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Ask Jamie Geller - Do You Cook A Lot?

classic chicken soup

I am typing this email on behalf of my son, Kovy, your devoted fan. He just turned 9 today. (Despite his physical disability, he has the greatest personality ever!) He loves watching your cooking videos, trying out your new recipes, and, of course, eating them!

This is the message from Kovy: "I was wondering-- do you make a lot of foods on the same day? If you ever need a helper to help you cook, I could help you."

Wishing you a kesiva vechasima tova!

- Galiah and Kovy


Thank you, thank you, thank you for your interest. I am so happy you took the time to write to me, and that you like the videos and recipes. I try hard to make foods that my kids -- and all kids -- can enjoy with their parents, so it means the world to me to know that you like them. I’m never sure if children’s taste buds are the same as grown-ups’, so I test things on my kids. For example, I fed my nine- month-old son chicken with braised red cabbage and fennel for dinner tonight. No complaints. So I guess it’s ok as kid food.

It’s actually a recipe from my upcoming new book, Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes. I truly hope you will like it as much as the first one. The focus is family dinners and should be easy for kids who want to help in the kitchen, like you. Now to answer your question (which is such a good one): Yes, I do cook A LOT of food on the same day! “A LOT” is an understatement. For the cooking show, I shoot between 5 and 10 episodes a day. So that means we are making 10 different recipes, and we make each recipe 2-3 times per video.

First, we do what is called the beauty shot – and that’s the pretty finished dish you see at the beginning and end of each episode. Then we cut and measure all the ingredients and set them out in front of me, so I can demonstrate how to make the dish throughout the episode. Of course, sometimes we make mistakes (whether it’s me or the cameraman makes no difference), so we have to reshoot and re-cook all over again.

I know it doesn’t look like I’m doing all the cooking in one day, because I try to change my outfit for each episode. By the end of the day (which starts between 6-8:00 am and can end between 8:00 pm-2:00 am), my kitchen is a mess, I have enough food for an army for a week -- and I can’t stand on my feet anymore.

When it comes to cooking at home for my family, aside from making dinner for the six of us, we LOVE to have TONS of Shabbos guests. That’s when I cook like crazy and multiply each recipe by 5 or 6. I also cook and freeze meals, so I’ll dedicate an entire day – let’s say, to Classic Chicken Soup and make four or five 8-10 quart stockpots worth, and then freeze it in portions for Shabbos. My Creamy Baked Ziti and my Asian Steak freeze well and are family favorites too. Especially when I’m having a lot of company, it’s so convenient to be able to pull out a few things from the freezer.

So I hope I answered your question, and I’ll remember your offer of help. In the meantime I’d like to send you a special signed copy of my new book Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes, to add to your collection, when it comes out this November, G-d Willing. (Tell your mom to send me your address please).

Have a happy, healthy New Year – and please send my love to your terrific mom.