Q&A: Carolyn Jung, author of “East Bay Cooks”
Carolyn Jung, author of the newly released East Bay Cooks, is a James Beard Award–winning food writer and blogger based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She wholeheartedly believes that any day is made better with a great cookie or pastry.
How do you normally start your day?
After a light breakfast with a big mug of black coffee (a must!), it’s on to a workout of indoor cycling, pilates or barre class. A Food Gal has to work off those food cals.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am deep into the New York Times best-selling novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. A friend gifted it to me because it’s about a single woman who subsists on frozen pizza, vodka, and phone calls to her mother until she meets a bumbling IT guy, because when I was single, I subsisted on Lean Cuisine, wine, and phone calls to best friends — until I met my IT husband (who’s not quite as bumbling).
What’s your favourite go-to ingredient?
Ginger. The spicier the better, too. I love how it works in savory and sweet applications. I have been known to eat candied ginger by the handful.
What food is your guilty pleasure?
A perfectly made kouign-amann. Who can resist layers of flaky, buttery croissant dough strewn with caramelized sugar?
Who has influenced your cooking the most?
My Mom and Dad, both fine cooks, who worked full-time yet managed to put so much love and care into feeding our family day in and day out, which I now know is no easy feat.
Is there a food you can’t bring yourself to eat?
I will try anything once, and I have — including a cake made from pulverized bees, and a miniature, cooked octopus the size of a golf ball.
The thing I love about East Bay is…
…how diverse and accessible it is. You can find practically any type of cuisine from almost any culture, done exceedingly well, and at moderate prices.
East Bay Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries is available now.