Hi, I’m Ronna.
I am the founder and chef of Purple Kale Kitchenworks, a vibrant culinary studio near the waterfront in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I am also author of The Nimble Cook.
Here’s my story: Before striking out on my own, I spent over twenty years in the culinary industry as executive chef, pastry chef, and consulting chef in a host of quirky, beloved New York City restaurants, and also abroad, in France, Spain, Greece, and Sicily, in restaurants and pastry shops, on farms, and in private homes.
Over time, a pattern emerged. I’d put in intense hours at work, but I was left with little time and energy for cooking at home, and most of my efforts–a cassoulet, a terrine—were to feed a crowd, never just my tiny household of two.
As a result, when my kids were born, I was ill-prepared to improvise even the quickest meal at home. I would inevitably under-salt pasta, if I didn’t overcook it. I burned plenty of vegetables left steaming in a long-forgotten pot. My professional skills were no match for the ceaseless, changing demands of caring for little kids.
But no matter how harried my mood, I knew I needed to figure out how to make consistently healthy, economical, creative, and delicious meals, for my family of four. In the end, I was able to re-imagine restaurant strategies for the home, to align with the whims and mishaps of daily life. Out of this came a more “nimble” approach to home cooking, which put ingredients before recipes and prioritized personal life over strict meal plans. This approach became the core of my business, and then the premise of my first book.
These days, you’ll find me at the salvaged Garland stove in my studio, or at home with family, friends, and a still-sealed jar of truffles from Spain.
I Learned More Cooking for My Daughter Than I Ever Did as a Chef, guest contributor, Food52