Fearless cooking from a tiny kitchen in New York City.
Tell Me More
The Smitten Kitchen in its current physical incarnation is not the worst kitchen we have ever had, a kind of half-galley with a wobbly, peeling cart used as a cooking surface. What it lacks in cabinets, a dishwasher that doesn’t leak and refrigerator that doesn’t freeze everything in the back, it makes up for in streams of light from the door on the side that goes to [drumroll] a terrace, where I attempt — with varying degrees of success — to grow tomatoes, herbs and whatever other mystery seeds my son finds at the playground and sticks in the soil.
[SK I: pre-2009 was a whopping 80 square feet with a skylight on top. SK II: 2009 to 2014 was dark-speckled and tiny but we were too excited to finally have a dishwasher, elevator and almost enough room for a tiny human to notice.]
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.
- The front page always has the newest, latest recipe on top.
- The Recipes page has all the recipes sorted every which way. Want to make a salad but not the boring kind? Here are 116 ways. New sister-in-law is gluten-free? We’re on it. Don’t believe Deb actually created a category called “Put An Egg On It?” Deb would never joke about eggs.
- Overwhelmed with CSA vegetables? The In Season tab will help you get your produce population under control.
- Surprise Me! (at the top of every page) is the most fun way to get around; just keep clicking it and I promise that sooner or later you’ll find the thing you want to eat the most.
Still have a burning question? I bet I’ve already got an answer for you on the g’normous FAQ page.
The Writer, Cook, Photographer and Occasional Dishwasher
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, french fries, things that taste like burnt sugar and baked goods with funny names. She lives in the East Village with her husband Alex (likes: salt, shellfish, things wrapped, stuffed or balanced on bacon, steak frites, milk chocolate, Bloody Marys, pretty much anything pickled, and Deb, although she is usually not), son Jacob (likes: chocolate, bananas, spaghetti, pizza, hamburgers and can you tell he is 6?) and daughter Anna (likes: blueberries, strawberries, peaches, apples, edamame, sweet potatoes, cheerios and will reliably fling any other food from her high chair; can you tell she is 1?).
- 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. Didn’t cut it? The contact form takes you right to Deb as does firstname.lastname@example.org. Deb reads all of her own mail (hooray). Sadly, this means response times are painfully slow (boo).
- 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.
- Ad inquiries or concerns: Hashtag Labs (email@example.com)
- PR, media inquiries (and to be completely honest anything you need a fast turnaround on): Sara Eagle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Cookbook publicity: Sara Eagle at Knopf (email@example.com) for everything on the U.S. side. Trish Bunnett (firstname.lastname@example.org) for everything in Canada. Fiona Murphy at Square Peg (email@example.com) for the UK and Australia.
- Literary projects: Alison Fargis (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Stonesong.
- Speaking engagements: Kate Berner (email@example.com) at Random House Speakers Bureau.
- Products, giveaways, freebies, promotions, partnerships: Nobody. Smitten Kitchen is a sponsored endorsement-free zone.
- Snail Mail: Please don’t send any products. I’m still recovering from the time I stuck my hand into a bag of liquefied avocados.
Deb Perelman c/o Smitten Kitchen, LLC
P.O. Box #620
New York, NY 10003
- 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.
Press, Awards and Tasteless Braggery
- “Its success depends on her friendly, relatable and often self-deprecating style” — The New York Times, Like A Boss, Deb Perelman’s Work Diary, 7/26/19
- “Not only does it remain: it thrives; it grows. Simultaneously, it retains both editorial independence and Deb’s unmistakable funny earnestness. Her mission is the same as it’s been for many years: to make recipes as good as they possibly can be.” — The New Yorker, An Unabashed Appreciation of Smitten Kitchen, the Ur-Food Blog, 11/20/17
- “For 11 years, Internet users looking for delicious, fuss-free recipes with a side of stunning food photography have been flocking to Smitten Kitchen.” — People Magazine feature, 10/26/17
- “Her appetite is palpable through the lens.” — The New York Times profiled Deb Perelman, 12/12/12.
- “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
- Google featured Smitten Kitchen — and Deb’s birthday cake! — in a commercial for a feature of their Chrome browser, June, 2011.
- “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
- “… 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
- 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
- An adaptation of Smitten Kitchen’s Chocolate Stout Cake was featured in Elle Magazine, February 2009.
- 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]