Kim Kushner is a force to be reckoned with! She is smart, savvy, quick-witted, talented chef, 3-time kosher cookbook author, and most importantly, Kim is as real as they get (no bullshit to be exact). She is a gooood friend who actually listens, gives great advice (she also teases the hell out of me) is a devoted mom, wife, and daughter – so let’s just say I’m inspired by Kim all around. I first met Kim at a cooking demonstration way back when at the Safra Synagogue in Manhattan. She had me at the imitation crab meat (who knew?) and at the free kosher wine she served at her demo. Anyway…I’m not sure how our friendship evolved – but I’m glad it did and it has grown over the years. Kim leads a balanced life, takes pleasure in food and feeding others, and has been referenced as the Jewish Martha Stewart. She does everything with style, grace, and in such a natural way. I’m so excited to share my Q& A with Kim Kushner.
1. Which of your countless recipes are most often requested?
Kim Kushner: My one-pot dinners are my most requested!! But I’ve also become known for my biscotti- lots of people associate me with biscotti – it’s a staple in my home. I always have a jar filled to the brim with biscotti (I store the backup biscotti stash in my second oven, which I never use).
2. You have been featured on the Today Show and in multiple publications, ie the New York Times, Chicago Tribune. You have served on panels alongside celebrated chefs. What has been the highlight of your career?
KK: I would say the highlight of my career has been teaching 2 classes at the world-renowned De Gustibus Cooking School in Macy’s Herald Square in Manhattan- one of the most esteemed cooking schools in the world. All of the legendary chefs in the world (Julia Child, Daniel Boulud) have passed through this institution.
3. I’ve had the pleasure of dining at your home and I’m always amazed by your effortless entertaining style and your artistic presentation of food. Can you share your 5 top entertaining tips?
KK: 1. Plan ahead- be organized!
2. Keep it simple- don’t give yourself unrealistic expectations. Use recipes you’ve tried before or that are not too complicated.
3. Go seasonal- choose recipes that work with the season! This goes for cocktails as well.
4. Take your crowd into consideration. Plan a menu that works with the guests you are inviting. Will there be kids? Big eaters? Dieters? These facts matter.
5. Have fun while you’re preparing. It shouldn’t be a chore. Pop open a bottle and sip as you prep! Keeping it casual always allows for fun.
4. As a cookbook author and cookng instructor, you are always surrounded by food and you seem to enjoy partaking In your delicious creations. How do you maintain your figure given the addictive biscottis that you bake? Tell us your secret!
KK: Like with everything in my life, I believe all things should be in moderation. Everything I cook starts with fresh, seasonal ingredients. But I allow myself everything, and I really enjoy my food. In fact, my rule is – if I don’t love what I’m biting into, I won’t eat it. I don’t pig out- but I love eating good, real food. I’m actually enjoying a bagel, cream cheese and lox sandwich as I type these answers (have you ever tried one, Fortunee:)?? And so far, it hasn’t caught up to me…. yet.
5. What are your top 5 food-related travel destinations?
KK: In no particular order…
6. You are a mother, cookbook author, chef, the list goes on and on…How do you balance it all?
KK: I’m not sure I believe in balance. Everything comes with a price. I’m a wife and mom first. Then I’m a friend. I also happen to have written a few cookbooks and teach cooking classes on the side. I also run a white label consulting business, I don’t talk too much about it as my clients are extremely private. I am very selective about the work that I put out. And I am fortunate to have built a career without many of pressures that often come along with it.
7. What are your top sites for entertaining accents, kitchen gadgets, etc?
KK: I do almost all the shopping in my life online- except for when it comes to kitchen and homewares and entertaining. I like to see, to touch and to feel. Anywhere from markets, to department stores, to small boutiques.
Matches Fashion for homewares
There are Instagram accounts that I shop from
Demedemedeme, terrafirmaceramics, mariolucagiusti, rachaelpotsceramics, farmhousepottery,
8. What advice would you give to someone who can barely boil water but wants to create a simple meal?
KK: Call me- I’ll show you how it’s done. Or pick up one of my books- The recipes are tried-and-true, fool-proof and totally accessible.
9. Where do you see Kim Kushner Cuisine in the next 5 years?
KK: I love this question! I have so much in store for the next few years. Kim Kushner Cuisine is going to focus more on LIFESTYLE and EVENTS. As you know, the one thing that I love more than food, is a great party. And all my parties (which you’ve been to) always have the best food…. so you’ll just have to wait and see.