Leslie Engel is a champion of culinary literacy, convincing friends, family and you that cooking is not nearly as difficult as giant food conglomerates want you to believe, and that it’s healthier and cheaper, too.
Leslie’s culinary experience spans 25 years. She developed an unusual obsession with chives and root vegetables at a young age, and by 10 was cooking meals for her family. Her first home-cooked meal of cornflake chicken and honey-glazed carrots from the Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cookbook was a huge success. From there she went on to master classic dishes such as her mother’s tuna casserole, 40 cloves of garlic chicken and skillet cornbread.
At the same time she was developing a taste for alliums, Leslie began writing. Stories about alien abductions led to angsty teenage poetry, over-confessional personal essays and finally a bachelor’s degree in print journalism at Emerson College. After graduation she worked at a small neighborhood newspaper in Boston, MA, and then as an editorial assistant at HarperCollins Publishers in New York City.
Disillusioned by the publishing world and dismayed over the rise of diet-related illnesses like obesity, Leslie was inspired to earn a master’s degree in public health, with a focus on community health education, from Hunter College. Her research focused on how the food system impacts human health.
When she is not trying to convince you to cook at home or deciding what’s for dinner, she is exercising and thinking about cheese. Leslie lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and overnourished calico cat.