests, media inquiries, recipe reprinting requests and to be completely honest, things that you’re hoping for a really quick response to or haven’t heard back from Deb on yet: Please email Sara Eagle ([email protected]). She’s very good at this stuff.
- Cookbook publicity: Do you have a question about a Smitten Kitchen Cookbook book event/tour or other publicity? Sara Eagle at Knopf ([email protected]) handles everything on the U.S. side. Sheila Kay from Appetite ([email protected]) takes care of everything in Canada. Fiona Murphy from Square Peg ([email protected]) handles UK and Australia publicity. All three respond to emails much more quickly than, ahem, yours truly.
- Speaking engagements: Deb Perelman is represented by Random House Speakers Bureau. Inquiring through Kate Berner ([email protected]) ensures a speedy response.
- Literary projects: Smitten Kitchen literary projects are represented by the fantastic Alison Fargis ([email protected]) of Stonesong.
- Products, giveaways, freebies, promotions, partnerships: Is this an email about promoting a product? Smitten Kitchen does not accept any free products or cookbooks for review; nor does the site partake in sponsored posts, link requests, or contributed/guest-written articles (and never has). Everything that has ever been mentioned on the site has been purchased with personal funds, usually on a whim.
- Other inboxes: I find multiple inboxes impossible to manage, and notes sent through Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or any other social media are only checked every month or so — they’re the least efficient way to get in touch. Please, please, please, would you consider sending your note through the official (thesmitten at) gmail inbox instead? Thank you.
- Missed emails: Finally, have you emailed me in the past and I haven’t responded? Please, forgive me and email me again. I go through periods where I am extra busy and my inbox gets hugely backlogged. By the time I finally dig out, many emails are more than 4 or 6 months old, at which point it seems ridiculous to respond and I just archive it (in a folder labeled, seriously, “D’oh!”). I’d love to hear from you again.
For everything else, Deb’s email address:
Snail Mail [please read first]: As I mentioned above, Smitten Kitchen does not accept any products or books for review, and ask that you respect this by not sending any of the above. When, despite this, books show up in the mailbox, they are donated to a used bookstore. Don’t let this happen to your book!
For everything else, the Smitten Kitchen mailing address:
93 4th Avenue, #620
New York, NY 10003
Press, Awards and Tasteless Braggery [See also: Cookbook Press.]
- “Her appetite is palpable through the lens.” — The New York Times profiled Deb Perelman, 12/12/12.
- “Deb’s fantastic recipes, warm personality, and practical advice have earned her a passionately devoted fanbase of readers who want more than just pretty pictures.” — West Elm blog, 11/20/12
- “With sun-soaked food photography and an un-intimidating approach to home cooking, food blog Smitten Kitchen is a mainstay on our bookmark bars.” — Martha Stewart Living blog, 11/9/12
- “An extensive collection of recipes combined with Perelman’s photographic genius are two of the main reasons why this site is one of the most popular food blogs out there.” — Smitten Kitchen is awarded the top spot in Babble’s Top 100 Food Mom Blogs 2012 [for the second year in a row]
- “You’d be hard-pressed to find a food lover who doesn’t nurture a crush on Deb Perelman.” Deb shared recipe writing and photography tips with Food52, 6/28/12
