A chat with Bon Appetempt's Amelia Morris
Amelia Morris is the 29-year-old author of Bon Appetempt, a local blog that tests recipes from major publications and documents the results. When she's not cooking in her cozy West Hollywood kitchen, she's working at Heath Ceramics and spending time with her husband, Matt.
Morris didn't have a love affair with food from the beginning: "I was always surrounded by food but was not interested until I started cooking after I was married." Now, she finds "joy in the kitchen" and feels "inspired by food."
So how did Bon Appetempt come to be? "I had the whole month of December off from graduate school," Morris says, "and thought I would make a cake for Christmas day. I chose to make the devil's food layer cake with peppermint frosting that was on the cover of Bon Appetit magazine [December 2008]. I had never made a cake from scratch before.... I remember that we had all the components ready and me and Matt were impressed with ourselves. But as we were putting on the icing, the cake started sliding and falling. At this point we started taking pictures. When you view the pictures on the computer, you can see a play by play of the eventual collapse. After that incident, I thought: 'This would make a great blog.' "
Since then, Morris has duplicated recipes from Bon Appetit, Saveur, the New York Times and more. She says "not one publication is better than another. It all really depends on the recipe. But, I fail at Martha Stewart. She is the hardest for me." But "it’s better if it's a fail; it's more fun." Her most recent success was Ina Garten's summer pudding, declaring it "simple and delicious."
Morris discloses that she is a novice cook but thinks "the foodie world is missing a slightly unhinged point of view. Everything is so pretty and professional." A fan of Julia Child videos and "old school" handwritten recipe cards, Morris says she hopes her readers relate to her successes as much as to her failures. She is currently working on adding videos to the blog and a cookbook proposal that is story oriented and features family recipes.
-- Leah Rodrigues
Photo credit: Matthew Bookman