Julia Turshen | Author

 
 

ON HER RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD GROWING UP…

I have been drawn to the kitchen for as long as I can remember and have loved to cook my entire life. Both of my parents worked full time since before I was born so we weren't a family that regularly ate together and I think I've been chasing my desire for that familial, communal around-the-table feeling my entire life.

ON HER BIGGEST INFLUENCE…

Public television cooking shows and cookbooks were my biggest influence, as were my aunts (one who cooked huge amounts of food and one who made the best reservations) and my babysitter Jennie who taught me that family can be defined in different ways and the kitchen is the best place to hang out.

ON WHEN SHE DECIDED TO CREATE HER OWN COOKBOOK…

When I felt like I had something helpful to say.

ON HER BOOK, FEED THE RESISTANCE: RECIPES + IDEAS FOR GETTING INVOLVED…

It's a little book with a lot it in. I put it together shortly after the 2016 presidential election and was eager to add something productive and positive to the national conversation. It includes recipes and essays from over 20 contributors across the country and all of the proceeds go directly to the ACLU. In less than one year since publication we've donated $19,000 to the ACLU. 

ON THE CONTRIBUTORS SHE WORKED WITH…

It was important to me to make sure the contributors were representative of the country— they're from all over and each brings something so particular and different to the table. There's Jordyn Lexton who is helping change the narrative about reentry through Drive Change, there's Hawa Hassan who is educating consumers about what it means to be Somali in America through her Basbaas sauces, there's People's Kitchen Collective who is continuing the legacy of food in the history of civil rights. The list goes on and on!

ON WHAT ROLE FOOD PLAYS IN MODERN SOCIETY…

Paying attention to what someone eats—where they get it, how they eat it, how they share it— tells us so much about them. Food lets us express ourselves, learn about each other, and create community. It's everything.

ON TAKING ACTION AND CREATING A SOLUTION TO GENDER AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY…

I was really tired of hearing "but I can't find anyone...". It seemed like there was a need for a resource like Equity At The Table (EATT) and when I couldn't find it, I made it.

ON THE MOST SURPRISING PART OF LAUNCHING EATT…

How powerful the members themselves are and how much potential there is for us to come together in community.

ON ADVICE FOR YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY…

Pay attention to who is at the table and who is missing.

To learn more about Julia, you can follow her on Instagram and Twitter. Check out her website here!