Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, founders of Canal House

January 22, 2013

We're sitting down with our favorite writers and cooks to talk about their upcoming cookbooks, their best food memories, and just about anything else.

Today: We catch up with the lovely ladies of Canal House Cooking. 


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Let us count the ways we love Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton -- for their genius cranberry sauce, for their cookbooks (and their new one, too), for their inspiring lunches that grace our inboxes each afternoon. Mostly, we just want to show up at Canal House for a visit. We'd open a bottle of wine (or perhaps make some milk punch), and cook the day away. 

Today is no trip to Canal House, but it's close: we caught up with Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton about favorite recipes, least favorite kitchen tasks, and cooking resolutions.

1. If you could cook one thing from Canal House Cooks Every Day -- for the rest of time -- what would it be? Do you have a go-to from the new book?
All of our recipes are our "go-to" recipes. As for our favorites, it depends on the season -- what we are truly hungry for right now is our smoked pork chops and sauerkraut cooked in gin.

2. You've said: "People just feel pushed out of the kitchen by things that don't look real." How has your photography and styling evolved to invite people back in?
Beautiful imagery is natural and emotional. That's the hook. Every compelling photograph has something familiar that resonates, and something off that surprises. We hope to make that happen.

3. We're crazy enough to poll our staff on such things, so we want to get you in on the discussion: what is your least favorite kitchen task? Your favorite?
Least favorites are unloading the dishwasher and taking out the garbage. Favorites are hand-washing dishes and cooking!

4. How is your current cooking and testing process different from the one in your former magazine life?
We set up a very rigorous testing process at Saveur and even though we don't quite have the staff here at Canal House, we maintain the same standards. Everything is at the very least triple tested. Recipes are tricky things -- you could keep improving them forever.

5. Do you have any cooking resolutions for the new year ahead? 
Keep it simple, keep it delicious, keep it real, and cook something every day.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Kenzi Wilbur

Written by: Kenzi Wilbur

I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.

1 Comment

Kitchen B. January 23, 2013
Resonates with me - the least favourite kitchen tasks!!!