The Kinfolk Table


By Nathan Williams

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around October 15, 2013. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Kinfolk magazine—launched to great acclaim and instant buzz in 2011—is a quarterly journal about understated, unfussy entertaining. The journal has captured the imagination of readers nationwide, with content and an aesthetic that reflect a desire to go back to simpler times; to take a break from our busy lives; to build a community around a shared sensibility; and to foster the endless and energizing magic that results from sharing a meal with good friends. Now there’s The Kinfolk Table, a cookbook from the creators of the magazine, with profiles of 45 tastemakers who are cooking and entertaining in a way that is beautiful, uncomplicated, and inexpensive. Each of these home cooks—artisans, bloggers, chefs, writers, bakers, crafters—has provided one to three of the recipes they most love to share with others, whether they be simple breakfasts for two, one-pot dinners for six, or a perfectly composed sandwich for a solo picnic.



New York, USA

Brooklyn is an intricate mosaic. Residents come from myriad places, cultures, and traditions, yet even within this diverse mix they retain distinct personalities and modes of expression. I never have to be in Brooklyn for long to notice this exciting diversity, along with all the trends that I seem to have missed or that are still to come to my neck of the woods, three thousand miles to the west.

The first time I went to Brooklyn, I remember weaving through one stretch of shops where every door seemed to open into a world far from those streets. Hints of cumin and saffron here, garlic and chili powder there, with coffee wafting around each corner were the scents that greeted me. The combination of colors, sounds, and foods still makes it an experience unlike any other.

Just as Brooklyn's food scene includes a mix of world cuisines, I was not surprised to find that the friends I have met over the years and the dishes they have prepared for me reflect the variety of their home states and countries. This variety becomes vivid in the following pages, with the recipes they have chosen to share from their own families and traditions.

A hallmark of Brooklyn to me is the adventurous and fearless approach to creating meals that each of the people in this section takes. Many of the dishes we ate together as I visited their homes dotted around the borough were true to the heritage of the individual but had a novel flair or an unexpected pairing of flavors. I've come to admire this way of maintaining family favorites while encouraging food to evolve from generation to generation.

Ariel Dearie

{ Florist }

Ariel Dearie's world is literally spilling over with flowers, vines, and branches. From her shelves to kitchen counters, tables, and bookshelves, she uses arrangements of all shapes and types to bring natural beauty to every corner of her home. Her apartment, a cozy loft in Williamsburg, is home to her wild imagination and, naturally, her sprawling plant life. The sun throws slanted light through her tall windows, tracing her apartment with shadows of dangling vines and rounded vases.

Ariel is a New Orleans native who migrated north for the inspiration and vibrancy of the Big City. A sweetly Southern soul, she now thrives up north as an accomplished florist, providing arrangements for weddings, special events, photo shoots, and even large dinner gatherings. In her own kitchen, her flowers find their place among little vases of herbs—white peonies among bunches of basil and sprigs of dill, for example. Flowers and herbs are perfectly at home together.

Ariel also connects the world of flowers with the world of food. To her, both flowers and food are at their best in their most natural state, springing from the local ground and maintaining their own organic, wild beauty. That beauty is translated to her treatment of the foods of her native Louisiana, the fish, garlic, onions, and butter that are at the center of many of her meals, which she lovingly prepares for her friends in Brooklyn.

"Each morning, no matter how busy, my mom allots an hour to reading the newspaper and drinking coffee at the kitchen counter. She has a whole system where she makes a cup of coffee, reads the front section, drinks half a cup, and then goes back and heats up the other half cup before returning to the paper. Whenever I go back to New Orleans I join her in this ritual, reading whatever newspaper section she allows me and savoring every moment."

—Ariel Dearie

Barbecued Shrimp

24 jumbo shrimp, peeled with tails on

8 tablespoons (1 stick/113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

¼ cup (60 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon (0.5 ounce/45 milliliters) Cajun seasoning, such as Tony Chachere's

½ teaspoon salt

2 lemons, cut into 6 rounds, plus 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) fresh lemon juice

2 fresh rosemary sprigs

6 garlic cloves, minced

Ariel: This is a classic New Orleans dish and was one of my favorites growing up. This particular dish is my dad's rendition of the original, which is said to have been created at Pascal's Manale restaurant.

Serve this dish with hot, crusty bread.

Rinse the shrimp and pat them dry with paper towels. Arrange them in a single layer in a 13-by-9-inch (33-by-23-centimeter) baking dish. Scatter the butter pieces over the shrimp, then drizzle them with the olive oil. Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning, salt, and lemon juice over the shrimp.