- “But I’m also totally okay with [my son] knowing what a perfect, buttery, brown sugary, gooey chocolate chip cookie tastes like.” — Deb participated in an open Facebook chat with the Washington Post about healthy, affordable meals, 6/19/12
- “This site has turned many a ForbesWoman into a foodie.” Smitten Kitchen was among Forbes Top 100 Websites for Women, June 2012
- Smitten Kitchen — “…one of my favorite cooking blogs” — and the Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake get an enthusiastic shout-out on Felicia Day’s web show, The Flog, 4/23/12, 1:40 mark
- “But if you ask any food blogger in 2012 whether they’ve ever heard of Smitten Kitchen, you might as well be asking them whether they’ve ever heard of a guy named Elvis.” — p. 10, Food Blogging For Dummies, April 2012
- “There’s no denying her culinary clout.” — Manhattan Magazine, Dot Com Influencers, April 2012
- Deb was a guest on Heritage Radio Network’s The Food Seen with Michael Harlan Turkell, April 10, 2012
- Deb participated in a panel on The Future of Food Writing at the University of Pennsylvania’s first Food Summit, April 1, 2012
- Smitten Kitchen won Best Food Weblog in the 12th Annual Bloggies Awards — March, 2012
- “America’s culinary sweetheart, big sister and best friend…” — Jewish Woman Magazine, Spring 2012
- Smitten Kitchen was used as a prime example of a trustworthy blog that has come to replace mom’s recipe box of handed-down recipes. — NPR, 3/2/12
- “Each eye-popping post features a tasty, unfussy recipe… Deb Perelman holds the triple-threat title of cook, photographer and reluctant dishwasher.” — Marie Claire, January 2012
- “Her secret? ‘I got the recipe from this fantastic Web site, Smittenkitchen.com'” said Rose Byrne of the pumpkin cheesecake she’d made recently that she called “a big hit” and “worth it”. — InStyle, March 2012
- Fox News likes Smitten Kitchen’s “accessible recipes and clear techniques” and calls it one of the best food blogs to check out now — February, 2012
- Smitten Kitchen’s spin on (and photos of) rainbow cookies were featured in Newsday, 2/14/12
- The New York Times Diner’s Journal blog was reading about Smitten Kitchen’s Ribboned Asparagus Salad with Lemon on 5/4/11, Skirt Steak with Bloody Mary Tomato Salad on 7/7/11, Zucchini Fritters on 8/26/11, Carnitas on 11/7/11, Dijon-Braised Brussels Sprouts on 12/2/11, and Lasagna Bolognese on 2/13/12
- “… A food blog with recipes and pictures that will literally make you drool like a little baby.” — Kveller, January 2012
- Deb was on WNYC’s Last Chance Foods talking about Thanksgiving sides, and of course, sweet potatoes. Her recipe for Roasted Marshmallow-y Sweet Potatoes with Thanksgiving on Top was featured as well. — October, 2011
- “The Deb magic is that she writes recipes and explains techniques in such a way that they just make sense.” — xoJane, August, 2011
- Google featured Smitten Kitchen — and Deb’s birthday cake! — in a commercial for a feature of their Chrome browser, June, 2011.
- Time Magazine listed Smitten Kitchen among the 25 Best Blogs of 2011, June, 2011
- Smitten Kitchen won Best Cooking Blog in Saveur’s 2011 Best Food Blogs Awards, 5/17/11
- “Deb’s impressive but raw food photography begs us to keep scrolling down, but it’s her writing that entices us to read each post from start to finish.” — Smitten Kitchen is featured as Best of the Web on Williams-Sonoma’s blog, The Blender, 5/3/11.
- Why didn’t your mother-in-law’s recipe work for you? “Sabotage.” — Deb joined America’s Test Kitchen’s ‘Doc’ John Willoughby to discuss what makes a recipe good on The Leonard Lopate Show on NPR/WNYC, 4/29/11.
