Despite a tiny New York kitchen and total lack of chef training, Deb Perelman has become one of the web’s most popular cooks thanks to her food blog Smitten Kitchen.
With her engaging storytelling, appealing amateur photos and no-nonsense, fanatical approach to testing and retesting her recipes, Perelman has garnered a devoted online following, with Smitten Kitchen logging more than 8 million page views and 5 million unique visitors per month.
"I was really interested in collecting what I consider go-to [recipes]," she told CBC News in a recent interview.
"As I collected them, I wanted a place to share them so you don’t have to go through some sort of Google roulette when you want to make a birthday cake."
Not long after starting her blog in 2006, Perelman was approached to write a cookbook — a request she turned down, but which presented itself again and again.
"I love the web format. I was never going to write a book," she said.
She ultimately changed her mind in 2009. After learning she was pregnant, Perelman decided she wanted to produce something tangible her son "could hold and was full of things his mom had cooked for the family, way before he remembered it."
Currently on tour promoting the just-released cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, Perelman is eager to get back to her life as a food blogger.
"I don’t have these over-the-moon ambitions. I really just like doing what I’m doing and I’d like to keep being able to do it as long as I’m having fun," she said.
Perelman talked to CBC’s Alice Hopton about her obsession with perfecting recipes, why New Yorkers face an uphill battle when it comes to home cooking and why she's got the best job in the world.