Arkansas Literary Festival: Dorie Greenspan
Award-winning Cookbook Author Creates Community through Cooking
From talking to Dorie Greenspan, you would never know she is one of the most celebrated and awarded cookbook authors in America. Her writing is as good as her recipes, but she is disarmingly down-to earth about her talents.
“I’ve had no formal training as a writer and never expected that I’d ever become one,” Greenspan says. “It wasn’t until I was fired from my short-lived job as a baker and searching around for what I could do in food that I started to write,” she says.
At that time in the 1980s, certain parts of the food industry were not always open to women. “There weren’t all that many jobs in kitchens for women then, and even fewer for women like me: married, with a baby, an ABD in gerontology and no culinary training or experience,” Greenspan says. “I only tried my hand at writing because a friend of mine thought it might be right for me. I thank her regularly.”
Several decades later, Greenspan has racked up a record of accomplishment that she never would have imagined when she first burned down her mother’s kitchen at 12 and was banned from cooking at home for years!
Greenspan is now the “On Dessert” columnist for The New York Times Magazine. She just published her 13th cookbook, Everyday Dorie. She has won five James Beard Awards and has twice won the Cookbook of the Year Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She has been on the New York Times Bestseller List twice (once for Around My French Table and once for Baking Chez Moi). She spends her time with her husband, Michael, living in three places: New York City, Westbrook, CT and Paris, France.
What I hope I can do in my work is encourage people to get into the kitchen, enjoy being there, and take pleasure in every step of cooking.
But Dorie Greenspan’s dearest hopes sound not like an international jetsetter but instead like a hospitality-minded person who most wants to help families and friends spend quality time together through cooking. “What I hope I can do in my work,” she says, “is encourage people to get into the kitchen, enjoy being there, and take pleasure in every step of cooking.”
Greenspan is looking forward to her visit to the Arkansas Literary Festival, and to getting together with Arkansas-based cousins. “I’ve never been to Arkansas and can’t wait to visit. In addition to coming to the Literary Festival – which has been on my calendar in big red letters ever since I got the invitation – and having the opportunity to hear so many great authors speak and read—my husband, Michael, and I are going to have the chance to spend time with cousins we haven’t seen in a very long time, the Sundell family.” Greenspan says. “Of course, seeing Jack and Corri Sundell means going to The Root Cafe – I’m counting down the days.”
Dorie Greenspan’s friendly, community-building attitude may explain why she has such a huge following on social media. In 2007, the cooking club “Tuesdays With Dorie” was founded by ordinary women to help amateur cooks bond over their baking efforts. The group became so big and popular that it was featured on the Oprah show, and is still going 12 years later. Greenspan currently has over 484,000 Twitter followers and 61,000 followers on Facebook. People like Dorie! And it’s not hard to see why.
Greenspan’s newest cookbook, Everyday Dorie, has been scooping up awards left and right since its release in October 2018. In this new work, the author reveals the secrets of some of her favorite simple recipes drawn from across culinary traditions. It’s a perfect time for Arkansas cooks to get the benefit of her expertise.
Catch Dorie Greenspan at the Arkansas Literary Festival, where she will talk about what she learned from Julia Child about food, writing, and the power of place!
Dorie Greenspan is the author of 13 cookbooks. She has twice won the IACP Cookbook of the Year award and has also earned five James Beard Awards for her work. Her latest book is Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018). She is the “On Dessert” columnist for The New York Times Magazine and lives in New York City, Westbrook, CT, and Paris.