Natasha Feldman, Cooking Show Host and Private Chef

Look no further than Natasha for all the pantry ingredient inspiration you need (she even runs a Zoom cooking class called "Apocalypse Kitchen").
Discover Natasha's lists in Compell'd

Natasha is a master in the kitchen; Her pantry ninja cooking shows will inspire you to make something insanely delicious with whatever you have on hand. She's also a true champion of her beautiful city of Los Angeles and its bounty of fresh, flavorful foods. When she gives you a recommendation of where or what to eat, you listen! Get to know a bit more of her fascinating story below.

Shakespearean acting school in London to culinary school in the states to the host of your own cooking show. What an amazing path! It makes sense looking at it now, but it probably didn’t always feel that way. How did you know it was the right path at each step along your journey?

Thank you! It’s really funny how things appear linear in retrospect. I’ve always loved telling stories through performance and giving people new ideas to play with. I love how both acting and cooking are fueled by curiosity and figuring things out as you go. Once I decided I wanted to move into food and away from traditional acting, I just kept trying stuff until something clicked. It was less of a path and more of a maze. Which is to say, I am not sure when, if ever, knew it was the right path, I just knew I wanted to follow it.

"I’ve always loved telling stories through performance and giving people new ideas to play with."

Your cooking show is fun, vivacious, and just a pure joy to watch. What are the main things you try to communicate to your audience when you’re creating your show?

My motto is “deliciously imperfect.” I want people to see that even those who cook for a living make mistakes. I don’t want to edit to perfection, I want to show my audience how freeing it is when you make failing fun. To embrace the crazy stuff that happens and learn as they go. I think taking a low stakes approach in the kitchen is the right frame of mind. What’s the worst that can happen, your food doesn’t taste great? Cooking should fit into your lifestyle and not be a stress, there are plenty of incredibly easy recipes out there to suit the needs of everyone. You don’t have to be, or even aspire to be, a Martha Stewart. So - mess up, have fun, find recipes that work for you, and learn a little more every time as you go along.  I hope, now more than ever, that people are finding cooking something that they can derive pleasure from, rather than a slog, since we’re at home more than ever before!

"My motto is 'deliciously imperfect.' I want people to see that even those who cook for a living make mistakes."

Your feeling about wanting to create food for real life, that isn’t just pretty, really resonates with us. Tell us a little more about the kind of food you create.

Yeah, hard to photograph food is often the most delicious. My roots are Eastern European so I’m super into brown, stewed, potatoey dishes. I think ideally the food you make should be mostly healthy, not too exhausting to prepare, and maybe gives you a warm little dose of nostalgia. There are lots of little tricks, which I implement in my recipes, to make food taste better with minimal effort and maximum payoff. Simple things like use good salt. Find a sea salt you like and invest in some finishing salt such as Maldon or Jacobsen. Yes, they’re a splurge but you don’t need a lot. And it’s still much cheaper than going out! Utilize acids such as apple cider vinegar, lemons or limes. These ingredients add so much with just one squeeze or pour. I also LOVE herbs, fresh herbs are my obsession. Overall I’d summarize my style of cooking as a mishmash of Eastern European and Mediterranean flavors with fresh California ingredients, prepared with low-stress cooking techniques. 

Where do you typically get your inspiration from in the kitchen?

I LOVE cookbooks, I read them cover to cover like novels. I get lots of inspiration from them.  I also get inspired by trying new restaurants, talking to friends and, occasionally, traveling! I’m excited to be sharing my current favorite cookbooks with you via my list!

You live in LA, which we all know is a goldmine for foodies. How do you discover the best places to check out?

I read all the usual suspects, Eater, LA Times, Infatuation, etc. and I’m always asking friends where they ate. Sometimes I walk by a market or restaurant that peaks my curiosity and I pop on in! I also cover that in one of the lists, it’s of all my favorite LA restaurants that are open during our “safer at home” quarantine! I hope you’ll support them if you live in the city.

Thanks so much, Natasha! We learned about so many gems in your list of your favorite cookbooks.

Discover Natasha's lists in Compell'd
April 8, 2020

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