- “My days are consumed with first-world problems: My pan didn’t deglaze enough! My chicken stock isn’t loud enough! I’m tired of eating short ribs for dinner…” — Deb participated in The Morning News’ food photography roundtable, To Make the Mouth Water, 4/21/11
- “Sure, she’s food blog royalty, but her approachable style and engaging writing means reading her blog is like checking in with a great friend.” — Smitten Kitchen is one of Saveur’s Sites We Love, 4/21/11
- “Deb’s blog, Smitten Kitchen, is an extraordinary exploration of classy recipes.” — Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn featured Scrambled Egg Toast as part of their Breakfast with a Blogger series, 4/19/11
- “Deb strikes a home run in our book for bringing accessible, seasonal recipes to the table that are also so beautiful, they’re artistic.” — Smitten Kitchen is awarded Best Recipe Blog and Best Overall Food Blog in Babble’s Top 100 Food Mom Blogs 2011
- “We bet you’ll fall for Deb’s kitchen, too.” — Canadian House & Home, April 2011
- “People have walk-in closets bigger than my kitchen…” — Deb shared her kitchen essentials in Rachael Ray Magazine, March 2011
- “Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen, a relate-ably personal, yet eloquent blog, is one of the lucky few to have gained a large and loyal following.” — Kitchen Talk: Smitten Kitchen on The Forward’s Jew and The Carrot Blog, 2/7/11
- “Her medium is the Internet, not television, but her images seduce in a similar fashion.” — Eatsy: The Fundamentals of Food Porn on Etsy, 1/26/11
- “Perelman’s blog features recipes (and food porn-worthy photos) which she perfects in her tiny New York City kitchen.” — Deb shares an improvised meal in AM New York, 1/25/11
- Smitten Kitchen was nominated for three awards, Weblog of the Year, Best Photography of a Weblog and Best Food Weblog in the Eleventh Annual Weblog Awards (Bloggies 2011)
- Smitten Kitchen won Best Food Blog in the Village Voice Web Awards, 12/8/10
- Deb’s husband was dorkily excited to find Smitten Kitchen listed among the Flipboard iPad App’s suggested food and dining blogs to read, December 2010.
- Smitten Kitchen’s Apple Latkes were featured in What We’re Reading, Diner’s Journal Blog, New York Times, 12/1/10
- “I’m certainly not a chef, but her posts inspire me to at least think about making something from scratch.” — InStyle Magazine staff members pick their favorite websites, November, 2010.
- “Do we really have to wait until 2012 for the Smitten Kitchen cookbook?” — Gwyneth Paltrow lists Smitten Kitchen among her top ten favorite food sites in her GOOP Newsletter, 10/7/10
- “Starting from scratch in the kitchen? Then this may be the perfect blog for you.” — Fox News’ iMag listed Smitten Kitchen first among its five favorite food blogs, October 2010.
- “Want an intimate look into a New Yorker’s kitchen in the style of Melissa Clark or Mark Bittman? Try the beautiful and useful blog Smitten Kitchen” — “If You Love Newspapers, Let Them Go,” Reason.com, 6/24/10
- A guest on The Takeaway (from Public Radio International, WNYC Radio, BBC World Service, The New York Times and WGBH Boston), Deb’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie went up against Melissa Clark’s Sour Cherry Pie — Summer Fruit Pie Smackdown, 6/23/10
- A guest on All Things Considered’s Last Chance Foods, Deb discussed rhubarb — NPR/WNYC, 6/17/10
- “One of our go-to food and cooking blogs is smittenkitchen.com, where New Yorker Deb Perelman takes a fresh look at comfort food…” — Everyday Food’s Blog Watch, June 2010
- A guest on Let’s Eat In, Deb discussed food photography and the upcoming Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, along with Michael Harlan Turkell — Heritage Radio Network, 5/17/10
- “In the past few years, a crop of food-photo-blogs has emerged — like La Tartine Gourmande and Smitten Kitchen. These folks, it seems, care just as much about the photography as they do the food, and have married the two in an attractive online format.” — NPR, The Picture Show, 5/7/10
- “Even if you hadn’t been planning to cook something, you will come away dying to after staring at her vibrant food photography.” — The Times of India, 5/1/10
- “Perelman graces many Top 50 lists, and there’s a reason for that: Her cult-like fans appreciate her museum-quality food photography and her witty use of the medium…” Babble ranks Smitten Kitchen #1 in Best Recipes and #2 in Best Photography in their Mommy Food Blogs round-up. — Babble.com, April 2010
- Winner, Best Food Photography (2010) and Best Individual Post (2010) in Saveur’s 1st Annual Best Food Blog Awards.