Arrange the lemon slices and rosemary sprigs over the shrimp. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and set the oven to broil. Broil the shrimp for 3 minutes, then remove the dish from the oven and stir to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Return the dish to the oven and repeat the procedure every 1 to 2 minutes until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Add the garlic to the dish, stir, and distribute the shrimp among 4 ramekins or bowls, spooning the sauce over them. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Open-Faced Sandwiches with Feta, Tomatoes, Capers, and Basil

1 baguette

2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling

2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) balsamic vinegar

8 ounces (230 grams) French sheep's-milk feta, cut into 8 slices

2 medium tomatoes, cut into 8 slices

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons (1 ounce/30 grams) drained capers

8 fresh basil leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ariel: This dish is really great in the summer and for picnics. It's super simple and light, yet satisfying. When I was growing up, my family would pack these sandwiches and picnic by the Mississippi River.

Cut the baguette in half crosswise, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Drizzle the cut sides with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and the vinegar.

Arrange the feta slices in a single layer over the cut side of the 4 bread pieces, then top with the tomato slices, onion slices, capers, and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Makes 4 open-faced sandwiches

Max & Eli Sussman

{ Chefs }

Brooklyn, New York, is a long way from Detroit, Michigan, where the Sussman brothers grew up, but their journey to a shared passion for cooking has been a short one, beginning when they were teens with a "no rules" approach in a pro kitchen at summer camp. Today each holds a chef position at a respected Brooklyn restaurant: Max at Roberta's and Eli at Mile End delicatessen.

Max and Eli communicate and navigate the kitchen with synchronicity. One lights the fire under a pot on the stove. A few minutes later the other turns and stirs what is simmering within. Soon after that the other approaches and lowers the heat. One is chatty and engaging, the other more reserved and intensely focused on his actions. Both effortlessly engage in conversation with the friends around them while cooking. When the work is finished, an impeccable dish emerges from the generous collaborative spirit among the brothers and their guests.

"When I was growing up, it was normal to have an entire side of our family come over for a brunch of bagels and lox and tuna fish and smoked fish and quiche. I love the idea that you wake up and everyone comes over to hang out."

—Eli Sussman

Sweet Potato Hash with Italian Sausage and Poached Egg

For the Hash

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) olive or vegetable oil

½ medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

1 dry pint (12 ounces/340 grams) heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped

2 ears corn, husked and shucked

1 bunch (6 ounces/170 grams) of baby red Russian kale, chopped

2 tablespoons (1 ounce/30 grams) unsalted butter

⅓ cup (0.4 ounce/12 grams) fresh herbs, such as thyme, chives, chervil, or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

For the Sausage, Eggs, and Toast

1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) olive or vegetable oil

2 links (8 ounces/230 grams) sweet Italian sausage

2 cups (480 milliliters) water

¼ cup (60 milliliters) white vinegar

2 teaspoons (12 grams) kosher salt

2 large eggs

4 slices crusty sourdough bread

Unsalted butter

Eli & Max: This dish is a complete meal. But if you are looking for something a little lighter, the hash and poached egg can stand on their own without the sausage, and that way it's vegetarian, too.

For the Hash

Place the sweet potatoes and 2 teaspoons (12 grams) salt in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch (2.5 centimeters). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender; drain.

Heat the oil in a large seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the sweet potatoes and onion and allow them to cook without stirring for 3 to 4 minutes or until they begin to brown. Continue to cook them, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and corn and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until the kernels are tender and the tomatoes have softened. Stir in the kale and cook for 2 minutes or until wilted. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the fresh herbs.

For the Sausage, Eggs, and Toast

While the hash is cooking, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until it begins to shimmer. Poke the sausages all over with a fork, then cook, turning occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until browned and cooked through.

Bring the water, vinegar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and allow the water to come to a simmer.

Crack the eggs into two ramekins. Swirl the water and immediately, carefully, drop the eggs in, one at a time. Cook them for 2 to 3 minutes or until the whites become opaque. Transfer them to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon.

Toast the bread slices and butter to taste.

To serve, place half of the hash on each of two plates, then top with an egg. Serve with the sausage and toast.

Serves 2

Plum and Cilantro Salad with Fresh Goat Cheese

4 ripe plums, cut into wedges

1 cup (1 ounce/30 grams) baby spinach leaves, washed

⅓ cup (3½ ounces/100 grams) French breakfast radishes, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil


4 ounces (115 grams) fresh goat cheese

¼ cup (0.4 ounce/10 grams) fresh cilantro leaves

Eli & Max: With its beautiful colors and fresh flavors, this salad is an ode to the beginning of summer. Try to get everything at your farmers' market, even if that means making substitutions. That is part of the fun and excitement of cooking seasonally!

If the radish greens are tender enough, slice them and add them to the salad as well.

Toss the plums, spinach, and radishes together in a large bowl.

Whisk the vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl until well combined and season with salt to taste. Drizzle enough vinaigrette over the salad to dress it lightly. Divide the salad evenly among four plates and top it with the goat cheese and cilantro. Serve immediately with the remaining vinaigrette if desired.

