Victoria Granof is not only the author of our latest edition, Chickpeas, but she’s also one of the world’s best food stylists, those artist-cooks who make ingredients and dishes pop on the page. And we recently got to witness her talents firsthand while shooting our upcoming cookbook for two weeks straight in a very small “studio” during a late-summer heat wave. Needless to say, we had plenty of time to pick Victoria’s brain about her favorite foods and more.
What's your earliest food memory?
Good one: my grandmother's rice-stuffed yaprakes (grape leaves). Bad one: being force-fed low-quality macaroni and cheese on an upset tummy in pre-school. To this day I cannot eat cheese except parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta (which pre-dated the cheese trauma).
What's your favorite travel snack?
Hard-boiled eggs and little tomatoes with celery salt.
Which cookbooks can't you live without?
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. And Sephardic Cooking, a spiral-bound 1971 book that my grandmother (of yaprak fame) edited.
List the guests (can be living or deceased) of your dream dinner party.
Salvador Dali, Elizabeth David, Gary Busey, Diane Von Furstenburg, Mario Tamayo, my son and every man who has ever told me he likes my eyes.
What's the most essential tool in your kitchen?
Metal tongs and my hands.
What's your favorite food city?
Trapani. Jasmine-flower ice and fresh ricci (sea urchin) stirred into toothsome semolina spaghetti, served seaside. Oh yeah.