karen mordechai

Queen of dinner parties, Karen Mordechai, is the founder of Sunday Suppers – a monthly dinner party series in Brooklyn that is so our vibe, it’s surprising Karen hasn’t graced our pages sooner!

Mordechai’s spot-on curation of minimally-packaged kitchen staples, ILA Collection, is also a TCM treasure (this olive oil belongs in a jewelry box). And her recent undertaking, a gorgeous quarterly named Simple Fare,  has us swooning for the brand on a whole other level.

We secretly consider Karen and her bouquet of brands as part of our Chalkboard community, although we’ve never met. We’ve got that sense of far-away pride that so many of us do for the businesses we admire – but have no official connection to – as we watch them rise.

We asked Karen to join our fave foodie series, In My Fridge that takes us inside the kitchens and fridges of chefs, cooks and entertainers we admire. Read through and put a few of her well-seasoned tips into action…

In my kitchen you’ll find plenty of:

Olive oil, salts, pickled items and plenty of greens.

Recipe staples always on hand:

Garlic confit, lemons, fresh herbs and black garlic.

Ingredient that makes everything taste better:

Salt and acid.

Best food memory:

My grandmother’s cooking.

Food philosophy in one sentence:

Know your ingredients and don’t overthink. it.

Fave ingredient lately:

Midnight snack perfection:

Food you love to eat with zero prep/additions:


Most impressive dish:

The squid ink pasta from Simple Fare: Fall and Winter is really dramatic to serve.

Healthiest habit in the kitchen:

Using olive oil in place of butter.

Fave condiments:

Fermented lemon (recipe in Simple Fare: Fall and Winter), miso and harissa.

Best bargain tip:

Go to the farmers market toward closing time. You may not get the best selections, but most vendors will reduce their pricing.

Fave veggie + what you make with it:

Charred eggplant with cashew butter and lemon from Simple Fare: Fall and Winter.

Must-have munchies:

I’m not a big snacker but I usually have nuts around, cashews in particular.

Favorite splurge:

When we have something to celebrate, it’s usually over a fun steak dinner. When in Brooklyn, picking up a really nice aged rib-eye from Marlow & Daughters is such a treat.

Your idea of an ideal dinner setting…

At home in our backyard with my husband and daughter.

For last minute entertaining, I…

Make risotto.

Simple go-to recipe:

I grew up making shakshuka, so it’s a default for me in the kitchen. Serve it alongside some crusty bread.

Loving this inspo from Karen Mordechai?
Discover plenty more pro insights with our ‘In The Kitchen’ series here.

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