- “A young New Yorker, Perelman takes many of her recipe ideas from local offerings at Union Square’s green market… Foodies beware: This girl steers clear of ‘fussy’ foods and expensive, often-inaccessible ingredients.” — Forbes.com, Eight of the Very Best Food Blogs, 3/3/2010
- “Smitten Kitchen offers a kind of coffee klatch feel, only the women attending happen to be all over the world.” — Huffington Post
- Saveur lists Smitten Kitchen among the “Best of the Web”, shouting out 35 site recipes. — Saveur.com.
- Actress Keri Russell declares Smitten Kitchen her favorite website — Health Magazine, February 2010.
- “Not only does Smitten Kitchen churn out fabulous recipes with surprising regularity, Deb’s photography is top-notch, and the site’s clean design makes it easy to navigate.” — Mormon Times, 1/25/10
- 2010 Weblogs Award (Bloggies) winner, Best Photography of a Weblog. Finalist for Best Food Weblog.
- “The recipes are classy enough to make you feel like a foodie and easy enough that you don’t need a culinary degree!” — Smitten Kitchen won a 2009 Apartment Therapy Homies Award for Best Home Cooking Blog.
- Smitten Kitchen won 2009 Foodbuzz Blog Awards for Best Photography Blog and Blogger You Would Most Like To Cook A Meal For You
- “… Smittenkitchen.com reads like a conversation with a witty friend who can recommend the perfect nosh for any occasion, from the light and healthy (winter panzanella) to the indulgent (pear crisps with vanilla brown butter). The site is super-user-friendly, too: easy recipes, dishes sorted by season and searchable by keyword, and big, luscious photographs.” — Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine, December 2009
- Saveur lists Smitten Kitchen among the “Best of the Web”, shouting out 33 site recipes. — Saveur.com
- “We’re still popping our eyeballs back into our heads after coming across [the] luscious-looking chocolate peanut butter cake from Smitten Kitchen,” wrote the Los Angeles Times’ Daily Dish Food Blog, 7/9/09.
- Deb demonstrated updated summer salads, sides and slaws to celebrate the holiday weekend live on Good Day New York, 7/1/09. See the video and grab the recipes on MyFoxNY.com or in this post.
- “Deb Perelman’s … thoughtful prose and sometimes humorous posts read like an e-mail from your best friend — only with better photos.” — Better Homes and Gardens, June 2009
- “… Warm and encouraging, the photos are pure food porn, and the something-for-everyone recipes sound sublime. If Perelman can make cherry cornmeal upside-down cake and chicken empanadas with chorizo and olives in her tiny East Village walk-up, then, well, what’s your excuse?” — Entertainment Weekly, 5/8/09
- “A combination of writing/photographer skills add up to culinary excellence in this long-established blog…” — Times Online, 50 of the World’s Best Food Blogs, 2/17/09
- An adaptation of Smitten Kitchen’s Chocolate Stout Cake was featured in Elle Magazine, February 2009.
- “Be warned: If you look at Smitten Kitchen when you are hungry, you will lose the ability to focus on whatever it is you are supposed to be doing,” wrote The Oregonian’s Shop Oregon blog 1/7/09.
- Awarded Best-Written Food Blog by the Well Fed Network’s Food Blog Awards, January 2009.
- Smitten Kitchen was the first runner-up in the Best Food Blog Category in Apartment Therapy’s 2008 Homie awards, January 2009
- 2009 Weblogs Award (Bloggies) finalist in three categories: Best Photography of a Weblog, Best-Designed Weblog and Best Food Weblog.
