Blogger Spotlight: Aviva Kanoff

Aviva Kanoff, author of No-Potato Passover, and I have “known” each other for years, but never actually met until last week. I had followed her career as a cookbook author the past few years, partially because I loved her approach to fresh cooking for Passover and her mouth-wateringly beautiful photography, and also because we have several mutual friends in common – such a small world!

We finally had the chance to sit down for coffee together last week so I could hear about her latest project, Gluten Free Around the World and talk all things Passover.

Aviva Kanoff1

Where did the idea for No-Potato Passover come from?

Several years ago I came up with the idea to do a no-potato Passover challenge with my family. I thought: what would happen if we didn’t use ANY potatoes this year during Passover!? And because I am the kind of person who likes to really do things full-force, this wasn’t going to be just a Passover with limited potatoes: it would be literally no potatoes. When I told my mom she had a heart attack. But finally she came around. I did let my family have a few potatoes for carpas.

When I went shopping for the no-potato Passover Seder, it was like I was seeing color for the first time: green brussel sprouts! Purple eggplants! Red beets! Prior to that year I had had potato tunnel vision.  I felt very excited at this challenge. It was like an adventure.

So how did the book come about?

I actually have a degree from the French Culinary Institute, but it wasn’t necessarily something I wanted to pursue professionally. At least not being a restaurant chef. But I also would never have pictured myself as a cookbook author. Now in hindsight it makes perfect sense; it seems so obvious. I love cooking, food, travel and photography. Writing a cookbook really combined all my passions.

After that first no-potato Passover with my family, I gave myself a year to write the book and said if I could get it done I would try to publish it myself.

How has the cookbook influenced you and your cooking?

Posted on March 18, 2014

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