Serves 4 as an appetizer

William Hereford & Alyssa Pagano

{ Photographer and Stylist }

William Hereford's photography combines the best of traditional film and the best of modern technology. His product, both stills and motion, is classical and familiar. His technique, however, is cutting-edge. He is not constrained by traditional camera definitions but instead works within a continuum between photography and cinematography. His work is fluid no matter the format, from tablet to computer to television.

In person, William is refreshingly down-to-earth. He was raised in Virginia, and his commonwealth roots manifest themselves in a classical American ruggedness, an easy closeness to the land and its fruits. While he may now live in Brooklyn, he has not compromised his pastoral aesthetic or tastes. His food photography begins with capturing dishes, and ends with shots of chickens, butcheries, and whitewashed farmhouses—but he doesn't stop there. His work captures a spirit in his subjects, be it the lowliest of old farms or the grandest of New York fine-dining establishments. William gives each one life and meaning.

When it comes to food, what gives meaning to William's meals is his ability to connect with the food's source and the work that has been poured into it. It is one thing to enjoy a taste, but it is another thing altogether to understand the taste and the work behind it. William and his girlfriend, Alyssa Pagano, try to source their ingredients locally and with the season. But when that isn't possible, they find comfort and warmth in using what's available to make a pot of soup, sharing in its bounty together. They cherish their time over meals, for the simple enjoyment of the food and for the conversation that unspools over it.

Burnt Tomatoes

3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, softened

6 pounds (2.7 kilograms) vine-ripe tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cups (15 ounces/420 grams) all-purpose flour

⅓ cup (80 milliliters) vegetable oil, plus additional as needed

1 tablespoon (0.45 ounce/13 grams) sugar

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Grease a 13-by-9-inch (33-by-23-centimeter) baking dish with the butter.

Slice the tomatoes ½ inch (1.28 centimeters) thick and season with salt and pepper. Spread the flour on a large plate and dredge the tomato slices, shaking off the excess.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Fry the tomato slices in batches, adding as many to the skillet as will fit in a single layer, about 3 minutes per side, or until they turn crisp and golden. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the tomatoes to the prepared baking dish, arranging them in a single layer. Sprinkle the tomatoes with 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of the sugar.

Repeat the frying procedure with additional tomatoes, adding more oil as needed. If the flour sediment begins to burn, discard the oil, wipe out the pan, and heat fresh oil before continuing.

Sprinkle the second layer of tomatoes with another teaspoon (4 grams) of the sugar, repeat the tomato frying and layering procedure, and finish with the remaining 1 teaspoon (4 grams) sugar.

Bake the tomatoes for 1 hour or until soft and bubbling. Transfer the dish to a rack and cool for 10 minutes. Serve.

Serves 10 to 12

"Burnt tomatoes have been included in every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner since before I was born. Ironically, I hated them for a good bit of my childhood, simply because the dish looked sophisticated and grown-up. Though a Virginia native, I went to college in Maine and currently live in Brooklyn, so my Southern drawl has dwindled over the years. My mother's has not. I will always remember her politely demanding 'more bernt tamatas, please.'"

—William Hereford

David Quon, Derek Van Heule & Nathan Warkentin

{ Musicians }

The band We Barbarians is composed of David Quon, Derek Van Heule, and Nathan Warkentin, and together they form a rare and inspiring musical dynamic. The guys met one another in Los Angeles and have now been playing together for over a decade. They have produced numerous records and survived a cross-country move to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in the process. While their music has been described as indie and bluesy rock, the little community they've created together is quite possibly without classification. David, Derek, and Nathan not only spend their working hours together, but also live together, cook together, and host together, much the way a family does. Their common California past comes through in their cooking, most notably in the avocado slices placed on anything they prepare. The spirit of their Brooklyn present comes through in how they source their food, demonstrated by the rooftop gardens where they grow their vegetables and the corner bakery where they pick up fresh brioche buns. Regardless of location, however, these guys love a cookout and know how to do one well. A casual backyard barbecue is one of the simplest forms of entertaining, and David, Derek, and Nathan agree that it is perhaps one of the most social.

Accordingly, they fired up the grill for us, serving char-grilled turkey burgers, chips and guacamole, and glasses of cold sangria on the side. Our dining experience with these musicians felt like a truly American one—spent outside under the hot summer sun, among effusive and hilarious company. It felt not unlike those fondly remembered family cookouts from growing up, enjoyed in the comfort of the familiar and the ease of just being with one another.

Mexican-Style BBQ Corn

4 large ears of corn

1 tablespoon (½ ounce/14 grams) unsalted butter, melted

¼ cup (60 grams) mayonnaise

2 teaspoons (0.3 ounce/9 grams) sriracha

2 ounces (60 grams) cotija cheese, crumbled

Light a charcoal grill and allow the coals to turn ashy and white. If using a gas grill, heat it to medium-high.

