HomeNewsSpeakers & TopicsAboutContact

Joan Nathan

  • Author of 12 books
  • My Life in Recipes: Food, Family, and Memories


Building friendships around the world, Joan Nathan uses food and flavors to connect with each person's origin story. A remarkable food expert and cookbook writer, in 2024 Joan combined her best-loved recipes with her fascinating life story in My Life in Recipes: Food, Family, and Memories, weaving home, career and global travel highlights into a compelling read.

Warm and charming, Joan reveals the beginnings of her passion for food linked to discovering the stories of others:

I come from a family of eaters. My family food preferences and favorite recipes became the folklore of my life, as did the stories that accompanied the food they served. I have learned through the years that each person's defining recipe may be different—chicken and dumplings, lasagna, tacos, tamales, brisket, or steak and potatoes—but whatever it is, most of us have a dish that stays with us throughout our life. The thought, taste, and smell of that one dish reminds us of being safe as a child within our homes. Many of these foods become family folktales that appear again and again at the dinner table.

Joan gains her in-depth knowledge of food, ingredients, and recipes through on-the-ground research along with guest visits to kitchens everywhere. She gets particularly excited wrangling invites to homes with uncommon meal traditions and preparations, spending time in the kitchen to watch, listen, and learn while intently scribbling notes for future reference.

Across decades Joan has been tapped by the New York Times, Washington Post, and PBS as a regular contributor to food education and commentary. Distinguished throughout her career, Joan's honors include multiple James Beard awards plus the Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America. Working with colleagues throughout the food world, her collaborations include Julia Child, Ruth Reichl, Alice Waters, Tom Colicchio, Madhur Jaffrey, Craig Claiborne, and Paul Prudhomme.

Often referenced as the foremost authority on Jewish cooking, landmark achievements include her seminal collection Jewish Cooking in America, and her PBS series “Jewish Cooking in America,” available today on YouTube. Her twelve books include The New American Cooking and King Solomon's Table, reaching out to home cooks in every kitchen.

Joan appeals to all audiences, blending her love of food with her compassion and humanity. Energetic and insightful, Joan inspires everyone to get into the kitchen and try something new, or whip up a lifelong favorite.



Keywords: Author, storyteller, journalist, Jewish cooking, foodie, James Beard Award, commentator, family, family history, memoir

Book Joan Nathan