Southern Brooklyn

Brighton Beach One Of The World’s Best Places To Write A Cookbook?


The author of an upcoming cookbook took up temporary residence in Brighton Beach to work on the project, and her experience spurred her to declare the seaside neighborhood “one of the world’s best places to write a cookbook” in Food & Wine magazine.

Jill Donenfeld’s forthcoming cookbook is about toast, which she calls “the perfect meal,” making her immediately suspect in my book (c’mon, pizza is the perfect meal and toast is just the thing you shove in your facehole when you’re rushing to work). But I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt because she knows Southern Brooklyn is awesome.

Anyway, Donenfeld locked herself up in an apartment abutting the boardwalk for three months to write the book.

“I like the feeling of being a foreigner,” she told the magazine. “It’s very quiet within, even though there is so much new stimulation. It’s a great recipe for inspiration.”

Among the things unique to the area that helped her get work done was the proximity to the boardwalk, where she could run and clear her mind, and the accessibility and affordability of smoked fish, with all its “brain-boosting omega-3s.”

She also found inspiration exploring the Eastern European influence of the area, including discovering kvas and a vegan pate called mtsvane lobio (I’ll have to try that one – any recommendations?).

Oh, and banyas… where, post-sauna, she was stuffed with more smoked sturgeon.

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