Alison Roman // Dining In

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“I love grocery shopping. So much. I love to do it in every city, in every country. I just think you can tell a lot about a place by the food there—and the food starts with ingredients.”

– Alison Roman

This week, we're excited to welcome Alison Roman to SALT + SPINE, the podcast on stories behind cookbooks.

Alison is the author of Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes and a contributor to Bon Appetit magazine and the New York Times. She also wrote Lemons (Short Stack).

After working in restaurants and bakeries in San Francisco and New York City, Alison jumped to food media, joining the team at Bon Appetit and eventually serving as the magazine’s Senior Food Editor, where she developed recipes that would define her cooking style.

We sat down with Alison at our studio in San Francisco’s The Civic Kitchen to discuss her style of cooking, her advice for home cooks, the uber-viral The Cookie, and what lipsticks to pair with various dishes.

Alison on The Cookie:

“Honestly, I had no idea they were going to become as popular as they did. I was like, ‘Oh, this is a pretty good cookie. I’m gonna put it in the book.’ And that’s all I thought. … And it continues to gain momentum and popularity.”

Alison on social pressure to create Instagram-worthy recipes:

“I think food is inherently beautiful. And I don’t think that you need to do something that has like a ‘tada!’ element to it just because.”

Alison on her advice to home cooks in the kitchen:

“It’s important to kind of remember to breathe—and remember why you’re there. You’re there because it’s supposed to be really fun and enjoyable and creative. And you’re not looking at your phone; you’re not reading the news; you’re not at work; you’re not dealing with something that’s stressful. You’re supposed to be just creating something nice and good for yourself and people that you like.”

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Featured Recipes

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Listen to Alison reading an excerpt from Dining In:


Buy the Book:

From our friends at Omnivore Books:


Also available from Amazon: