This week's guest on Special Sauce—chef, restaurateur, and aspiring falafel magnate Einat Admony—is practically an honorary member of the Serious Eats staff. That's because we all eat the amazing falafel, French fries, and sabich (fried eggplant and hard-boiled egg sandwiches) from the Nolita branch of her falafel shop, Taïm, at least once a week.
Einat's background isn't that of your typical chef. She grew up in Israel, learning how to make couscous from her Moroccan neighbor, and, while in the army, quickly switched from driving a jeep to cooking for officers in the air force. Einat then spent four years bumming around Germany, living in an RV and cooking for all her neighbors in the RV park. (I kidded her about being the first and only executive chef at an RV park I had ever interviewed.) Her path to culinary success was hardly bump-free: Shortly after opening the original Taïm on a Greenwich Village side street, with $70,000 she and her husband, Stefan, had saved working in restaurants—she as a chef, he as a waiter—Stefan told her that they should close. The business was failing, and, oh yes, Einat was also pregnant with their first child. How did they keep it open? And how are they introducing their uniquely delicious falafel to the rest of the country? You'll just have to listen to find out.
Wanted: Your Baking Questions for Stella
Calling all serious bakers: We're planning an extra-special call-in episode of Special Sauce starring our beloved pastry wizard, Stella Parks, and we're looking for your most pressing pastry questions! Need advice on make-ahead sweets to reduce your anxiety over the holiday season? How about the best desserts for a crowd? Send us the whole story at [email protected], and you just might get featured on the show. And, of course, keep plying us with your general cooking queries for future call-in episodes with me, Kenji, and Daniel.