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

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.

You Should Be Air-Frying Your Latkes. Here’s How.

The secret to latkes with crispy outsides, creamy insides, and no grease.

This Greek Chicken Soup Has a Surprising Sephardic History

Avgolemono, a chicken soup with egg and lemon, has roots in Spain, Turkey, Italy, and Greece.

Israeli Cuisine Has Finally Arrived in Chicago

The most anticipated restaurant opening in Chicago this year is all about traditional Israeli fare.

21 Restaurants Hosting Passover Seders Across the Country

Instead of making a mess in your kitchen, make a reservation.

How One East Coaster is Bringing Quality Bagels to Chicago

The perfect New York-style bagels have just arrived in the Chicago suburbs.

Chocolate Bark with Pumpkin Seeds, Strawberries and Citrus Recipe

An easy, sweet treat for Tu Bisvhat or anytime you want to celebrate fruit and nuts.