Lorna Yee, Seattle magazine's Key Ingredient columnist is currently working on her first cookbook with Seattle Bride editor Ali Basye (to be published in Spring 2010 by Sasquatch Books). We prodded Lorna with a few questions about her new book and she happily responded.
What was the inspiration for your new book?
I had the good fortune of having Ali Basye (editor of Seattle Bride) and Sasquatch Books approach me with this incredible opportunity to write a newlywed cookbook. Sasquatch thought Ali and I would be the perfect pair to collaborate on this project, with she being the consummate wedding maven, and I being a newlywed who likes to cook.
Can you explain the concept?
The cookbook is divided into different categories, some of those being: “Carry Me Over the Threshold: Starters and Snacks”, “For Richer, for Poorer: Budget-Friendly Soups and Sandwiches”, and “Happily Ever After: Desserts and Sweets”. Each section is followed by a full menu that relates to some of the milestones a newlywed couple encounters during their first year of marriage (e.g. Dinner with the in-laws).
The recipes become progressively more advanced as the couple cooks their way through the book. We are also including a collection of foodie love stories—Ali is interviewing chefs and food savants around the nation about their experiences as newlyweds, and the role that food has played in their relationships. So look for a bit of romance interspersed amongst the pages as well!
You’re the chef at Cache, you write our Key Ingredient column and you’re an established home cook. Has cooking as a newlywed really been a challenge?
Cooking itself is not difficult, but I think most newlyweds will agree that sharing a kitchen can indeed be challenging. It’s taken some time for my husband and I to learn how to work together in the kitchen without killing one another, because we’re both very opinionated when it comes to food and cooking. But I keep joking to my husband that he’ll have to land his own cookbook deal—I’m doing everything my way this time around!
How did you discover your love for cooking?
My mother is an absolutely wonderful cook and baker, but she had three kids and a full-time job to contend with, so she started baking less frequently as the years went by. I decided, when I was around 10 years old, that if I wanted a steady supply of cookies and cakes in the kitchen, I would have to learn to make them myself. At the time, my goal was to make at least one different recipe out of the Five Roses cookbook each week. It wasn’t long until I had done every sweet in the book, and had to branch out into cooking.
Any stand out recipes so far?
I actually had a really hard time choosing only eighty recipes for the cookbook, so I had to make sure that each recipe is absolutely delicious, and something I would enjoy making again and again. I adore the bourbon-brown sugar glazed ribs with sweet and smoky BBQ sauce, the chicken pot pie with a cheddar dill crust, the blueberry streusel muffins, the carrot cake with whiskey praline filling and orange cream cheese frosting, and of course, my hubby’s famous hot wings. I definitely love meat and sweets!
You’ve been blogging/Tweeting about the cookbook writing process. What's been the response from readers so far? Have they been helpful in helping you to guide direction