Two years ago, about this time, Jaden was in Los Angeles. It was the second time we met in person, and she had just gotten an offer to write a cookbook from Tuttle Publishing. She was teaching a cooking class in LA and I was there to help (and also to learn from her about teaching a cooking class!). We went to dinner together, with a few others, after her cooking class.
I brought a beautiful Shangri-La cookbook to show her during the dinner, and she looked at me and said:
“I love this book, but it feels almost too perfect. I think when I create my book, I’d like it to be totally friendly, easy and just full of my personality…which ISN’T perfect!”
Two years later, Jaden did it. Flipping through “The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook,” I can’t help but notice what a “real” cookbook she has put out: her gorgeous food photography (there are no food stylist and food photographer to pretty up her dishes—it’s all the work of Jaden), easy and accessible recipes perfect for everyday cooking, and her usual goofy and irreverent writing style (who else would spell “soooo looooong” and write about “playing footsie” in a cookbook!).
Jaden has come a long way, from the early days when she first started blogging. Her slew of successes—TV appearances, cookbook, food writing, speaking at events, Twitter power, etc.—are not pure luck. Jaden works hard, very hard. Many a night in the past two years, Jaden would work past 2 am her time, working on her cookbook, blog, writing assignments, and food photography. I know it because we would email each other when it was 11 am PST or 2 am EST her time. She is one of the most ambitious people that I have ever met—extremely smart, savvy, multi-talented, but most importantly, she is genuine, warm, and sincere. I feel very proud that she has called me a friend, even a sister, and someone whom she trusts. I wanted to congratulate her on the launch of her beautiful cookbook, to thank her for everything, and also to wish her even more successes in the future!
Here is the Pad Thai recipe from her cookbook.