Kristina Erfe Pines grew up in Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Chicago, and in each place, she and her family would host regular gatherings of “homesick friends” from places like India, Pakistan, and South Africa, where guests would bring their best meals to share. More than developing an interest in international cuisine, Kristina appreciated the chaos and excitement of bringing friends and family together around the dinner table. In fact she considers food to be “transportive” and inspirational.
Food and culture have always been a big part of Kristina’s life; she blogs about it, offers private cooking classes, and is now the creative director and editor of a new magazine, “Spoonful,” that’s just hitting the market here in Delaware. We caught up with Kristina on a recent visit to Wilmington.
Town Square Delaware: You have blogged about food and fashion “and everything in between” for a few years. But you are now turning out a new publication — Spoonful Magazine. Please tell us about that.
Kristina Pines: Spoonful Magazine is an independent, quarterly food publication. We hope to inspire people to return to the timeless pleasures of cooking and gathering together. We celebrate home cooking, the art of entertaining and local artisans. We scour the country for wonderful home cooks as well as makers whose products we love.
TSD: You aptly call your food and entertaining publication a “guide to food and laughter.” Was it the entertaining friends and loved ones or creating great food that served as your inspiration for this magazine?
KP: It is about the experience of creating something in your home, and having people over. Sharing a meal is the oldest act of community. What then can be more intimate and magical than to share a meal in your own house? After all, this is the act that shifts a house into a home, and by bringing your family and friends into your space and allowing them to fill the walls with memories of food and laughter, you build a deeper sense of kinship and love.
TSD: Tell us about your background and how you ended up launching Spoonful.
KP: I am food writer and a voracious home cook. I love publications like Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, but was looking for content that was geared more towards the home cook, not just the food enthusiast. I wanted a magazine without the disruptive experience of advertising, and one that celebrated small, local, artisanal companies. I thought that if this was something I was looking for, then there’s got to be others that felt the same way.
TSD: Where does Spoonful fit in the cookbook and magazine space? What sets your literature apart from others, and why should we subscribe?
KP: Because of Spoonful’s quality (it’s printed on 100 stock paper with a soft glaze finish that lends to a velvety feel to the pages), and because our publication ad-free, it has the feel of a cookbook. We aim for the magazine to be handsome addition to your bookshelves and coffee table, as well as functional and practical for the modern home cook. I would say that it threads the line of the the magazine and cookbook space.
TSD: Tell us about your contributors.
KP: When we got started, we first approached people whose cooking we admire. We wanted to celebrate those people that inspired us to start this publication. It really didn’t take much coaxing at all. We told them the concept, and they wanted to be part of it from the get-go, which we’re very grateful for!
The recipes and their accompanying photographs look absolutely delicious. But they are also uncomplicated/not fussy.
TSD: Is the point that good food doesn’t have to require lots of time and steps to be good? Or is it to spend minimal time on the food preparation so hosts can enjoy time with guests?
Yes, that is precisely the point. We say that Spoonful Magazine is the guide for the modern home cook. We understand that you have a job, other priorities and responsibilities, but you continue to value cooking and gathering in your own home. We draw inspiration, tips, and tricks from a growing global community of home cooks, to get you engaged back into the kitchen with your friends and family.
TSD: Top three entertaining tips for our readers.
I tend to be overly ambitious with the menu, so before I finalize anything I always cross off at least one menu item that I can just buy from a store.
A dinner party doesn’t have to be formal. Make it a potluck! The point is bring people to your home and fill that space with food and laughter.
If your guests insist on bringing something- let them! Whether it is the wine, dessert or salad, but don’t be afraid of sharing the load.