- The Cranberry-Vanilla Coffee Cake and Boozy Baked French Toast were given a nod in the New York Times’ Well Blog, 12/24/08
- “We wish we could be guests in Deb’s kitchen…” Smitten Kitchen’s Cranberry Pecan Frangipane Tart was featured in Bon Appetit’s Blog Envy Slideshow, December, 2008
- Shouted out on the Official Google Reader Blog as a way to cook better through subscribing to food blogs. — 11/06/08
- “… delicious recipes, witty writing, and drool-inducing food photography.” — SBS, the Australian national television and radio broadcaster, October 2008
- Smitten Kitchen was featured on the Martha Stewart Show, 9/17/08, where audience members were introduced to the ever-popular Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake [See the clip here]
- “This site is a blast. The photographs alone will make you hungry…” — The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va. 9/3/08. The article also included the Smitten Kitchen recipe for Margarita Cookies.
- “Enticingly simple recipes with food images that are just as engaging as the author’s fun and informative food commentary.” — Delish.com’s Top 50 Food Blogs
- “Deb’s photography and food styling are stunning, the recipes she posts are diverse and interesting, and her attitude is downright infectious.” — Hallmark Magazine, August 2008
- Smitten Kitchen was one of The Nest magazine’s favorite blogs — Summer 2008
- “The food-porn factor of this site nears illegal levels.” — CHOW.com, The Ten, Food Blog Heaven 5/19/08
- Smitten Kitchen “offers tempting recipes and photos of home-cooked meals.” — “Food Blogs Help Save Money,” U.S. News and World Report, March 4, 2008
- “An enthusiastic kitchen amateur chronicles her adventures, offering a mix of easy recipes, smart and witty commentary, and beautiful photos.” — Real Simple Magazine, March 2008.
- “Smitten Kitchen features mouthwatering photos and descriptions, as well as wry commentary about trying to cook in a tiny city apartment.” — Redbook Magazine, February 2008
- 2008 Weblogs Award (Bloggies) Best Photography of a Weblog finalist
- “If the site were a restaurant, I would want to eat there.” — Profile of Smitten Kitchen in the Boston Globe 11/7/07. Deb’s family’s recipe for Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake accompanied the article.
- “Anyone with a computer, a camera and a fascination with the world’s most fascinating subject can compete with top food blogs such as Smitten Kitchen and Chocolate & Zucchini.” — LA Times 10/31/07
- “What makes this site great is Perelman’s thoughtful, entertaining and well-written commentary on the recipes she presents as well as the glorious food photography that accompanies each blog entry.” — Philadelphia Style Magazine, November 2007 (PDF)
- “Her enthusiasm is catching.” — St. Petersburg Times, 10/10/07
- “…superstar Deb at her incredible, edible website…” — Interview at Eat Drink One Woman, 10/5/07
- “Smitten Kitchen is a very cute web site.” — Martha Stewart, The Martha Stewart Show 9/18/07
- “Who at home is going to soak salt cod for a day, mash it up with some other ingredients and deep-fry it–coating the kitchen with a mist of oil–for what is essentially a bar snack? Jeffrey Steingarten or Deb at SmittenKitchen.com might bother, but that’s their problem.” — Amanda Hesser, New York Times Magazine 9/16/07
- “Even if you hadn’t been planning to cook something, the desire will inevitably kick in after staring at her vibrant photographs that smack your face right into the belly of a dish.” — Profiled on Serious Eats 7/13/07
- “Spirited chat about life and eating–the writer, Deb, blogs with Seinfeld-like humor…” — Fitness Magazine, April 2007
- “Magnificent food photos, a mesmerizing cooking blog and recipes that make you want to lick your computer screen.” — The Sacramento Bee
- “Smitten Kitchen displays a penchant for sweets and a fearless attitude toward baking, along with a wide-ranging repertoire…” — Culinate
- 2006 Food Blog Award Winner — Humor Category
- 2007 Weblogs Award (Bloggies) — Best Food Blog Finalist
- Seen on My Yahoo, Pick of the Day, Parents Magazine, blog of the month (5/08), Bon Appetit’s Editor’s Blog, The Guardian Unlimited’s Word of Mouth Blog, Epi-Log, Slashfood, Yumsugar, CHOW’s Grinder Blog, and has been Feedster’s feed of the day.