The Insider: Charlotte Druckman
If having a soft spot for food writers is wrong (ahem, see past installments of this feature Q&Aing JJ Goode and the sisters behind The New Potato), then we don’t wanna be right. Case in point: We think you have to meet the über-talented and lovely Charlotte Druckman. She wrote a book on women chefs called Skirt Steak—good name, right?—and her byline pops up all over the writing-about-eating sphere. Get the scoop.
Q: What’s your ideal meal?
A: Because it’s cold and dreary out, I find myself craving one-dish wonders like lamb tagine and cassoulet. But I’m more inclined to make a bowl of roasted vegetables or a big country frisée salad with lardons, a poached egg, and lots of red wine. And, no matter what, I could finish with a rich, dark, near-bitter chocolate soufflé with whipped cream and coffee or hazelnut or vanilla ice cream.
Q: Which startups do you think are doing really amazing things right now?
A: Here goes: Medium, Everlane, and Of a Kind (and I really mean that!). Like everyone else, I’m curious to see what Ezra Klein’s going to create at Vox. I’m also looking forward to seeing what Oyster does and how it takes off. In terms of O.G. startups—you know, the printed kind—Cherry Bombe and Modern Farmer have my support, and I’ve just subscribed to PORTER and to Book Riot’s Quarterly. I’ll never give up on print.
Q: Which cookbooks do you swear by?
A: I have a few bibles: Any Julia Child or Maida Heatter, The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook, and The Essential New York Times Cookbook. Mario Batali’s Simple Italian Food still has the best risotto recipe out there.For vegetable cooking, I love Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty andNigel Slater’s Tender. For Mexican, I’m loving Roberto Santibanez and JJ Goode’s Truly Mexican.
Q: What’s one vacation you’re desperate to take?
A: I always want to go back to France—Provence and Paris, especially—and so that’s what I tend to do. But of the places I’ve never been and dream of going to, India is probably at the top of that list.
Q: What do you wear all the time?
A: For the day, jeans and a mix of Chance, A.P.C., Everlane, Of a Kind, and Lars Andersson. For night, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Isabel Marant, and Tucker. I also rotate between a few favorite Le Labo scents. Breaking my kneecap in college marked the end of my life in heels, so you’ll always find me in flats and, because I love walking everywhere, sneakers—the cuter, the better.
Q: What do you love about your neighborhood?
A: Everyone always talks about the commercialization that has swept through Greenwich Village in the last seven years and the proliferation of faux charming neighborhood spots. But if you take your time and pick one street—I choose 10th Street, because it’s mine—and you follow it all the way from Avenue C to the highway on the west side, you will discover so many secrets and stories that span the city’s history.
Photo courtesy of Melanie Dunea.