About Joan

Joan Nathan is the author of ten cookbooks including her most recent, "Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France" (Knopf), which was named one of the 10 best cookbooks of 2010 by NPR, Food and Wine, and Bon Appétit magazines.  She is a regular contributor to The New York Times, Food Arts Magazine, and Tablet Magazine.

In 1994, Nathan's Jewish Cooking in America won both the James Beard Award for the best American cookbook and the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook of the Year Award.  The same James Beard Award was later bestowed on her 2005 cookbook The New American Cooking. An earlier work, An American Folklife Cookbook, was given the R.T. French Tastemaker Award in 1985 for American cooking.  Her other books include Foods of Israel Today, Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook, The Jewish Holiday Baker, The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen, The Jewish Holiday Kitchen, and The Flavor of Jerusalem.

In 2004 she was the Guest Curator of Food Culture USA, the 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC, based on the research for her book, The New American Cooking.

Ms. Nathan's PBS television series, Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan, was nominated in 2000 for the James Beard Award for Best National Television Food Show. She was also senior producer of Passover: Traditions of Freedom, an award-winning documentary sponsored by Maryland Public Television. Ms. Nathan has appeared as a guest on numerous radio and television programs including the Today show, Good Morning, America, The Martha Stewart Show and National Public Radio.

An inductee to the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who in American Food and Beverage, she also received the Silver Spoon Award from Food Arts magazine. In addition, Ms. Nathan received an honorary degree from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Culture in Chicago and the Golda Award from the American Jewish Congress.  In May 2011, she was awarded a Special Recognition Award from the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research for her work to preserve Jewish foodways. In 2015, Les Dames d'Escoffier awarded Joan Nathan the prestigious Grande Dame, an award recognizing professional achievments in the food industry. Previous recipients include Julia Child, Marcella Hazan, and Alice Waters.

Nathan serves on the board of the DC based organization, Martha's Table, by whom she was recently honored for her work on Sunday Night Suppers, an annual fundraising event chaired by Nathan, Alice Waters and Jose Andres.  Through a collaboration of chefs, organizations and concerned citizens, the dinners are held one night a year in various homes across the DC Metropolitan Area.

Joan Nathan was born in Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a master's degree in French literature and earned a master's in public administration from Harvard University. For three years she lived in Israel where she worked for Mayor Teddy Kollek of Jerusalem. In 1974, working for Mayor Abraham Beame in New York, she co-founded the Ninth Avenue Food Festival. The mother of three grown children, Ms. Nathan lives in Washington, D.C. and Martha's Vineyard with her husband, attorney Allan Gerson.

Joan's Articles

"How to Make a New Kind of Black-and-White Cookie"
Tablet Magazine (February 23, 2016)

"How is This Cheesecake Different From Other Cheesecakes?"
Tablet Magazine (April 19, 2016)

"How to Make "Eggplant Caviar""
Tablet Magazine (May 31, 2016)

"How to Have a Sweet New Year - Moroccan Style"
Tablet Magazine (September 28, 2016)

"Life is a (Soup) Bowl of Cherries"
Tablet Magazine (June 29, 2016)

"Brazil in a Bowl"
Tablet Magazine (July 27, 2016)

"The Tart That Went Around the World"
Tablet Magazine (August 22, 2016)

"How To Make Gefilte Fish That Your Guests Will Actually Want To Eat"
Tablet Magazine (September 18, 2016)

"Loathe Gefilte Fish? Not After You’ve Tried This"
New York Times (April 12, 2016)

"Classic Rosh Hashana Desserts Get a Professional Upgrade"
New York Times (September 20, 2016)