When you work at New York’s leading parenting magazine, you kind of expect to meet cool moms, and Eden Grinshpan is one of the coolest. This avid foodie and Williamsburg-dweller lives a hilarious, no-filter life. She puts it all out there, from posting videos on Instagram showing her dancing around her apartment while “wearing” a breast pump, to posing topless covered in pizza.
On my first coffee date with Eden, we bonded over toddler tantrums and healthy eating strategies. I learned that although Eden is a hard worker, driven by her love for food, she has a killer sense of humor, and is doing this parenting thing very much in her own lane.
A bit of history. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in London, Eden traveled to India, Israel, and Southeast Asia to take in the culture and, of course, the cuisines of these countries. When she returned to New York, she co-created the show Eden Eats for the Cooking Channel. A year later, she launched Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan also for the Cooking Channel. Eden traveled around the country connecting with popular food bloggers and social media influencers who, like Eden, are obsessed with food. This down to earth foodie is also one of the hosts of Top Chef Canada. Amongst all these projects, she co-founded the contemporary Middle Eastern restaurant DEZ, birthed a baby (Ayv, age 3), and is now about to launch a cookbook. The book will be out in Fall 2020 and will have recipes based on contemporary Middle-eastern flavors inspired by Eden’s Israeli background and include dishes such as baharat roasted chicken with preserved lemon relish, salted halva chocolate chip cookies (hello-deliciousness!), the creamiest tahini hummus and pistachio cardamom coffee cake that are surprisingly easy to whip up.
These days you can find Eden wrapping up edits on her cookbook, running around the city with most possibly the sweetest husband we ever met, Ido, and their adorable daughter Ayv.
How has becoming a mother changed the way you cook and see food?
I try not to let it change the way I cook because I want Ayv to eat the way Ido and I do. Obviously, it doesn’t always work out, since she has become a little picky in the last couple of months, but we always try. I usually have back-up foods in the house, that I know are a sure thing. I find that Ayv eats more when we all eat together so I try and sit down with her for a nosh while she eats her meals.
You are one of the stars of Top Chef Canada. What is it like filming this popular show?
Amazing! I still pinch myself every time I see the show. I have been such a fan of the franchise for so many years. I also love that I get to travel to and live in Toronto for a month every year. That’s where I grew up and I haven’t lived there since I was 18 so it gives me a nice little taste of life there. The food I’ve had on the show is insane and the crew I work with is also one of the best crews I have ever worked with. I just love filming Top Chef Canada.
You formerly owned Dez, a Middle Eastern restaurant. Will you be back in the restaurant business in the future?
One day for sure! I loved Dez so much. I am still so incredibly proud of the restaurant that Sam Wasser (of By Chloe) and I created. The food, brand, space, and community we built was honestly everything we wished for. I have learned so much and can’t wait to use everything I’ve learned in my future projects.
Middle Eastern food influences so much of your cooking. Did you grow up eating this delicious food?
I am half Israeli and grew up going to Israel every summer. Those flavors and dishes have totally influenced the way I cook at home now for my family and friends. I never get tired of Middle-Eastern food. It’s so fresh, bright, full of flavor and always a crowd-pleaser. My first cookbook is coming out fall 2020 and is inspired by so many of those flavors. I can’t wait for everyone to try it out!
How do you introduce new foods to your daughter? Any tips on how to do this?
Anything that is new I eat WITH my daughter. When she sees me eating it, she gets more into it and is more likely to try it. I am also trying to make an effort to get excited about food that is good for us rather than “treat” food. She will love “treat” food no matter what so we highlight and talk up the healthier options.
You have worked with some pretty amazing chefs. Any favorite dishes?
So many! One of my all-time fave chefs is Mike Solomonov. His lamb shanks are ridiculous and I always have to resist the urge to face plant into his fresh pita. Missy Robbins is out of control. Love all her pasta dishes and her antipasti, especially at Misi; they’re insane.
Favorite dishes under 20 minutes for kids? If these even exist!
I always have cheese, fresh veg, and eggs on hand. If I need to put something together fast I just cut up some fresh veg, top with a chunk of feta, a 7-minute egg and maybe some tahini with fresh bread or toast. Ido and I eat like that all the time. I also always batch cook oatmeal and keep it in the fridge to heat up in the morning. I mix in nut butter, flax and fresh fruit with oat milk.
Since becoming a mother, are you finding the support you need?
Yes. My husband is extremely hands-on and we do almost everything together which makes everything easier and fun! We laugh a lot at all the chaos that comes with parenthood. I am also very lucky to have parents that are extremely helpful and live close by. I have been able to build an incredible community of mom friends in NYC. I always ask them for advice, talk about new milestones or just call them to vent when things get frustrating or hard (which happens as a new mom, let’s be honest). Becoming a parent is incredible but also challenging since everything is new and you are also growing as a parent with your children. I am always comforted by the fact that most of my mom friends go through the same things and we can all connect over it and exchange advice.
Your husband seems like a big support to you and Ayv. How are you both balancing huge careers and parenthood?
My husband is the best! I always joke that he has more maternal instincts than I do. We are also extremely lucky to have an amazing support system in our parents, friends and have a great nanny (it takes a village)! Ido and I always focus on our communication and time together which makes communicating as parents work. It’s so easy to get lost in your relationship if you are only talking about your work or children, so we make a point to take time for ourselves and our relationship. The parents are the heart of the family. If they are strong and happy the kids feel secure.
The first time we met, we were both digesting our mornings of toddler tantrums. How are you faring these days with your daughter Ayv’s growing personality?
Ayv is extremely funny, strong-willed and outgoing. She knows what she wants and doesn’t give up easily. I am learning alongside her and trying new things every day to help our mornings move faster. I find that giving her two options for her outfits helps (she loves to dress herself), as does having a “special” snack to convince her to get in her stroller to go to school. She loves pomegranate or a bowl full of berries. Ayv loves her independence, so I am teaching myself to give her tasks and I make sure I include her in my daily routine. When we grocery shop, she is in charge of the cart and I give her the food to put in it. Or after I put on her clothes for the day she takes her pj’s to the laundry herself. She LOVES helping out and I LOVE that about her.
For more on Eden and Eden Eats visit edeneats.com
I wish I had more time for… travel
I always feel saner after… pilates, dance class, yoga.. .me time OR a fat glass of wine
Favorite place to grab a bite to eat with the kids? 12 Chairs
Favorite dessert spot? Gentile — best gelato
Favorite park? We live in NYC…any park will do
Favorite winter activity with the fam? Going somewhere hot…Mexico, Miami…
Favorite family tv show/movie?