Cook Spotlight

AntoniaJames

December 14, 2009 • 25 Comments

AntoniaJames

One of the finalists in our recent Thanksgiving Photo Challenge, AntoniaJames is a relative newcomer to food52, but she has already made an impression. A lawyer from California, she bakes her own bread and is an avid canner. Recipes like "Ten Ways" Fennel in Champagne Vinegar with Fines Herbes and Roasted Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup reflect her penchant for making the most of local, seasonal ingredients. See AntoniaJames' profile and fan her here.

  • Here is her profile Q&A:
  • What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
    Ox tongue . . . not bad, really, to eat when prepared artfully, but when raw, it's a bit startling to those of us who don't slaughter and butcher our own meat
  • What do you cook when home alone?
    Well, this isn't exactly cooking, but I really like sardines or herring (packed in mustard sauce), or if we don't have that, my homemade pluot or nectarine jam with thin layer of crunchy unsalted peanut butter, over rice cakes, steamed cruciferous veggies or roasted carrots with whatever vinaigrette is in my pantry, and fruit with cheese
  • Your most treasured kitchen possession:
    The Meyer lemon tree 10 steps from my kitchen . . . it's about as tall as I am (all told), it's in a gorgeous pot, and it's bearing beautifully now. I feel like a de' Medici.
  • Your ideal meal:
    Well, this varies from day to day . . . today, it would be anything prepared by either or both of my sons, served with a generous side of laughter.
  • Something you'd like a chance to eat or cook:
    Pork from a family-farmed hog that's been on a spit all day
  • The number of bottles of wine you own:
    6-8
  • The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:
    It depends on what game or other activity is planned for after dinner. Sometimes the number is 4, sometimes it's 6, sometimes it's 8. More than that and any games would most likely be outside, so that could be up to 20 or 24. It's all about the games.
  • Kitchen pet peeve:
    None (Life is too short . . . . .)
  • Your favorite cookbook:
    For what? For recipes and inspiration, this site. For perspective and a good read, Laurie Colwin's "Home Cooking" and "More Home Cooking." I'm enjoying Bill Neal's "Biscuits, Spoonbread, and Sweet Potato Pie" now; I like the lore as much as the recipes. For a comprehensive collection of classic recipes, "The Gourmet Cookbook." (If I could have but one cookbook, this set would be it.)

 

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Comments (25)

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over 4 years ago coffeefoodwritergirl

Hi Antonia James! How did the potluck go? Are you organizing another one? I'd love to hear more -- and you have a wonderful profile with beautiful recipes. I have really enjoyed them all.

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over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Hey, what's this we hear about a potluck? We want to come!

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You're invited, of course! I'm organizing a potluck for the Bay Area Food52 people. It will be epic. If you or any of the Food52 staff, or in fact any Food52 members who don't live near San Francisco, are going to be in the area in late January (though we'll push it over into February if you actually have plans!!), please let us know. We'll work our schedule around yours. My Meyer lemon tree will be covered with ripe fruit then, by the way, so I'm sure that whatever I contribute to this event will feature some . . . . Anyone interested in the potluck should send me a message via my profile. As I said, it promises to be epic . . . .probably the best potluck any of us will ever have attended. ;o)

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh yes, and you editors should be able to deduct the expense of coming out here, right? (This is not legal advice, yada yada yada disclaimer . . . . . but I must say that I do envy a bit those of you who actually have revenue related to your food activities, because arguably you can deduct all of the toys -- uh, I mean, anything you can use in the kitchen, including fun, exotic ingredients -- and books, etc. related to your cooking and/or writing activities . . . . . not that I don't adore my day job!)

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Last night we learned about this cool new service, Hot Potato (hotpotato.com), which could provide a way for others to join the fun from afar. Check it out and let us know what you think.

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Very interesting. Can't for the life of me figure out what the business model there is . . . must be one of those "revenue TBD" businesses ;o) Thanks so much for the tip, though. I definitely will check it out.

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over 4 years ago dancing kitchen

What a beautiful cook to spotlight. The recipes made me smack my lips and the narratives delighted and tickled me. Bravo!

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you! I'm delighted that you like my recipes (including the commentary). There will be more . . . . ;o)

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over 4 years ago TasteFood

Congratulations and nice to see you here! And I look forward to joining you for the potluck!

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you. I look forward to seeing you then, too.

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

WinnieAb thank you! You are so kind. I'm glad you love my recipes. I like yours, too, without exception! You have seen just the tip of the iceberg. I've been compiling my own recipes (transcribed from handwritten, going back to my high-schoolyears), and my mother's and other family members', since I got my first laptop Mac in the early 90s. I traveled a lot for work, and had a fair amount of "down time," so I transcribed any and every recipe that I liked. I also did it while commuting (public transport, not while driving ;o) !), now that I think about it. Anything that I didn't type in myself I scanned to PDF. Stay tuned . . . .

Winnie100

over 4 years ago WinnieAb

Yay Antonia James! I love your recipes and it is great to see you here!

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over 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Well-deserved praise for a wonderful home cook - congrats!

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

That's quite a compliment coming from you. As I said before, I'm honored. Truly honored. Amazed, and honored. ;o)

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over 4 years ago dymnyno

Congratulations! Antonia. I have followed your recipes for a while now...I'm a fan!

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you. I'm honored and look forward to meeting you before too long . . . at the potluck, I hope, which will be a potluck for the ages, to be sure!!

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over 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Antonia, I've been a fan for a long time, as you know. And not at all surprised to see how many more you are gathering. xo

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You are so kind! Thank you. And thanks for your fabulous recipes, too! You are such an inspiration.

Me

over 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Congrats Antonia! I made your Fennel in Champagne Vinegar over the weekend and plan to take some to a dinner later this week as a hostess gift. It's wonderful! And I'm definitely interested in your pot-luck in mid January.

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Glad you love it! Make sure you give the recipient of that jar of Fennel the list of ideas (ten ways that they can use it). Fennel is one of those things that a lot of people just aren't that familiar with, so those ideas are meant to help people appreciate the versatility of what they have just received. I can send it to you in text if you send me a message via my profile (the "send me a message" link). Thanks!

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over 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

Great profile Antonia, and thanks for the tip on the brown sugar. I am always nervous about the apple idea since I live in NYC and scared of attracting unsavory critters into my cabinets (they can detect anything!), but I'll give it a try. How fun for you to have a potluck, if/when I'm out in the bay area again we'll have to do another one. Also, I adore Laurie Colwin, she is one of my ultimate favorites.

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I wept, uncontrollably, when Laurie Colwin died. She was only a few years older than me at the time, and she also had a child (Mine were young then, too). I felt, having read her books, that I knew her as a friend. Her books have a special place on my book shelf. About the apple in the brown sugar . . . . don't worry. Apple won't attract anything that the sugar isn't already attracting. Just make sure that the sugar is in an airtight canister or bag. If you have a box of sugar, just slip it into a ziplog bag and squeeze all the air out of it. That should help with the brick problem, too. ;o)

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I am so honored . . . . speechless, really. Any Food52 people in the San Francisco Bay Area who would like to join a potluck that I'm organizing to get together Food52 members, sometime mid- to late-January, please contact me privately. Many thanks. ;o)

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over 4 years ago dymnyno

Sounds like a wonderful idea...how do we communicate privately? (I live in Calistoga...CONSTANT-Diamond Mountain Vineyard)

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You can send a note to me via my profile, clicking on the link, "Send me a message," and I'll respond (sort of) privately. ;o) Thanks so much.