Marlena Spieler

Marlena Spieler

Food writer and broadcaster

https://marlenaspieler.com
Marlena Spieler was born and grew up in California, culinarily multicultural even then. She delighted in Mexican food, Chinese food, Italian food, Japanese food, Portuguese food, as well as her grandmothers Russian-Jewish fare and the fresh fruits and vegetables of her grandfather's organic garden. As an art student she spent a year in Israel and another year travelling around Europe and living in Greece; the result was her first book, Naturally Good, hand written and self-illustrated. Way ahead of its time. Giving up art for cooking, book after book followed: Hot & Spicy was the first book dedicated to chile dishes from all over the world; From Pantry to Table explained our new ingredients and was nominated for a James Beard. Her book about Paris is still beautiful, and still delicious:a fabulous topic to write about and cook from. Her Jewish Heritage Cookbook won a Gourmand Cookbook Award, not just as the year it was published, but also as one of the best all time books of the last twenty years of Gourmand Awards. Olive oil, Pasta, California Vegetarian Food, 30 minute Italian, Grilled Cheese, Macaroni and Cheese, Yummy Potatoes, Vegetarian Bistro, Mediterranean Food. A freelance food writer she regularily contributed to Bon Appetit, San Francisco Chronicle, and New York Times. Based in the UK she has contributed to most publications at one time or another, as well as a former regular on BBC Radio 4 (food topics). For over ten years Marlena wrote a travel and food column for The San Francisco Chronicle, The Roving Feast. It too was nominated for a James Beard Award as well as winning numerous Association of Food Journalists awards. She lives in Hampshire, UK, with her husband, fabulous kitty Madeleine, and two Jack Russells: Jake and Lambchop. As always, she travels as often and as far, as she can.

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Marlena's collections

Marlena Spieler’s favorites from The Complete Guide to Traditional Jewish Cooking

Marlena’s favorites offering a taster of the 400+ recipes contained in her monumental work, The Complete Guide to Traditional Jewish Cooking. See ckbk's Q&A with Marlena for more.

Marlena Spieler

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Features & Stories

Author Profile: Marlena Spieler – The Complete Guide to Traditional Jewish Cooking

Author Profile: Marlena Spieler – The Complete Guide to Traditional Jewish Cooking

In the monumental tome, The Complete Guide to Traditional Jewish Cooking (2006), food writer Marlena turns historian and storyteller to explore “a cuisine that is as diverse as it is delicious.” We spoke to Marlena about Jewish traditions that matter most to her personally and how she has had to start from scratch again in her understanding of flavor.

Marlena's favorite cookbooks

Mexican Cook Book (Devoted to American Homes)

Mexican Cook Book (Devoted to American Homes)

My copy of this book is a treasure, the pages are falling out, but the stories and the dishes and the life of the kitchen explode from its pages. I want to make and taste everything!

Chinese Village Cookbook

Chinese Village Cookbook

Rhoda Yee

Yee also wrote Dim Sum, and was a tutor/teacher at the San Francisco Culinary Academy. There have been other, fancier, more elaborate Chinese cookbooks since Rhoda's which appeared some time in the late 1970s, but hers is her food culture, given from her heart. Another treasure.

Available on ckbk now
Foods of the World (series)

Foods of the World (series)

Time-Life Books

Especially the volume A Quintet of Cuisines: Romania, Bulgaria, Tunisia, Switzerland.... hmmmm i think i'm missing one. I think Polish. Photos of not only the food but the life behind the food, most of the volumes are wonderful.