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

This “Top Chef” is Bringing Upscale Israeli Food to Chicago

California meets Israeli cuisine at two Top Chef-run restaurants.

Why This Israeli Ingredient is Showing Up Everywhere

You are going to want to add this date honey to everything from salads to cocktails.

How Poppy Seeds Became the Chosen Flavor of Purim

Poppy seeds are a popular flavor for Purim - but why??

A New Generation of Jewish Deli is Taking Over Chicago

Smoked meat and hand-rolled bagels are replacing some of the old-school delis of the midwest.

You Can Thank Jews for That Orange You’re Eating

Jews played a crucial role in the cultivation of citrus.

Cranberry Applesauce Recipe

The perfect condiment for latkes, Thanksgiving dinner or snacktime.