Emily Paster

Emily Paster was born and raised in Washington, DC, where her mother was the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library and her father was chairman of the public relations firm Hill and Knowlton. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Michigan Law School, she redirected her career from law to cooking and food writing beginning about 10 years ago, when she had her second child. She writes the widely admired blog West of the Loop, primarily about food but with forays into parenting and family life. She is the co-founder of the Chicago Food Swap and is a national leader in the growing food swap movement (community get-togethers where handmade foods are bartered and exchanged). Her previous book is Food Swap (Storey 2016). A resident of River Forest, Illinois, in suburban Chicago, she speaks often in the Chicago area on farm-to-table and garden-to-table provisioning and cooking and she has appeared numerous times on food and cooking segments for the major TV network affiliates in Chicago.


Articles by Emily Paster

How to Make Tabbouleh in an Instant Pot

You will love this fail proof method.

Here’s What It’s Like to Open a Jewish Deli During a Pandemic

A brand new deli in Chicago shares what it's like to open in this difficult moment.

North African Preserved Lemons Recipe

A traditional recipe that will add big flavor to your cooking.

How to Make Labneh Using Your Instant Pot

Make this creamy, Israeli favorite at home.

The Easiest Chocolate Pudding for Passover

Coconut milk is the perfect ingredient for a pantry-forward, creamy dessert.

People Can’t Get Enough of This Vegan Jewish Deli

Lox, pastrami, and chopped liver — with a plant-based twist.

Air-Fried General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

Skip the Chinese takeout this Christmas.