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  • Raquel Pelzel

    Tell us five words to describe yourself.

    Optimistic. Thoughtful. Hungry. Adventurous. Nurturing.

    What’s your idea of comfort on a plate?

    Depends on the season! In the summer, nothing beats tomatoes on toast with a good schmear or mayonnaise. When fall arrives, I don't think anything can beat a roast chicken--I like to roast one over bacon, onions and Brussels sprouts--the veg absorb all that good chicken fat and juice and pile that over a toast... I MEAN WOW. In the wintertime, you better not ask me for a bite of my pasta carbonara. Then, in the spring when there is still a lingering rainy chill, I crave chicken soup made with a knob of ginger, peas and quickly blanched spinach and bok choy. 

    What’s your favourite film?

    Of all time?? That's a tough call! These are the films that I can always watch at any given time without being able to tear myself away: Slums of Beverly Hills, Working Girl, Babette's Feast, Big Night, Party Girl, Deep Blue Sea, Dawn of the Dead. Super rando, right?

    What are you reading right now?

    Two books, actually. 1: The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx for times when I have more than 20 minutes to really dig in, and for short subway rides I'm reading David Sedaris' Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls.

    Who would you like to meet/have met?

    I would have loved to have baked bread with Jackson Pollock. It is like a window into his soul--that this haunted genius who lived to break rules and boundaries found comfort within the confines of bread baking. Anyone who enjoys baking is a natural giver, someone who enjoys gifting joy, and someone who is rewarded by the act of creating and the promise of pleasure. Thinking about him in that way makes me smile. And I bet he would have LOVED toast!

    What’s your favourite destination in the world?

    I live to travel--and am so inspired by other languages, ingredients and traditions, but there's nothing quite like returning home to NYC--flying into the city, seeing the skyscrapers and bridges. I love the feeling of coming home. 

    Do you have a motto?

    You only fail when you don't try. 

    How do you unwind?

    I have two sons--one is 10, the other is nearly 6--and at the end of the day, I let them watch a little baseball on TV, I sit between them, and they each snuggle into me. That is THE BEST feeling.  

    Check out recipes from Raquel's cookbook Toast and visit her website here