Many great chefs rely on writers and cooks like JJ Goode, one of the handful of behind-the-scenes writers who help chefs translate the wild and woolly ideas in their heads and palates into cookbooks. JJ is a youthful spirit who writes, mostly about food, from his apartment in Brooklyn, and whose most recent collaboration is with the contemporary Mexican chef Roberto Santibañez. The result is Santibañez's new book, Truly Mexican, coauthored by Goode.
I am interested in real working kitchens and so I asked JJ if I could come over and scope out his "office." He invited me for salsa on what ended up being the hottest day of the year so far. We pushed the chiles to the limit, and without air conditioning, we slurped salsa from spoons while we we kicked back and talked about how a regular guy like JJ in a regular apartment (and tiny kitchen) in Brooklyn can make a great Mexican chef's recipes make sense to the rest of us. More