Culinary Blogger and Author
How did you start doing what you're doing?
I relocated from NYC to Austin, TX in 2009 and did what everyone does when moving to a new city: started a job, made new friends, and even went two-stepping. But, while I found I was liking my new surroundings, I was not overly challenged professionally. When I was bored at work, I started reading food blogs and decided to start my own. My original idea was for a dessert blog, but my brother redirected me to concentrate on Jewish foods. I launched near the end of 2010, around Hanukkah time, with a twist on latkes (sweet potato latkes and applesauce). The recipe received great feedback and I built on the initial momentum by entering a small business competition, adding freelance work, and eventually publishing a cookbook. The website ModernTribe did not come until later, when the existing site became available for sale and my brother and I decided to purchase it. That move has allowed us to learn about eCommerce and internet sales.
What's your favorite Jewish holiday or tradition?
I love Pesach and the Seder. I love to host, and this year had 15 guests at the Seder. Really, anyone who wants to come can come, whether Jewish or not. I love sharing and teaching about my religion and traditions. For Pesach cooking, specifically, I also like the challenge of the food restrictions.
What's your favorite Jewish food?
Living in Texas, I’m a huge fan of brisket (In Austin, it’s usually smoked whereas in Ashkenazi cooking it’s braised). I approach Thanksgiving like I do the Seder, in that anyone who wants to come, can. This year, I made my bourbon and coffee braised brisket and even the Texans had to admit that it’s legit. But when discussing favorite foods, I also must throw in a sweet, given my love for dessert, and rugelach is one of my favorites.
What's your earliest memory of being Jewish?
Baking with my Bubbe, and conveniently disappearing when it was time to clean up. My favorite things to make with my mom and Bubbe were rugelach and blintzes.
How do you incorporate Judaism into your daily life?
I’m involved in Austin’s Jewish community, sure, but I truly live, breathe, and eat Judaism as my life and work, through the websites. The part that doesn’t often get highlighted is the joy I get from emails and feedback on how people connected more with Judaism through the sites, either because of a recipe or because of an item they purchased through ModernTribe.
Visit Amy’s site, whatjewwannaeat.com, for awesome recipes, and check out her Instagram page for some of the most mouthwatering pictures!