Brew Questionnaire with Julia Turshen

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Julia Turshen is a chef and New York Times best-selling cookbook writer. Her latest cookbook, Simpy Julia, rethinks comfort food through a healthy lens (hello, lemon ricotta cupcakes). It was picked up by Vice President Kamala Harris when she visited an indie bookstore in Rhode Island (she joked that she thought it was a Julia Child book). When she’s not writing or thinking of new recipes, Turshen talks food on her podcast, Keep Calm & Cook On. Need a Sunday night dinner upgrade? Sign up for Turshen’s online cooking classes every Sunday afternoon, where you can learn how to make rosemary gin spritzers and sesame chicken schnitzel.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

On a practical note, the best advice I’ve received as a lifelong freelancer is to think of every dollar I earn as fifty cents and to open a separate savings account and put half of every check I receive into it so I’m set for taxes and any other unexpected work expenses.

On a more emotional note, the best advice I’ve ever received is to ask for forgiveness, not permission.

What’s the most embarrassing song you’ll admit to liking publicly?

I have no shame about anything I like! But I guess the first to come to mind for this question is “Lean on Me,” which my spouse, Grace, says I sing very frequently…

What fictional person do you wish were real?

As someone who has gotten into powerlifting in the last few months, I would have to say Luisa Madrigal from Encanto.

What real person do you wish were fictional?

How would you explain TikTok to your great-grandparents?

An infinite number of miniature home movies that you can watch on a handheld device.

What always makes you laugh?

All of our pets, but especially our dog Winky, who is particularly comical.
If you were given a billboard in Times Square, what would you put on it?

Diet culture sucks. You are loveable.

—Interview by Sherry Qin

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