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Jill Donenfeld
Jill Donenfeld is a writer, entrepreneur, and chef with recipes appearing in Food & Wine and articles in Men’s Journal and The Huffington Post. She is the founder of The Culinistas®, a private chef and catering agency in NYC, LA, and Chicago and produces bottarga for top purveyors and restaurants around the country. She has lived in Madagascar, Southern India, and Sweden to pursue culinary endeavors. She attended Barnard College in New York City and currently resides there, mostly.

In March 2015, her book, Better On Toast, will be published by William Morrow/Harper Collins.

Entries by Jill Donenfeld

Argan Goat Cheese, Sardine Meatballs, and Donuts From the Fryer in Essaouira

(1) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 6:38 PM


Once you arrive in the town where Hendrix wrote about castles made of sand, Essaouira is a culinary eden. If you are hardcore and organized, you can pack in a lot of delicious into two days. But first there's the opening...

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Reinvented: The Cookie

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 3:15 PM

With Dominque Ansel birthing the cookie shot, we asked what other cookie houses are doing to deliver. When a Tollhouse chocolate chip is no longer sating your sweet tooth, there's cookie varieties that will please any palate. It's easy to get overwhelmed so don't forget a glass of milk

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Going Beyond the Kale Caesar

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 4:59 PM

Kale Caesar may have gotten the classic starter back on the map, but it's really just the tip of the iceberg. Inventive Caesar's are popping up all over the place, making us swoon over the new lettuce-cheese-brine combinations. Whether it's the classic Worcestershire, anchovies, or salted cod, these salads inspire.

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Let's Dough: Break Passover With a Donut

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 4:34 PM

This year, Donut Pub turns 50 years old. Though I've lived in NYC for 11 years of that run, I didn't start enjoying the Pub until two years ago. Previously, I'd had a strict rule: donuts on the west coast; bagels on the east. Spreading out junk food indulgences locationally...

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Band Bites: Yassou Benedict

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 11:41 AM

It's not fair to say that San Francisco band Yassou Benedict like food as much as they do making music but they might split their time equally between the two. James Jackson, who answered the questions below, cooks at Beauty's Bagel Shop, a wood fired Montreal...

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You're Putting That Tea Where??

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 11:04 PM

Muffins for Tea Time. Tea Muffins for Anytime.

Muffins for Tea Time. Tea Muffins for Anytime. from all things delicious on Vimeo.

Lately, tea won't leave me alone. First there were Matcha macaroons at Takahachi Bakery, then Black Tea and Fig Jam at Lucy's Whey by way of Quince and Apple Jam Co and then an Earl Grey and Cream cookie at Birch Coffee. 'Tis the teason. My own thoughts started steeping and I brewed these muffins, using my favorite tea from Harney & Sons: Hot Cinnamon.

...Where did you THINK I was going to say I was putting...

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Culinistas Love Mothers

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2013 | 6:55 AM

Culinistas Love Mothers from all things delicious on Vimeo.

Can a sandwich teach us good parenting? Maybe! The Culinistas took a cue from some great mothers to create a mom sandwich. Start with really hearty bread - we like Le Pain Quotidien for that. That's like your sturdy foundation that every mama imbues in her child. Then slather that up with Jasper Hill Moses Sleeper - currently my absolute favorite cheese (available at Lucy's Whey in NYC and the West Hollywood Whole Foods in Los Angeles - the best cheese selection of the greater LA WFMs). See, that's a lesson in culture. And nothing says mom-love like some good old fashioned affection - red lipstick on the cheek style coddling. So we say coddle an egg. Or, lightly poach it - in the shape of your bread, ideally. Moms teach us patience... which is especially good when they turn around and give us unsolicited advice. Our sandwich features caramelized onions, which take forever, as well as some greens for good measure. And what if you only have the heel of the bread left to cap off your sandwich? No worries! Moms love unconditionally - even if you forgot to buy a fresh loaf of bread for her visit. Now don't forget sharing. Cut up that bad boy and spread the love. Offer some to dad!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love...

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Le Pain Culinistian: Five LPQ-Inspired Tartines

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2013 | 3:14 PM

Le Pain Quotidien x The Culinistas from all things delicious on Vimeo.

Oh la la! French music, French jokes, and open-faced French sandwiches... well, well, well it's going to be a good day. We teamed up with Le Pain Quotidien for une petite inspiration du matin. Is that right? Well, we hope these new tartines will provide a bit of morning inspiration. The combinations will have you licking your lips... or kissing someone else's? Each does make a nice breakfast in bed, after all.

What's your favorite tartine...

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Cilantro Dressing on Vacation

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2013 | 7:01 PM

It's no joke - this dressing is will be your new favorite Saturday morning cartoon. It's a toss-it-all-in-the-blender, no-measurements-needed, and heck-it's-bright-green kind of a recipe. I made it on vacation. You could make it while ambient-eating. It's that simple. Serve it with any kind of greens and any flavor profile leaning towards South Western, Mexican, or Latin American... spicy shrimp, black beans, salsa scrambled eggs. Now you're on to...

