When Dawn Perry lived in San Francisco as a young adult, she resided in a food-obsessed community with plenty of amazing ingredients available—but didn’t have a great toolkit of recipes to rely upon to use them. Growing up, her mom had made sure that the family ate well, but she admittedly didn’t love to cook so didn’t pass along many cooking insights to her daughter.
In San Fran, though, Dawn caught the bug and attended culinary school. She then worked in the culinary world, including in food media. She served as Real Simple’s food director; worked in Mike Tusk’s Quince restaurant in both the pastry and savory kitchens; was a private chef in the eastern United States; cross-tested recipes for Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes; became associate food editor at Everyday Food; tested recipes for Real Simple, which gleaned her an IACP nomination; became senior food editor at Bon Appétit; worked at Martha & Marley Spoon as culinary content editor; and more.
The author of Cucumbers, she’s also published a cookbook: Ready, Set, Cook: How To Make Good Food with What's On Hand. For the book, she focused on an audience of busy working people, including parents. This is a book she wished that she had when first on her own in the world and is one she needs now as a working parent with two kids.
Her goal was to make this cookbook appealing to families, one that’s ideal for day in and day out use—containing recipes that allow people to make dinner happen, quickly and easily with low amounts of stress. Dawn, recognizing that not everyone loves to cook, wanted to make this an approachable book with actionable recipes that would give people the confidence they needed as they cooked.
For more about this story in Dawn’s own words, check out podcast #15: Time Savers, Pickled Raisins and Cooking With Creativity.
Past Episodes of our Farming for Health Podcast
If you’ve missed any of our previous episodes, you can find them here:
- Episode One: Keto, Cruciferous Vegetables, Salt and Your Mindset
- Episode Two: Cooking, Conviviality, and Preserving the Harvest
- Episode Three: Ferments, Food Insecurity, and Wasted Food.
- Episode Four: Anti-Cancer Diet, Food as Medicine, and Vegetables.
- Episode Five: Plants, Happiness and Mindful Neglect.
- Episode Six: Whole 30, Sustainable Habits, and Loving Vegetables
- Episode Seven: Iodine, Egg Yolk Enzymes, and Miso
- Episode Eight: Fungi, Bitter Foods, and Food Extinction
- Episode Nine: Understanding Food, Nutritional Healing and Farming
- Episode Ten: Enjoying the Process, Connection and Soup
- Episode Eleven: Monica Geller, Community and Limiting Salads
- Episode Twelve: Nourishment, Creativity, and Full-Spectrum Health
- Episode Thirteen: The Joy of Cooking, Fermentation, and Seasonality
- Episode Fourteen: Cauliflower, Potlucks, and the Joy of Food
Stay tuned for more!