Allison Malec is a Marketing Manager at Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, and is an editor at The Recipe Club. She lives in New York City, and loves to cook, bake and eat. She loves anything sweet, especially Momofuku Milk Bar’s Compost Cookies, Ben and Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Crunch Ice Cream, and Vanilla Mr. Softee cones with rainbow sprinkles.
Epicurious is definitely our favorite recipe database. Epicurious is always one of my first stops when I’m trying to figure out what to cook for dinner, bake for dessert, or pack for lunch the next day. They’ve taken their best recipes from the site and (much to our delight) created The Epicurious Cookbook. Tanya Steel, the Editor-in-Chief of Epicurious, answered a few of our pressing questions about why she wrote the cookbook, how the recipes were chosen, and more!
TRC: We are devout Epicurious fans over here at The Recipe Club. What made you decide to write a cookbook?
TS: Having been through the process of writing my own cookbook in 2008, I wasn’t in any hurry to do another (Reader: insert smiley emoticon here) but then we kept getting requests from our passionate community of home cooks all over the world to do a cookbook. Despite being the most iconic digital food brand, some of our members are avid cookbook collectors. That’s one of the reasons why we feature cookbooks on our site on a daily basis. Some wanted it because they wanted to have a curated focused collection of the most popular recipes on our site. Others love to cook from a book propped up on the kitchen counter despite the fact that they also cook from our app on the tablet. So, when Clarkson Potter came along to ask if we would be interested, we knew the time was right and they were the right partner.
TRC: There are so many fantastic recipes on the site. How did you ever choose what would be included in the book?
TS: We have over 200,000 recipes on Epicurious, and each of us editors have hundreds of recipes in our own personal recipe boxes (mine is up to 580), so it was sooo hard to choose the recipes for the book. We first looked only at the top rated recipes. We then looked at breaking those down seasonally, then by meal course. Then we looked at hundreds of member recipes and did the same with those. It was exhaustive—and exhausting—and I will admit I drove my brilliant and hard working staff a bit crazy. In the end, I think what we netted out with truly comprises the perfect set of recipes. I really think I will be using this cookbook decades from now, gray hair and all…
TRC: Even if it’s hard, you must choose: what is your favorite recipe in the cookbook?
TS: OMG. That’s like asking me which of my twins is my favorite. The answer is, depends on the day. Right now I would say the Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake. I am a real sugar addict, and this cake always makes me very, very happy.
Recipes From the Epicurious Cookbook by Tanya Steel and the Editors of Epicurious