Renee Schettler
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Renee Schettler. Editor in Chief at Leite’s Culinaria.


I’m such a disciple of Renee’s work. I have been following her, or some would say stalking her, for years. She is the superb editor in chief at Leite’s Culinaria, one of my very favorite food and cooking sites by the very talented David Leite.  I’m so excited to finally share with you her beautiful and elegant words, her wit, her invaluable cooking insights, and of course her divine grandma’s apple pie recipe. Pour yourself, words straight out of her mouth, a well-deserved  glass of bubbly, curl up on the couch and enjoy all the bounty she kindly shared:

ALL ABOUT RENEE: I guess you can sum what I do by saying I play with words. I’m an editor and writer and social media consultant specializing in lifestyle content. Mostly food-minded stuff. Yes, that means I get to spend a crazy amount of time flipping through cookbooks. But I actually also spend a tremendous amount of time studying readers and understanding their concerns and observing what inspires and engages them. The result is less me telling readers what’s trendy and more me sharing solutions to real-life situations that readers encounter and are frustrated by every damn day. In other words, I try to keep it real. You can see what I mean at Leite’s Culinaria where I’m editor in chief. Before that I did the same thing as an editor at Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, and The Washington Post, except now I also get to spend obscene amounts of time on Facebook and Pinterest voyeuristically observing how readers respond to various content and call it work. I’m also a holistic health coach, which, when you think about it, is basically me doing the same thing I do with words and ideas when I edit—I help something or someone become the best version of themselves, whatever shape that takes.


Follow Renee: reneeschettler.com  pinterest  twitter

 

A person involved with food that inspires you :

My husband. He’s inquisitive in the kitchen. Intrepid, too. The guy simply isn’t afraid to fail or to laugh at a failed attempt and he has a blast along the way. He’s inspiring to me as I sometimes—okay, a lot of times—get too wrapped up in my head and how to get something exactly perfect when it comes to cooking and I lose the loveliness of just trying something on a whim.

A secret Ingredient:

I find that there are several secrets to a memorable apple pie. Toss in half as much ground ginger as ground cinnamon when making the filling and I use turbinado sugar rather than granulate. After tossing the apple slices with sugar and spice, I let them set a spell until the apples exude their exquisite juices. Drain off the liquid and gently reduce it to a syrup before dribbling it over the apple slices you’ve piled in the pie crust. Don’t forget to splash in a judicious pour of a decent bourbon as the spiced syrup simmers. Also, there better be lard in that crust. My grandma, from whom I learned much about baking, kept her recipes secret. And I respect that. But mostly when someone asks, I tell.

 A cooking tip:

Everything tastes spectacular when you’re sipping Champagne. And let go of the notion that you need an occasion to pop open a bottle of bubbly.

Favorite Place to Eat:

I’m a sucker for simple things executed flawlessly. To me, the most perfect steak on the planet is found at Le Severo in Paris.  And while steak frites is fairly ubiquitous throughout that city, the quality is typically abysmal. When my husband and I dined at this tiny neighborhood destination, run by a former butcher, on the recommendation of Alec Lobrano, I stifled a giggle after my initial taste, it was THAT good.

Favorite Cooking Utensil:

I can’t last a day without my OXO Good Grips Flexible Spatula.  The super slender metal blade is just the right mashup of bendy and sturdy. I make a lot of crisp-skinned chicken, eggs sunny side up, seared fish fillets, and crisp roast potatoes in my kitchen, and they require just the right touch to convince them to leave the skillet. The OXO spatula has not failed me yet. I always have at least a couple within reach of the stove. Otherwise I get a little anxious.

The Ultimate Place to Shop:

Union Square Greenmarket.  It was a revelation the first time I walked among its farm stands and it remained a revelation each of the literally hundreds of times I was late to work because I took a detour to the greenmarket the way to work. In order to truly take advantage of the greenmarket, it’s best to arrive just as it opens at 8 a.m. so you can line up next to the chefs and not only observe what they’d haul away but ask them what in god’s good name are they going to do with all those fiddlehead ferns? My palate, my cooking, and my garden owe much to those chefs and farmers,  including Marco Canora who once detailed with a naughty laugh how he intended to roast Scarlet Queen turnips in duck fat and Alex Guernaschelli who patiently explained, as though she had all the time in the world,  exactly how she cooks the first ramps of the season in her cast iron skillet.

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