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Siggi's Yogurt Makes a Good Partner

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2013 | 2:05 PM

Siggi's x The Culinistas Collaboration from all things delicious on Vimeo.

When a food as versatile as yogurt meets a chef as lazy as me there's a certain chemistry... a certain je ne sais quoi... a spark that ignites, and the possibilities are endless. We could go for a skinny DIP or decide to get DRESSED. We could keep it light with white wine friendly PASTA or MARINATE together for a few hours. I'd even be inclined to stay over for BREAKFAST the next morning. But I'm not talking about any yogurt; gosh! I DO have standards! Even though there was that DJ... and there was that construction worker... and that photo assistant slash musician slash painter....but I digress. Though that last one wrote me a song. And, plus: I've learned! It's not just pretty packaging that makes a good soul mate. Or even sweet jingles. That's fun; but after you've woken up every morning together for years and years, you want to know that what's inside is reliable. And good for you. And, if you're me, a bit of a shape-shifter because, after all, I kinda like to mix things up. Siggi's, you're so good to me. I can do more with Siggi's plain yogurt to spice up or mellow out or enhance a dish than there are artists on my list.

This video is a love song to Siggi's yogurt. You see how plain yogurt (of quality!) can take the place of more not-so-good-for-you creams like sour cream, creme fraiche, mayonnaise (yes, I know that's not really cream), and even, sort of, butter. But, to think of yogurt as a "healthy alternative" is sort of missing the point. I like to use it because I like how it tastes - in and of itself. It's not about subbing out. It's about enjoying Siggi for what it is. Save the swapping for...

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Heart On Cookies Video

(0) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 8:05 AM

Make your favorite cookies into hearts on Valentines Day! Decorate with icing if you desire (and get HARDENING icing if you do!) or make a heart-shaped potato stamp to create your own stationary if you're feeling extra crafty. Have a happy Valentines day! xo

You Give Me A Heart On Cookie from all things delicious on

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Band Bites: Ash Reiter

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 3:00 PM

She makes breakfast quesadillas and wants to go on tour with The Beatles -- talk about a dream girl. Not to mention the music she makes is super fucking cool and groovy.


What do you eat before a show?


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Band Bites: Social Studies

(0) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 2:45 PM


Natalia -- lead singer and cutie from Social Studies answered some Band Bites this week. Leave it to a girl to answer my date question the right way! And, with a Frenchman in the crew who insists that a meal must include everyone sitting...

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Dinnertime Free Association With a Culinista and a Liquid Muse

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2012 | 6:43 PM

What happens when one hungry girl and another thirsty one hit it off? They play free-association with booze and food, of course. I started off with cauliflower gratin I had at Saxon and Parole and what unfolded was a salivating stream of conscious. This game works like the movie game...

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(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2012 | 4:10 PM

BRAINSTORM is a get up and dance kind of band, a chant with them, bop around the room, play air guitar in the mirror. After hearing from Patrick however, all I wanna do is eat with them. Patrick mentions smoked paprika -- always a good idea -- and wants to...

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Hummingbird Beats: New York Moment

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2012 | 4:08 PM


I've been pretty lucky with N.Y. moments: getting a cabbie's help to move 100 blocks, a chance meeting at a favorite restaurant leading to international travel, spotting Julianne Moore at the gym, spotting Julianne Moore at the hardware store, spotting Julianne Moore grabbing a...

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Eat Retreat

(0) Comments | Posted August 24, 2012 | 5:53 PM

A few weeks ago, I applied for EAT RETREAT, "a weekend workshop dedicated to good food and innovative thinking. Created for leaders in the food community, the objective of this invite-only event is to celebrate a shared joy for food." Today is the last day for entry, and...

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Hummingbird Beats: Jessie Oleson

(0) Comments | Posted July 11, 2012 | 10:25 PM

Jessie Oleson is a writer, illustrator, gallery owner and cake anthropologist who runs, an award-winning dessert website. Her first book, CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life, which was featured on the Today show, came out in October 2011; she is currently at work on her second book.  She loves classic...

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Hummingbird Beats: Glynn Connolly

(1) Comments | Posted June 28, 2012 | 3:41 PM

People are fascinated by the things Glynn hates. On the list? Oprah, pandas, slow walkers and the word "honkytonk." Lady likes to take a stance! After working in fashion PR for as long as she could take it, Glynn branched out to start Essex LA, which sells custom-made clutches 0...

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Hummingbird Beats: Karen Pagtama

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2012 | 1:29 PM

Karen Pagtama is a reality TV story producer by day and a miniature sweets jewelry maker by night ( (if you are ever in need of cufflinks that look like macarons, you now know where to go). She is a Los Angeles native who loves sunshine and the...

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