Celebrating the 2023 Jewish Book Festival with New York Times Best Selling Cookbook Author
Wouldn’t it be nice to be invited to Adeena Sussman’s sunny Tel Aviv apartment for a Shabbat meal? The warm hospitality, the far-ranging conversations, and oh, the food!! Perhaps we would have luscious Roasted Tomato and Labaneh Pappardelle, or savory Sour Lime & Pomegranate Chicken Wings, or mouth-watering Medjool Date & Root Vegetable Meat Stew.
We may not be getting that invitation, but we can come close in our imaginations and in our own kitchens with her latest book, “Shabbat: Recipes and Rituals From My Table to Yours,“ released September 2023.
Sussman is the co-author of 14 books, the most well known of which were her three New York Times best-selling Cravings cookbooks with Chrissy Tiegen; super-model, television personality, and wife of John Legend. Part of that writing process involved Sussman moving in with, at the time child-free Tiegen and Legend, to taste and cook at any time, day or night.
In 2019, Sussman was sole-author of “Sababa: Fresh Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen: A Cookbook“; a tribute to her new home in Israel, within steps of Shuk HaCarmel. Sussman’s interpretation of Israeli cooking fea-tures the merger of international cuisines with the freshest produce and the most intriguing spices and sauces, inspired by her almost daily visits to the market. “Sababa“ was named a Best Fall Cookbook in 2019 by The New York Times, Bon Appetit and Food & Wine.
Now Sussman invites us for Shabbat. Although she grew up in an observant home, now lives in Israel, and all the recipes are kosher, Sussman’s Shabbat is not about rules and restrictions. Rather it is about relaxing with friends and family, with all the fuss and meal-prep behind you.
And the food! Many dishes have that extra punch of flavor that Sussman has become known for. Readers with Ashkenazi or Sephardi or Mizrachi roots will discover these may not be your Bubbe’s or Nona’s or Savtah’s recipes. Instead of matzo ball soup there might be Medjool date gondi. Instead of a side of kugel there might be Freekah and Roasted Grape Salad. Dessert might be Tahini Blondies. All with that extra something, that unexpected twist.
In addition to recipes, Sussman’s gifted story-telling is on full display, describing the experience of Shabbat in her adopted homeland, and the lives of the home cooks and vendors who have shared their kitchens and histories.
Sussman grew up in Northern California, in an Orthodox Jewish home. She received her undergraduate degree from the College of Communication of Boston University, and then worked in Israeli television. She then decided to wed her two passions of food and communications, and returned to the US, working for Gourmet Magazine. She received a Masters degree from the Institute for Culinary Education…In 2015 she married Jay Shofet and moved to Israel.
In addition to the Cravings series with Teigen, her diverse list of co-authored books include. “Fried and True: More than 50 Recipes for America’s Best Fried Chicken and Sides”; “A Cookbook with Lee Brian Schrager”, “Puddin’, Luscious and Unforgettable Puddings, Parfaits, Pudding Cakes, Pies and Pops with Clio Goodman”, “The Sprinkles Baking Book with Candace Nelson and Gazoz”; and “The Art of Making Magical, Seasonal Sparkling Drinks with Benny Briga”. She is sole author of “Sababa”, as well as “Tahini”.
Adeena Sussman will be presenting in conversation, “Shabbat: Recipes and Rituals from my Kitchen to Yours” on Tuesday November 7, at 7 PM, at Temple Beth David in Temple City as a part of the 25th Anniversary of the Jewish Book Festival. The reception to follow will include recipes from the book “Shabbat” prepared by members of the Temple Sisterhood, and a chance to meet the distinguished author, herself.
“Shabbat” will be available for purchase at all in-person Jewish Book Festival Events. Additionally, there is an option to purchase this book at a discounted rate when you register for the event, as opposed to full price in person. For more information on Jewish Book Festival event registration and book purchases, visit the Jewish Federation’s website at www.jewishsgpv.org or contact the Jewish Federation office at 626-445-0810.
SHELLY KLEIN is a contributing writer to Jlife magazine.