Linda Miller Nicholson does crazy shit with food. Especially pasta. Yeah, you’re gonna wanna see this.
WOAH! A podcast on a Wednesday instead of the typical Friday!? Yep. This is a new series: We Could Make That in-between-isodes where I talk to top food writers, popular Instagrammers and all around cool people to share their favorite makers of the moment. Have someone to nominate? Email me here.
Linda Miller Nicholson, or Salty Seattle as her fans know her, has been called the “Lady Gaga of Food” by The Cooking Channel. She was also a competitor on the hit show, MasterChef, and in 2018, she’s releasing a cookbook, published by HarperCollins all about her latest obsession: pasta.
Linda’s got a thing with pasta. Specifically, she’s spent the last few years figuring out how to infuse the bold colors of the rainbow into dough to create edible artwork, like emoji ravioli, striped spaghetti and colored bowties—yes, its as cool as it sounds. Here’s some proof:
After spending time in Torino, Italy, the birth place of the Slow Food movement, Linda now lives in the forest outside of Seattle with her husband, son, two dogs, 30+ chickens, five ducks and an insane pizza oven that she had flown in from Maine.
I met Linda when I was living out in Seattle in 2010, and she quickly became on of my closest friends. Her over-the-top personality, inspiring and expansive shoe collection and hilariously cheeky writing had me from the start. Stepping into her a kitchen is a lesson in everything imaginable – from how to sous vide to how to slow cook scrambled eggs to how to spherify pea puree so that it bursts in your mouth at precisely the moment you bite down.
She’s also got some pretty strong viewpoints about the trends we’re seeing the food world—both for good and for bad:
“When we’re deifying our food to the point of preciousness, that’s where we fall off the bandwagon.” – Linda Miller Nicholson
So, what’d we talk about?
Linda and I could talk for days (and we have), so this episode was a test to boil down the very best of Linda into a bite-sized chunk. We talk about everything from the double edged sword of Instagram, to the dinner party essentials you must have for success, to Linda’s (not so) secret love of Star Wars.
We also debate on whether food as art = food as health, and Linda’s favorite makers of the moment, including a Seattle fermentation company and an artist’s collective that’s putting old-timey liqueurs back into the public eye.
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Show notes [times are approximate]:
Process of getting colors in pasta [4:04]
Hiding veggies in pasta dough [5:24]
Secret to really good pasta [9:03]
How Instagram’s changed the game [10:31]
Overall trend toward health [13:33]
A move to rustic, upscale comfort food [14:44]
Does food as art = food as health? [16:15]
Linda’s tips for a successful dinner party [18:33]
Favorite makers of the moment [20:43]
Linda’s most used cookbook [22:38]
Favorite food city [26:15]
Linda’s (not so) secret love [27:43]
*There are Amazon affiliate links in this post, which means if you click through and buy, I make a teeny bit.