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Chic Spotlight: Culinista Author, Jill Donenfeld

Chic Spotlight: Culinista Author, Jill Donenfeld
This Cincinnati native just released
Party Like A Culinista, a fun-to-read, easy-to-follow guide to throwing delicious parties easily and without stressing out!

 

112111SPOTLIGHT.jpgCincy Chic: In your terms, what is a "culinista"?
Jill Donenfeld:
A Culinista is someone who brings people together through food. Whether it facilitates time spent with family, friends or your co-workers, a delicious spread always makes things more intimate and connected.

 

Cincy Chic: What inspired you to write the book?
Donenfeld:
I am inspired to cultivate curiosity and togetherness. Opening people up to easier, healthier recipes that are sure crowd-pleasers is one way to sow those seeds.

 

Cincy Chic: For what type of person is this cookbook a good fit?
Donenfeld:
From the seasoned chef to the first-timer, this book has recipes at everyone's level. Easier recipes are in the Last Minute chapter, and more complex recipes show up in the Party of Two chapter. I suggest people try everything in the book, though. And have a glass of wine while you cook!

 

Cincy Chic: What's your favorite recipe in the book?
Donenfeld:
That is an impossible question to answer! But I do love the Mushroom and Sage Orzo (on page 173), the Sweet Pea Guacamole (page 100) and the Miso-Caper Glazed Salmon (page 87). And I love the Apricot Shortcakes (page 167). Avocado Toast (page 70) is what I make for myself almost everyday. Oh, the Green Goddess Purple Potatoes are excellent as well (page 144)!

 

Cincy Chic: You're a Cincinnati native. Whereabouts in the Queen City did you live and where are you now?
Donenfeld:
I grew up in Hyde Park, and now I split time between New York and LA. I grew up going to (and working at!) Coffee Emporium, and there is actually a drink there that I invented, called the Orange Jillius, clearly a take on the Orange Julius!

 

Cincy Chic: Tell me about your career before you got into writing the cookbook.
Donenfeld:
In 2006, I founded a weekly home chef agency, called The Culinistas. I started it in NYC and have since expanded to LA and Chicago. I have worked many different angles of the culinary industry, from writing restaurant reviews to being a waitress!

 

Cincy Chic: What's next on the horizon for you?
Donenfeld:
My primary focus right now is really getting the word out about this cookbook. But I am also working on building an offshoot of The Culinistas that is more deeply rooted in the tech space. It's a pretty cool concept that will reshape how people interact with culinary service providers and will surely help people get food on the table, whether for a party, a weeknight dinner or a catered office lunch.

 

Cincy Chic: What do you love most about Cincinnati?
Donenfeld:
In terms of food, it's a tie between a Servatii's soft pretzel and chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate sprinkles from Graeter's. I also love Hyde Park Square and the Labor Day fireworks. I love Shine Yoga, and I love, love, love my school, Seven Hills.

Amy Scalia -

 

Amy Scalia, a Cincinnati native, is the editor in chief and publisher of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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