Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Jun 29th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Home Is Where The Kitchen Is

ae MyBerlinKitchenSFood blogger Luisa Weiss talks love and recipes in her debut book, ‘My Berlin Kitchen’

If it’s true that we are what we eat, then Luisa Weiss is probably somewhere between New England clam chowder and kohlrouladen, a German cabbage roll.

Having spent her childhood traveling back and forth between her father’s home in Boston, Mass. and her mother’s in Berlin, Germany, the celebrated food blogger always felt somewhat divided. That is, until she found solace in cooking. As she notes in her long-anticipated memoir, “My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes),” “distance means nothing when your kitchen smells like home.”  

Officially released this month, the book allows Weiss’ loyal fans—her blog, entitled “The Wednesday Chef,” has an average of 90,000 readers per month—to connect with the author on an even deeper level, as she shares the intimate details of her cross-continental upbringing, her marriage, her decision to ultimately leave New York and move to Berlin, and more.

Local followers will have the additional opportunity to meet Weiss in person when she, her husband, and her newborn baby, Hugo, make a stop at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Thursday, Sept. 27, where she will read from her book, answer questions, and sign copies. (And, yes, there will be tasty samples.)

“I know my readers … even though I obviously don’t,” Weiss says with a laugh, “but I feel like we’ve been having this conversation over the past seven years, and its just so exciting to me that I’m going to get to see their faces.”

Weiss’ culinary journey can be traced all the way back to her high school days, when she would meticulously cut out and collect recipes from the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Over time, the habit and her constant globetrotting would evolve into a love of cooking. And in 2005, her ever-growing stack of recipes and desire to experiment with food, gave birth to “The Wednesday Chef.”

“Food sections are traditionally published in newspapers on Wednesdays and because I wanted to structure my blog around the recipes from the newspapers that I tested, I decided to call it The Wednesday Chef,” explains Weiss. “It ae LuisaWeissLuisa Weisswas a goofy sort of name at first, but it just stuck.”

Seven years later, the blog has grown to encompass some of the most personal aspects of Weiss’ life, with less emphasis on that original pile of clippings.

“When I started blogging, it was really straightforward, I just blogged about what I cooked for dinner and that was it,” Weiss recalls. “It was gradual, I couldn’t help but put bits and pieces of my life into the blog. I would see my readers react so strongly in a positive way that I realized that I felt comfortable sharing and they felt comfortable reading.”

ae MyBerlinKitchenEver since she made the commitment to open up to her readers, she has built a strong rapport with them. And her intimate writing style and relatable personality have kept fans coming back for more.

“I feel like my readers are really lovely people,” says Weiss. “I never really thought about a huge anonymous mass reading the book, but rather, all these individuals.”

For that reason, after years of divulging bits and pieces of her life to her fans, Weiss decided that she owed it to them to tell the whole story. And so, the idea for “My Berlin Kitchen” was conceived.

On Oct. 24, 2009, Weiss announced on her blog, “I'm moving back to Berlin and I'm writing a book, about Berlin, about my life, about cooking and home and family and love, about being divided and finding a way back to being whole again, about a city and its recipes, and a girl who's learning how to find her way.”

Just as food is tied to memories of people and places for Weiss, a carefully selected recipe follows each chapter of her book. Readers will delight in the helpful and encouraging commentary that accompanies each exclusive recipe not found on her blog, including Weiss’ favorites, Ragù alla Bolognese (Beef Ragù), Tomato Bread Soup, and Pflaumenkuchen (Yeasted Plum Cake).

A home cook herself, it’s no surprise that Weiss’ blog and memoir are dedicated to longtime and budding home cooks, but also to those who need a push to pursue their dreams.

“Following your heart is always more important than following a job or a relationship with someone that on paper is right, but in your gut isn’t,” she says, “[It’s about] not being afraid of changing course, even when you think it’s too late, because it’s never too late.” 

Luisa Weiss will read from “My Berlin Kitchen,” answer questions, and sign copies at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27 at Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. For more info, call 423-0900.

Author photo credit Max Beuchel

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

I Was a Teenage Deadhead

Memories of life on tour, plus the truth about that legendary Santa Cruz Acid Test

 

I Build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell

Wednesday, June 24, Chiron turns stationary retrograde (we turn inward) at 21.33 degrees Pisces. We usually speak of “retrograde” when referring to Mercury. But all planets retrograde. Next month in July, Venus retrogrades. What is Chiron retrograde? Chiron represents the wound within all of us. Wounds have purpose. They sensitize us; make us aware of pain and suffering. Through our wounds we develop compassion. Through compassion we become whole (holy) again. Chiron helps develop these states of consciousness. Everyone carries a wound. Everyone carries family wounds (family astrology tracks the astrological “DNA” through generations). Chiron wounds are deep within. We’re often not aware of them until Chiron retrogrades. Then the wounds (through pain, hurt, sadness, suffering) become apparent. They seem to break us open emotionally, psychologically. Painful events from the past are remembered. They are brought to the present for healing. Through experiencing, talking about and deeply feeling what is hurting us, healing takes place. We begin to understand and bring healing to others. All week, Jupiter and Venus move closer together in the sky. They meet in Leo at the full moon, Cancer solar festival, on Wednesday, July 1. The Cancer keynote is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” The soul’s light has finally penetrated the “womb” of matter. The New Group of World Servers is to radiate this light. At the end of each sign are keywords to use and remember during the Chiron retrograde.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Kickin' Chicken

Local kitchen alchemist Justin Williams is fast becoming a cult flavor master. His late-night wizardry, which began last fall delivering mainly to starving UCSC students, is catching on with taste buds beyond campus. Kickin’ Chicken delivers its spicy-sweet fried chicken and waffles to Westside residents between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. nightly. Or you can catch him and his brother and sister, Candice and Danny Mendoza, serving it up at their “Sunday Mass” at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Using sous vide, a French method of cooking chicken in a water bath at a tightly controlled temperature, they then flash fry it for an amazingly crispy coat. Candice Mendoza spoke to GT about Kickin’ Chicken’s rise.

 

What’s a creative new approach to addressing summer beach litter?

Robotic dogs, with duct tape on their paws, that walk around picking up litter wherever they go. Joaquin Heinz, Santa Cruz, Barista

 

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

 

Open Wide

Soif’s soft reboot leads to expanded menu, plus the ‘thinking woman’s ketchup’