Hello my loves. Chances are you are all already familiar with these lovely ladies. But in case you have been hiding under a rock, let me introduce you to the Monday Morning Cooking Club. Cue applause…..They are the bestselling authors of three amazing cookbooks from our food obsessed Jewish community with a fourth one already in the works.
I first learned of them when a friend of mine, who lives in Sydney sent me their first book “The Monday Morning Cooking Club”, for my 40th birthday present. It was love at first read. Not only were the photos jaw dropping, but each and every dish was more delicious than the next. The thing that really set this book apart, was the history behind each recipe and the stories of family and tradition.
These wonderful home cooks of the MMCC ,who I will introduce you to soon, were sharing their recipes in addition to a host of Jewish cooks around the world. They would meet every Monday morning to cook and celebrate the food of their ancestors and their evolving sisterhood. They would laugh, cry , eat and tweak the recipes if needed to create the best of the best.
I poured over the backstory of each chef and found myself knowing a lot of the contributors that shared their best recipes with the club. The book was rich and steeped in Yiddishkeit. I remember sending my mom a copy and she would tell me stories about each of the ladies she knew that were featured in the book.
I was a hooked along with celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, so when their second book “The Feast Goes On” came out I was first in line to grab a copy. And I was in good company. Famed Jewish chef, Ottolenghi , a restaurateur and author of “Jerusalem” and “Plenty”, endorsed the book with a quote “You just want to eat everything” and he should know.
I watched them host the live challah bake in Sydney for over 2500 people. I was a diehard groupie. Two years ago I featured their book in my top 10 picks for holiday gifts along with oldies like Myrna Rosen and Ina Garten.
So you can imagine my surprise when a few months back I get an email from chief pot stirrer, Lisa Goldberg asking if we could meet for a coffee while she was in L.A. Hell yeah. I love nothing more than meeting my idols. So we met for a pastry and chat and time just slipped away. It was like we had known each other for a lifetime.
So I was overwhelmed and flattered when Lisa asked if I was interested in hosting an event for their third book launch “It’s always about the Food”. Yes yes yes yes yes. I mean really??? Yesyesyesyesyes!!!
Let me just mention that their 2 events at the Farmgirl 90210 cooking school, Los Angeles, sold out within 24 hours. They are also doing 2 launches at celebrity hotspot “Joan’s on Third”. In fact Joan McNamara, the owner wrote the forward on this book. There is even a rumor that these ladies will be showing Ellen DeGeneres how to dance. But don’t quote me
What really choked me up was they wanted to do one event to raise money for a Jewish charity. They have always been about community. And I have belonged to the Chabad since I was a child. First the Chabad of Lyndhurst with Rabbi Carlebach. And then the Chabad of Brentwood with Rabbi Hecht for the past 20 years.
And these ladies are rock stars of the Jewish Food world. And even if you are not Jewish or Kosher. Take it from me, their food is incredible and their stories are fabulous. So if you are in Los Angeles come out and meet them. The event is free but spaces are limited so click on this link to reserve your spot. All proceeds from book sales go to charity.
So without further ado let me introduce you to the Monday Morning Cooking Club
Lisa Goldberg– Chief Pot Stirrer and former solicitor. She is a fresser with enormous (and sometimes unbridled!) passion for food and cooking. She hangs onto the part of Jewish culture which embodies the saying ‘it’s always about the food’
Merelyn Chalmers worked in PR in the food industry for over 20 years. Merelyn loves sharing cooking tips and techniques, and teaching unconfident cooks how easy it is to create an impressive meal.
Natanya Eskin started out as a primary school teacher and has a passion for uncovering and preserving recipes, especially from the older generations. She loved discussing and debating what to cook, laughing and sometimes crying together, working as a team to create something special for generations to come.
Jacqui Israel’s background is in teaching. Her amazing organizational skills and record keeping has kept things running smoothly for the last 8 years. She has appeared at cooking classes and in-store events looking after marketing and sales.
Lynn Niselow has a great passion for food, inspired by her mother and grandmother. She has enjoyed a diverse working life in fashion and catering. Lynn greatly values the love and sharing at the family table.
So come out an meet these lovely ladies. I look so forward to celebrating the food with you
xxx Chef MM