Peel the husks back from the corn, leaving them attached to the base of the corncobs, then remove the silk. Brush the corn with the melted butter, then cover with the husks. Cook the corn on the grill for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender, turning frequently. Transfer the corn to a platter.

Stir the mayonnaise and sriracha together. Peel back the husks, spread the spicy mayonnaise all over the corn, then sprinkle with the cheese. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Quinoa and Bean Summer Salad

1 cup (7 ounces/200 grams) quinoa

2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt

2 cups (480 milliliters) water

One 16-ounce (455-gram) can black beans, rinsed and drained

One 16-ounce (455-gram) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, chopped

1 cucumber, seeded and cut into ¼-inch (0.64-centimeter) dice

¼ cup (60 milliliters) red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

Rinse the quinoa under cold running water in a fine-mesh sieve until the water runs clear. Heat 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the quinoa and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until beginning to dry and turn golden. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, until all of the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a salad bowl. Cool completely.

Add the black beans, chickpeas, bell pepper, cucumber, vinegar, lemon juice, and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) olive oil and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Serves 4

Turkey Avocado Burgers

1¼ pounds (500 grams) lean ground turkey

2 to 3 garlic scapes, minced (about ¼ cup/57 grams)

1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon (3 grams) ground cumin

1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt

1 teaspoon (6 grams) freshly ground black pepper

4 brioche rolls, halved

Gruyère cheese slices

2 ripe avocados, pitted and sliced

Mustard greens

Light a charcoal grill and allow the coals to turn ashy and white. If using a gas grill, heat it to medium-high.

Combine the turkey, garlic scapes, olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and mix until well combined. Shape the mixture into 4 patties and grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until cooked through.

Serve the burgers on the brioche rolls and top with Gruyère cheese slices, avocado slices, and mustard greens.

Serves 4

Citrus-Mint Sangria

One 750-milliliter bottle Gewürztraminer, chilled

¼ cup (60 milliliters) Cointreau

1 grapefruit, scrubbed, halved, seeded, and cut into slices ¼ inch (0.64 centimeter) thick

1 orange, scrubbed, seeded, and cut into slices ¼ inch (0.64 centimeter) thick

1 lemon, scrubbed, seeded, and cut into slices ¼ inch (0.64 centimeter) thick

Ice cubes

Fresh mint leaves

Combine the wine, Cointreau, grapefruit, orange, and lemon in a pitcher and stir. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until thoroughly chilled.

Serve over ice with mint leaves.

Makes 1 pitcher (about 32 ounces/950 milliliters)

Elizabeth Haddad

{ Coffee Connoisseur/Blogger }

Perhaps before she even realized it, coffee found Elizabeth Haddad. As a child, she sat alongside her mother and her mother's friends as they sipped coffee together. She recalls wanting to be a part of those experiences, even if she didn't yet have a palate for the bitter beans. She remembers the porcelain cups and the lipstick stains around the rims, and the particular joy of sharing a cup of coffee has followed Elizabeth into adulthood.

One day, while sipping an exquisitely perfect cappuccino at a streetside café in Rome, Elizabeth found this enduring fascination with coffee coming full circle. She understood at that moment that in cultures around the world, life takes place over mugs and French presses. And so began her blog, The Coffee Experiment, a study and documentation of the varieties of coffee and the way coffee stimulates social interaction. As she has discovered and recorded, the enjoyment of this substance can also foster joy, community, and cultural expression.

Her personal coffee rituals are sacred and savored. They instill peace before a busy day and permit reflection in a distracting world. Brewing and sharing coffee is Elizabeth's way of centering herself, but also of connecting with others. While she currently resides in New York, Elizabeth travels far and wide to meet other coffee connoisseurs and long-distance friends over the best cup of joe in whatever town she may be visiting.

"I was always the resident coffee maker in my household. School mornings, Christmas morning, Easter morning, birthdays, holidays, weekends—all of my favorite memories take place in the morning over coffee with my friends and family. Obviously, my coffee ritual has grown in technicalities, with grinders and pour-overs and AeroPresses, yet the essence is still the same."

—Elizabeth Haddad

Nanny Frannie's Apple Strudel


  • “Unfussy menus . . . . A testament to slowing down to enjoy a good meal along with good company.” —Celebrated Living

On Sale
Oct 15, 2013
Page Count
368 pages

Nathan Williams

Nathan Williams

About the Author

Nathan Williams is the author of The Eye, The Kinfolk Entrepreneur, The Kinfolk Home, and The Kinfolk Table and the editor in chief of Kinfolk, a lifestyle magazine published quarterly by Ouur studio. Founded in 2011, Kinfolk maintains a vibrant contributor base from Copenhagen to Cape Town and hosts hundreds of global events each year that bring the community together.

Learn more about this author