In 2013, Heidi Krahling asked me to help her write her second self-published cookbook. Since the first one focused on her Marin restaurant, Insalata's, the chef-owner wanted to put together a collection of recipes that represented her second restaurant, Marinita's, as well as favorite dishes that didn't make it into her first book.
Heidi had her restaurant team vetting the recipes, so I was solely responsible for drawing out those headnotes and restaurant stories that would make it feel like she was having a chat with the readers. I would drive to Marin and sit down with Heidi, asking questions about her view on food and how she finds crossover between Mediterranean and Latin American flavors. I also picked up some of her slang (on rookie cooks: junior mints. I did want to put it in the book, but Heidi wisely thought better of it.) We also talked through turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, and the rest of the holiday madness (Insalata's is open on Thanksgiving Day. I have a feeling that she can't look at gravy the rest of the year because of all of the turkeys they cook for the restaurant and for take-out.)
One thing I discovered: Heidi makes some of the best salads in the Bay Area. It's not a secret in San Anselmo, where her regulars buy out the fattoush salad from the take-out counter every day. Insalata's and Marinita's Publication Date: October 2014, with Laura Parker Studio.