Emily McKenna
Emily McKenna is the Associate Food Editor at Real Simple. She got her start in food at a small Italian restaurant in NJ, where she learned to build one hot fire for oven-baking pizzas by the dozen. She had an exciting, but short-lived, stint at one of New York City’s most popular Italian restaurants (which shall remain nameless) and then worked as a private chef in the middle of the Montana mountains and in Manhattan. After three years as a research editor at Food & Wine magazine she met Amanda Hesser, who hired her to test recipes for her James Beard Award Winning, The Essential New York Times Cookbook. She worked as a freelance editor at food52.com, Hesser’s website and helped specialty meats retailer D’Artagnan launch its recipe website. She is proud to be born and bred in New Jersey, but happily lives in Brooklyn with her fiance.

Recent Posts By Emily McKenna

Vermont Farm Recovery

The state of Vermont, known for its thriving food and farm culture, is near and dear to me.  Right now, my fiance lives there, and in about a month I will too.  Irene hit Vermont hard. In fact, the storm was the worst natural disaster to hit the state in almost 100 years. Vermonters watched as roads crumbled and bridges […]

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Pantry Puttanesca

The worst of Hurricane Irene seems to be behind us—at least in the New York area.  Last weekend, the city was captivated, as New Yorkers (people not normally accustomed to floods) contemplated evacuating their apartments and stock piled candles, water and other essential non-perishables. I decamped to New Jersey to wait out the storm with my family.  For the most […]

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The Lengths We Go to for Great Food

On my way to work this morning, I heard an interview with Mark Bello, who teaches folks with regular home ovens, to make pizza at his Little Italy-workshop, Pizza a Casa.  He was describing his obsessive method for bringing pizza from New York home to Chicago: “I had this system of transporting frozen slices, which involved wrapping each slice tightly […]

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Michigans (Hot Dogs) in New York

I’ve been spending a lot of time this summer at my fiance’s father’s house in far-upstate New York, in the small, quiet, mostly farming community called Chazy.  Chazy hugs the western edge of Lake Champlain and moves at the kind of slow, friendly pace that immediately curbs my rush-rush-New York City tendencies.  You wouldn’t know the place unless you’d grown […]

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Old Cookbooks, New Inspiration

Like most people I know who like to cook, I love cookbooks.  And like most people who love cookbooks, I cherish old, out-of-print volumes that capture one place or period in time.  I spent a recent Saturday browsing through a used book store and came across two fantastic finds: A decades-old edition of the classic The Virginia Housewife, first published […]

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Hometown-Proud Foods

I moved from my home state of New Jersey to suburban St. Louis as a high school freshman, and I was in shock—food shock.  I was used to eating all of my favorite New Jersey foods and resented having to change my routine.  Remember, I was a stubborn 15-year old.  I missed Texas wieners (or, hot dogs covered with spicy […]

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My Essential Kitchen Tools

On a recent trip to the kitchenware store, I was amazed by the variety of gadgets available to cooks today.  It seems as if there is a tool for every culinary task—miniature, inch-high box graters for single cloves of garlic, flexible silicone bowls that float in water for poaching eggs, serrated plastic knives for chopping lettuce, slicers specifically for hard-boiled […]

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A July 4th Celebration

My fiancé and I have adopted a new July 4th tradition—as soon as work ends on Friday we decamp with friends to the Catskills for a weekend of eating and country dancing. The tradition itself is not new (in fact, it’s several decades old), but our participation is, and we have already started counting down the days. The highlight of […]

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Tricks of the Trade from a Food Stylist

As a professional cook who works with other cooks, food photographers and stylists every day, I have picked up tons of handy tips and tricks, things like shocking the life and crisp back into wan carrots and celery by plunging them in an ice water bath, cooking bacon in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet to avoid oily splashes […]

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Meet Emily McKenna and Tell Her Who Inspired Your Love of Food

Hi Simply Stated readers. My name is Emily McKenna and I am the Associate Food Editor at Real Simple, and the second person in the food department to join the ranks of the Simply Stated bloggers. My job has lots of moving parts—producing and writing our Road Test column, where we scan the market and test products, from grilling gadgets […]

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