Kate McDonough, Editor
Most of my career has been in corporate communications but my spare time was always spent in the kitchen. I'd cook not just to make dinner but also to decompress from being around alpha males and females all day. As my career progressed, so did my serious interest in cooking. I began to take classes, subscribed to Cook's Illustrated, spent Sunday afternoons watching Lidia on Channel 13, and loitered in Barnes & Noble's cookbook aisles. I finally crossed some kind of line when for a milestone birthday I gave myself a work sabbatical and spent three blissful and grueling months in The International Culinary Center's kitchens.
I've been incredibly lucky to have also studied with the great Marcella Hazan, butcher and teacher Jack Ubaldi in New York, and Faith Willinger in Florence. And before launching The City Cook I put my pen on the cutting board by studying food writing with Alan Richman, a James Beard Foundation award-winning writer and restaurant critic.
As I became a better cook I also became a really good grocery shopper. I made friends with produce managers, butchers, and fish mongers who taught me how buying ingredients is as important as what we do with them. Trolling markets across New York, I found amazing sources for ingredients that come from our local farmers as well as producers around the world. I learned when an ingredient was precious, a good value, or just perfectly in season. As some NYC women can find the only Prada dress in an over-stuffed Century 21 (okay, I can do that, too) I can select the perfect red onion, know what to do with ramps, recognize perfectly fresh fish, could cover for most cheese mongers, and can track down verjus and bottarga.
But it remains that I am an amateur with an over-committed urban life and a very small kitchen. Knowing I'm not alone, I've put my knowledge, database, and advocacy for home cooking together to create The City Cook -- a resource for New Yorkers (or those who shop here) who want to know where to get the best ingredients and how to have the most fun and success cooking at home.