When I’m speaking with Naomi Nachman, I can almost hear her enthusiasm jumping out over the phone lines! That same zest and passion — for cooking and food, for family and friends, for life! – jumps off every magnificent page of her new cookbook, Perfect Flavors: Creative, easy-to-prepare recipes inspired by my family and travels.
Recipe developer and cookbook author, cooking coach and caterer, Naomi is one busy lady. I caught up with her to discuss her travels, her recipes, and her new cookbook:
AS: So exciting – a brand new cookbook, Perfect Flavors! What are your thousands of eager fans going to find when they flip through those gorgeous pages?
NN: Exciting global recipes — but also tons of quick and easy practical family recipes. There are special recipes for Shabbos and chagim, and also weeknight dinners.
AS: Alaska, Vietnam, India: You’ve traveled all around the world. How have those travels influenced your cooking?
NN: Seeing what and how other cultures eat fascinates me. Going to local farmers markets, seeing seasonal veggies from across the globe and the US has influenced my flavor profiles.
AS: These recipes are inspired “by my family and my travels.” So where does the family come in?
NN: My family often travels with me and we love to go out to eat and they give me their input as feedback. There are reliable kosher restaurants in the most amazing places, and we love to try them out!
AS: How do you start developing a recipe? Where do you get ideas and how do you transform them into doable, successful recipes?
NN: When I travel to different places, I start by going to local food markets, and I also check out their street food. I spend time observing how local foods are made and what ingredients are used. I’ll often chat with the chefs. I then go home and research. Then I take the ideas to my kitchen with pen and paper and develop it into something kosher, delicious, and doable!
AS: Let’s give out some awards to some of the 130 recipes in Perfect Flavors. Most Elegant? Most Yummy? Easiest to Prep? And – Naomi’s Personal Favorite?
Most Elegant: Hoisin Duck with Mango and Rice Noodles
Easiest to Prep: Sweet Chili Salmon
Most Yummy and My Favorite: Everything! It’s my book!!