Hungry Onion Drooling Q&A with Joyce Goldstein (Jan 6, 2017, 3pm PT)

What is the source of your cooking inspiration? Who/ what first sparked your passion for cooking?

Can you offer some insights into the creative process in developing your recipes? How do you approach building a dish and developing it into a winner?

What prompted you to cook professionally, and what prompted you to start writing cookbooks?

The noise level. Too hard to have a conversation. Go once and never return.

Lack of diversity in clientele. Everyone is of the same age group or social strata
I prefer to see a crowd of mixed ages from young to old. Otherwise I fear I am in a trendy place but not necessarily a good one. When I see singles, families,older couples, younger groups,racial diversity I feel more comfortable. It implies a broader reach and that maybe they are dloing something right.


I want to give a very warm welcome to Joyce Goldstein, a pioneer of the California Cuisine through her Square One restaurant, and a prolific author of many cookbooks that won prestigious industry awards.

Welcome Ms Goldstein! And thanks for taking the time to do the Q&A with your readers tonight!


What are the top 3 mistakes you see home cooks making on a regular basis?

I have loved both aspects of this work. I love the energy and camraderie fo the restaurant . The wonderful feedback and interaction with the guests. The joy of cooking with your staff.

I love writing and expressing my passion for food. But writing is isolated work and it can get lonely. Especially if you have been in the restaurant world. But when writing is going well, it is a real high. Different kind of adrenaline. Each book is a different challenge. And you have to fall in love with it while you are writing
You have to be in love with your restaurant too.


They dont read the recipe carefully
They substite ingredients and then wonder why it didnt work out
They dont taste as they cook.


This is not a question, but I just want to say thank you for the wonderful meals over the years and the great cookbooks!

At the time restauraat reveiwers did not really know what was going on and kept calling us chefs to find out what was California cuisine, as if we knew.
Time was needed for an understanding of how and what was happening.Hindsight is brilliant
Reviewers reacted but did not affect California cuisine, except to give it a name. and offer enthusiasm


Happy to do it. Hope I do not make too many typos. I am self taught dislexic typer.

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Many things inspire my passion for cooking.
Tasting new ingredients.
Travel to other countries and tasting new dishes. Easting something delicious and trying to reproduce it from memory
But above all giving pleasure to others. That is the big payoff.


I am working on a book on preserving as we speak .It will be out in June 2018
Am looking for another topic. Any requests???i


Preservation’s role has become much smaller over the years despite the wonderful flavors and nutritional properties. So I am looking forward to your book!

I fell into restaurant cooking by accident. I had been a cooking teacher and went to Chez Panisse to fill kn for Steve Sullivan when he was going on vacation. I fell in love with the energy and challenge of the restaurant business but had not ever though of doing it.
As for books the first were asked for by a publisher who dined in Square One. There were fewer cookbooks in those day and restaurant books were largely unknown Bookstores did not know where to put them as they were a new category.


I was the “Mom” . I was not “commanding” but leading, teaching and inspiring.
We in the Bay Area had the most women chefs in the country. I did not feel odd or alone.


I love all three styles of cooking. I shop, get an ingredients and then decide on my mood what I am going to cook
One day it might be a Moroccan recipe, one day Italian,one day Persian.
I loved doing the research for this book and was impressed by the diversity of the tradtional recipes in each part of the world.


What has improved is the availability and diversity of our ingredients. Just go to the Farmers Market and see what we have to work with It is amazing and quite different from 1980
What has deteriorated is a true sense of service and hospitality .For most it is a business but hot a calling. It is less less personal .

Also too many copy cat restaurant. Someone opens an izakaya and the next week there are four more.


You must have a very well stocked pantry! I always have to go out and get more ingredients when I switch cuisines…

Changing the entire menu every day was insanity. So much work! I would never do it today but I had such an intellignet and taleeted staff so it was possible. And very challenging.
I did a weekly menu plan outline so we could line up ingredients .
After we cooked a new dish I transcribed it and put it in our recipe books. We kept a reccord of our work so we could repeat dishes. I worked with the staff and we all tasted together
In my garage I have looseleaf binders filled with all of the SquareOne menus frolm day one to the last days. And in my office I have all the Square One recipe books as well.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold