Our interview began by Caroline letting me know that when she cooks, she prefers to have "nothing on but the radio." For our kitchen tour, however, she donned a festive apron, with the caveat that "an apron is best without anything else on."
Caroline finds cooking, clearly, a very sensual experience. But, as a nutritionist and founder of the meal planner website, My Food My Health, she is also very dedicated to improving people's well-being through the food they eat.
"Let us have a moment of deep reverence (for the blood orange)," suggested Caroline as she zested and sliced the vibrantly colored fruit. Caroline was in the midst of preparing a delicious rubarb compote in honor of my visit. Attentive to seasonality, Caroline wanted to take advantage of the recent appearance of rhubarb at the markets. But she also admitted that she loves red foods and the intensity they afford.
When Caroline envisioned her new kitchen, she knew she wanted something that was inviting and not intimidating. She has a lot of space in the center of the room to encourage visitors to loiter while she cooks. As the kitchen is not particularly large, Caroline takes advantage of the ceiling height, with cabinetry built to its vertical limit. Her eat in-table serves as supplemental prep space and an impromptu island when needed.
Caroline views food as our first line of defense in protecting ourselves and our bodies. She believes that the only way to be safe when it comes to food is to cook it oneself. So the kitchen becomes the conduit for healing and nurturing as well as the site of a real and empowering experience. Caroline's kitchen, while lovely, plays a minor role in the success of the food prepared there. The real star is Caroline, with her boundless energy, and her commitment to preventing and combating disease through healthy eating.
10 Questions for Caroline (and Her Kitchen)
What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
I take a lot of inspiration from the chefs at my site MyFoodMyHealth.com, as well as the Natural Gourmet Institute. I also cooked with my mother so I have been cooking and prepping food since I was 5 or 6 years old. Additionally, Myra Kornfeld and Rebecca Katz are both inspirations — chefs with huge hearts.
What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
Zester (Microplane) and immersion blender.
What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
Triple Ginger Bread is the most memorable dish — sweet, spicy and altogether delicious. My most memorable meal though was Christmas dinner the first year my kitchen was complete.
Biggest challenge in your kitchen?
Staying cool in the summer. I must get a fan in there or figure out additional ventilation.
Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen?
Stemware. I collect it from all over the world.
Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
Ventilation and cooling system.
How would you describe your cooking style?
Best cooking advice or tip you ever received?
The formula for fixing any recipe disaster — FASS: Fat (Coconut or Olive Oil), Acid (Lemon or very good vinegar), Salt (Marsh or Sea salt), Sugar (Maple Sugar). One of these key ingredients can fix any recipe gone wrong.
What is your favorite cookbook?
Plenty by Ottolenghi and I also love the magazine Cooks Illustrated.
What are you cooking this week?
I am going to South Georgia this week so I imagine I will be shooting turkey... and cooking them.
• Kitchen Tour Archive: Check out past kitchen tours here
(Images: Jill Slater)