We caught up with chef extraordinaire Stephanie Izard who’s been working her magic in the kitchen, and now she’s working her mojo on a cookbook. The Top Chef season four winner is touring the country to promote her new cookbook Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats and Drinks. And, as if working at the wildly successful Girl & the Goat in Chicago and writing a cookbook isn’t enough, she’s opening a new restaurant, Little Goat, that’s slated to open in the coming year.
You’re pretty busy these days working at G&TG, touring for the cookbook, and the new restaurant. Plus, interviews! How do you balance all of it?
I’m still trying to find the answer to that myself.
When you do have time, what do you like to do for fun?
I seriously love going out to eat. To me, it is more than eating, it is like going to the theater, except you can drink and talk with your friends. I even find myself going to sit-down establishments at the airport during this jet-setting time just to enjoy "dining out.” When i find more than a night free, i love scuba diving, though I have not been able to squeeze that in much lately. Some day soon…
How is Little Goat different from Girl & the Goat?
Little goat is much more casual of cuisine and more central around comfort foods that we have all had without random twists. Just well-executed fresh ingredients that make you feel at home.
Tell us about your cookbook.
The book is full of over 100 recipes that were all tested in my home kitchen. All of the foods can be found at Whole Foods or your local grocer, and no special equipment is needed. It is truly for the home cook. With fun stories, if you just want to pick up the book and do some light reading and see a picture of a cow sniffing my butt.
What’s one important tip you can share on how to shop like a “Top Chef “for a novice cook like me?
Only buy ingredients that look fresh. Hit local markets if ever possible,. And if something is not available, it’s okay! You can think about what that ingredient brought to the dish and see if there is something that will work in its place.
What is something our viewers and readers would be surprised to know about you?
I can't live without ranch dressing.
What is one dessert that you’ve had that stands out?
Once I judged an apple pie contest. I always thought I hated pie, but the differences among the crusts and filling and every detail that goes into a great pie really made me appreciate the classic.
What’s the best thing you’ve had between two buns?
Ever since our 1000 mini burgers were improperly stored and we found them spoiled a half hour before a burger bash at South Beach a couple years ago, I am slowly moving back towards food on buns. I will get back at it in time for the Little Goat to have a great goat burger, I hope.
Check out the new cookbook Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats and Drinks.