At The Table With...Maris Callahan of In Good Taste Mag
Today we're hanging out with Maris Callahan, a Chicago-based PR professional and bosslady of In Good Taste Mag. This young blog is a treasure trove of ideas for entertaining simply and deliciously. Maris and her team shares recipes, DIY ideas, restaurant reviews and even some fashion and beauty. I enjoy entertaining but find it daunting at times, so Maris' ideas for menus, decor and outfits are fun to consider. She makes me think about creating an experience rather than simply creating a dish. It's a fun exercise.
Read on to get to know Maris!
What is your all-time favorite book?
I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb
What meal do you love to cook?
I love to try new recipes and create my own, so this is a tough question! One of my favorite things to make is my avocado pasta sauce [pictured below], which is so easy and tastes indulgent, but is really full of good fats and fiber. Paired with a salad or veggie and some crusty bread it's an easy crowd-pleaser. I've also been loving experimenting with Safest Choice Eggs. The company sponsored an event I did recently and because the eggs are pasteurized, they're safe to consume raw or undercooked. We created a cocktail recipe using the egg whites along with a thyme simple syrup and lemon juice that were delicious. It will be up on In Good Taste soon!
What is your favorite food scene from a book?
I don't have one specific scene in mind but I loved Cooking for Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser, a food columnist and former editor at The New York Times [now co-founder of Food52]. She chronicles her love for food throughout her courtship and engagement with her now-husband and really shines a light on how much food and dining plays a role in the social aspect of our culture. Some really cute stories and anecdotes along with great recipes, too!
Coffee or tea?
Coffee. All of the coffee.
What is the last book you abandoned?
I could never get through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I've probably started and stopped it five times because everyone raves about it but I just couldn't get hooked and I finally gave up.
Author you'd most like to meet for dinner, and your order?
I would have to go for French food with Julia Child. I know that isn't the most original answer but I can imagine it would be an experience of a lifetime — and she seems like a lot of fun!
Where do you go to find new recipes?
I create a lot of my own recipes but I'm consistently inspired by what I read, be in it in cookbooks, on blogs or in magazines. I'll see something that looks amazing and then figure out how to do it on my own. Sometimes I'm just inspired by the ingredients.
Where do you go to find new reads?
I ask friends and family for recommendations. I'm always searching for a good book to read and I love memoirs and biographies.
Tell us about your blog — the inspiration for it, why you blog, and your favorite aspects.
I've always loved to cook and I've loved to write. Working in PR, my clients were asking about whether we should work with bloggers and I was charged with researching them and getting to know some of the blogs to see if they'd be a fit. I quickly realized blogging was something I could do too and started one in May 2008. I've shifted focus back and forth over the years, doing freelance writing for other sites and running a local online magazine here in Chicago. At the end of the day, I want In Good Taste to be a resource for people who love to cook, dine and entertain as much as I do but are short on time or resources.
What are your favorite blogs, and why?
Can I have ten favorites? My reader is constantly updating week to week but I have always loved reading my friends' work on Chez Us, A Sweet Spoonful and Dunk and Crumble.
Photos by Leigh Loftus.