spotlight B

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ack to the subject du jour, Skladany finalizes his Beyoncé menu. “I’d say I’m the most confident in my pasta. I would probably make her a risotto. It would have to be an Italian dish, and we would obviously be drinking some lemonade. Basically, every food reference in

Beyoncé’s songs, I would try to incorporate.” Skladany has always had a yen for diligence. “I was hardwired to be a creative

writer from a young age. I have early memories of other kids playing with BB guns and G.I. Joe, but I was home stapling loose-leaf papers together and writing my own book.” Sprinkling emphatic garnish on his sentiment, Skladany punctuates, “I’ve just

always had a passion for writing.” Generous to a fault, Skladany serves up the perfect segue to his new release, Basic Bitchen. “I feel like I’ve always expressed myself through writing. I’ve been very honest and open and it’s been very cathartic to me. I approached this cookbook in the same way.” When asked which Basic Bitchen recipe will resonate with readers, Skladany

answers with sweet brevity. “My chocolate chip cookies. Such a simple recipe, but that’s kinda what this book is all about: the universality of these dishes that everybody’s going to love. But for some reason, these damn cookies, people cannot get enough. There are just a bunch of little secrets like using sea salt or more brown sugar than white sugar. Just a bunch of little tweaks that help make it this big, fluffy, Instagram-able cookie, if you will. For some reason, after I posted it, people went nuts.” Social media doubles as a virtual dinner table for @JoeySkladany. For some

chefs, connection is merely a side dish, but for Skladany, it’s the main course. “Community means everything to me. When I was growing up, I was always

ostracized for being different. I actually found comfort surrounding myself with other people who were picked on because of their differences or were minorities. This book, I feel, is very celebratory of the fact that the commonality that we all share at the end of the day is we love good food. We love simple, basic food.”

22 | August 2020

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