Writer, cooking teacher, television host, and author of an award-winning book, Amelia Saltsman is passionate about getting everyone into the kitchen.


Tour the Santa Monica Farmers' Market with Amelia Santa Monica Farmers' Market Tour Santa Monica, CA
June 11, 2014
9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Farmers' Market Tour
Cooking Experiences at La Cocina Que Canta Cooking Class and Retreat Tecate, Mexico
September 6 - 12, 2014
Rancho La Puerta

A Grand Year for Le Grand Nectarines

Masumoto Farm Le Grand Nectarines

Last weekend, my family and I harvested our “adopted” Le Grand nectarine and Elberta peach trees at the Masumoto Family Farm in Del Rey, CA (20 minutes south of Fresno). Mas, Marcy, Nikiko and Korio started the Adopt-A-Tree program to sell fruit, but also as a teaching tool. We’ve participated since 2006, and I can tell you that eight years provides quite an education about what a small farmer encounters.

Every year is different. Some years, the buttery Elbertas have weighed almost a pound each (you can read more about Elberta peaches on my KCRW Good Food guest post). This year, not so much. In fact, Mas is thinking about severely pruning …

Vegetable Literacy: Book Giveaway and Q & A with Deborah Madison

Note: Due to technical difficulties, my website went down right after I posted this blog. Now that my site is back up, I invite you to leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of Vegetable Literacy. If you were quick to enter and previously left a comment, it’s still there and you’re still in the running. The contest closes this Friday, August 9th, and more details are below!

Deborah Madison has a new and important book, Vegetable Literacy (June 2013, Ten Speed Press). The woman who moved vegetables from side-dish afterthoughts and ugh, the “healthy foods” column to the delectable center of the plate is taking us …

IACP Writing Awards 2013

Some of the food people I admire most won writing awards at the International Association of Culinary Professionals awards ceremony on Tuesday in San Francisco. Notice how I structured that sentence? Not all these authors are writers first–some are restaurateurs, anthropologists, or even waiters–but all have compelling food stories to tell, which makes them food people. And all, as writing coach extraordinaire Crescent Dragonwagon would say, are “deep feast” thinkers, giving us writing rich with multiple layers of meaning. Here are a few highlights you might like to check out (click here for the complete list of 2013 nominees and winners).

Lessons from Julia Child

Julia Child This week marks the centennial of the birth of Julia Child, and Julia stories abound. Here’s mine (a longer version appears in the IACP Frontburner).

I first met Julia in the spring of 1982, when I was a novice cooking school director. My job earned me the privilege of being a scullery assistant for Julia at the annual Los Angeles Planned Parenthood three-day Gourmet Gala extravaganza. Can you believe I still have the recipe booklets??

Click to continue reading…

Campania: Lemons, Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Eggplant

Vertical-Lemon-Orchard First, let me just say I was too busy eating, drinking and living la dolce vita to post from Italy. Seriously, what was I thinking! I’m back, and here’s some of what I found in late June in Campania (Amalfi Coast and Naples; I didn’t make it inland—see la dolce vita above).

Lemons. If there’s one defining fruit for this area, this is it, specifically the IGP-protected sfusato amalfitano variety. Often grown in steeply terraced orchards clinging to vertiginous cliff sides, these lemons are intensely aromatic and although acidic, are somehow subtler than our everyday Eureka and Lisbon varieties.

They show up everywhere and in everything. My husband and I especially dedicated ourselves to acquiring deep knowledge of granita di limone

What’s in Season in Campania?

Campania market I’m not quite sure. I’m getting ready for a trip to southern Italy, which means a lot of armchair food travel. Seriously a lot, like to the point of such visual and verbal surfeit that I feel like I’ve already eaten my way through Campania and Rome.

I’ve repeatedly daydreamed my way through Fred Plotkin’s Italy for the Gourmet Traveller, which I consider the bible for such things. Also David Downie’s exhaustive Food Wine Rome; Elizabeth Minchilli’s elegant blog; and whatever little electronic alleyways I stumble upon, such as Amy Sherman’s 9 Best Things to Eat in Campania. (BTW, Elizabeth …

How to Shop at the Farmers’ Market

Portland Farmers Market With seasonal markets beginning to open up for the year, you may have decided this finally is the year you’ll buy from local growers. Feeling a bit timid? You’re not alone.

Last month I was on Cape Cod, where I helped my son and his fiancée plan their June wedding, which they want to source locally and sustainably. Although my son now lives in Boston, none of us was familiar with the Upper Cape (the part closest to the mainland). I may know many markets, but here I was, a newbie once again, with little time to suss things out.

Here’s what I did: I asked friends, strangers, and Google for advice, grabbed copies of Edible South Shore and Cape Cod (the mother lode!), and asked questions of the growers and purveyors we met along the way. Anxiety soon gave way to delight as we made discoveries and gradually widened the breadth of our knowledge, puzzling together a tiny sense of community. Continue reading How to Shop at the Farmers’ Market

The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook in 4th Printing!

Weiser Family Farms Yes—The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook has gone into a fourth printing! Thank you all for your support. It pleases me no end that the book continues to be a helpful resource for simple, seasonal cooking and shopping, wherever you live.

This has been a thought-provoking month of writing and meetings. With much of the L.A. area quarantined due to Medfly (it took just two flies!), I posted a two-part story on Eat:LA about methods of treatment and what to do at home and the market.

At the California Small Farm Conference in San Diego, I attended an SRO panel on small-scale farm start-ups, particularly as work therapy for American Vets. It was a stunning example of farming’s regenerative powers and proof that the passion to work the land endures. Continue reading The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook in 4th Printing!

Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook receives awards!

Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook has been awarded the Santa Monica Library 2008 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature (Local Impact) and the Writers’ Digest 2008 Grand Prize for Self-Published Books! I’m pleased to have my work recognized for its core message and the journey to bring it forth.

September’s trip to New England was delicious. The taste memory of my plum-ginger crisp recipe (SMFM Cookbook page 178) made by Al Forno’s Johanne Killeen using the last Rhode Island summer plums still lingers. Continue reading Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook receives awards!

The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook to be translated into Braille

Braille page Here’s a lovely bit of news: The Library of Congress has selected The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook to be translated into Braille (Spring 2010)! I am deeply honored that my work has been chosen to represent the local, seasonal food movement in Braille libraries across the country.

And here’s another: Friend and mentor Deborah Madison and her artist-husband Patrick McFarlin have collaborated on a delicious little book, What We Eat When We Eat Alone (Gibbs Smith, May 2009). Part memoir, part food anthropological dig, the book is a tell-all about our solitary eating habits that will make you whoop in recognition, cringe in horror, and marvel about what our choices reveal. The tastiest food confessions inspire Deborah’s 100 recipes, thankfully, none for fried Spam or Coffee-mate-dredged Life Cereal. Oh, and full disclosure—yours truly reveals her breakfast-for-dinner cravings. Continue reading The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook to be translated into Braille