Refrigerator Look Book: Julia Turshen

The Brooklyn food writer behind oodles of celeb cookbooks is known for her cool and creative recipes. And you've got to see what she can do with leftovers.
We’re dubbing this gal the leftover-obsessed locavore. (Photo: Grace Bonney)

Julia Turshen has undergone a fridge transformation in the last few years.

Not only has this Brooklyn-based food writer and private chef lost 60 pounds—and is keeping it off (which she admits is the bigger challenge)—but she and her wife Grace Bonney, founder of (super awesome) Design Sponge, got married in November. “I feel like when I was single and living on my own…my fridge was a lot emptier,” Turshen says, “Now, it’s the fridge that I’ve always wanted.”

Prior to tying the knot, she was buying food for work and preparing meals at home—but not exactly for herself. Turshen works on cookbooks (most notably with Gwyneth Paltrow on It’s All Good and celeb chef-restauranteur Mario Batali) and spends a lot of time testing and trying recipes. Her latest project, Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food, which she co-wrote with Jody Williams, hit shelves (and Kindles) this week.

“Before, I didn’t cook much at home for myself. Now, our fridge is stocked, because we cook for each other,” says Turshen. Her habits related to food have changed, too. “It’s not entirely what I eat, but the way I eat,” says Turshen, who now snacks on cherries and avocado toast, and loves her weekly small-scale farm delivery from Good Eggs. She also has a serious knack for using leftovers in brilliant ways. Take a look inside the icebox of this leftover-obsessed locavore. —Molly Gallagher

Your fridge is super stocked. Did you just go food shopping? My wife and I use Good Eggs, and we just got a delivery. I call it “Fresh Direct for the farmers’ market.” You can pick what farms your food comes from—it’s a very local, and small-scale. They only deliver to Brooklyn and three other cities. It’s a big time saver, and it’s introduced me to some Brooklyn made products—like The White Moustache yogurt and Brooklyn Delhi Tomato Achaar, which is like a curried relish.

Julia Fridge - 2

I’ll have to try that out! How often do you get deliveries or go food shopping? Once a week, or every other week. We supplement it with other foods. We live across from a great grocer and I get stuff there. We also go to the McCarren Park farmers’ market on Sundays.

What’s with the Ziploc bags? I keep a lot of baking ingredients in the fridge to prevent the nut flours from spoiling. Plus, it frees up space in my cabinets!

There’s rice in one of those bags, too. I have a problem with cooking rice. I always cook way too much and have a vat of leftovers. I’ll use it to make Kosheri—an Egyptian street dish with lentils and onions. I also love to make kimchi-fried rice and add an egg to it.

And the Tupperware? Leftover brisket! We went to my parents’ house for Passover—and I’m very into repurposing leftovers. Last Tuesday, I used it to make brisket tacos, and on Thursday I made a Pho-ish soup using the brisket, chicken broth, ginger, cilantro, veggies, and soba noodles.

That sounds delicious. Now, what about all those eggs? Are you hosting a brunch? We use a lot of eggs, I’m a big egg fan. Putting a fiber or a protein on something allows you to call it a meal.

I spy Harpoon. Is that your beer of choice? It’s an unfiltered wheat beer. I drink it over ice with lemon. If I’m at home, I don’t have more than one, and Grace doesn’t drink a lot. But I really love beer—I think it goes well with a lot of food.

Speaking of beverages, I don’t see a lot of dairy. Do you drink milk? There’s Half & Half, which I put in coffee. I worked on a cookbook project a few years ago with Jean-Georges [Vongerichten]’s wife, Marja Allen. She’d get us coffee with Half & Half. I’ve never been able to go back.

For more information, visit and check out Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food

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