Q&A with Joy the Baker
I have a confession to make. Even though I'm happily married, I still have crushes from time to time. Fortunately for my husband, they're usually girl crushes (or cat ones). One of those crushes happens to be Joy Wilson, author of the fabulous blog Joy the Baker. Her blog is no joke. It was named the Best Baking and Desserts Blog in the 2011 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards and The London Times named it one of the Top 50 Food Blogs (in the world!). Full of gorgeous pictures of her confectionary creations – with a few healthy salads and vegan dishes to round things out – and hilarious stories about her life, loves, and quirks, reading Joy the Baker always makes me smile. (And usually hungry.)
These days, Joy's a busy blazer-wearing lady, creating fun podcasts for her lifestyle website Homefries, baking and shooting the lovely photos on her blog, and promoting her brand new Joy the Baker Cookbook. Featuring "100 Simple and Comforting Recipes" like "Man Bait Apple Crisp," "Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies," and my personal favorite, the "Single Girl Chocolate Melty Cake" (a one-woman serving of every ooey-gooey molten chocolate cake), her cookbook is a must-buy for every at-home baker.
But above all, Joy's not just another super-talented, crazy-hard-working woman (and she is all of those things!) – she's a genuinely kind, caring, down-to-earth person. Several weeks ago, I had the chance to meet Joy at her book signing at The Brooklyn Kitchen. My friend Emily and I waited in line 3 hours with hordes of people and when we finally got a chance to meet Joy, she couldn't have been lovelier. She patiently sat for a total of five hours signing books, talking, hugging, and taking pictures, until every single person had made it through the line. And she didn't even look tired!!
I am thrilled to share my recent Q&A with Joy...read on, and be inspired!
Where are you from?
I'm from Los Angeles, California
How did you get started baking? Was becoming a professional baker a lifelong dream?
I've been baking since I was a little girl. My Dad, a super avid home baker, taught me how to bake. I don't think I ever really decided to be a professional baker. Baking was just always a career that I finagled my way into as I was putting myself through college.
You started Joy the Baker the blog back in 2008. What inspired you to start your own blog?
I started my blog as a way to marry a budding passion for photography and my need to overshare, with my absolute obsession with muffins and biscuits.
Tell us a bit about your new cookbook. What was it like creating an entire book of your recipes and photos? Was it like birthing a baby?!
I have no idea what birthing a baby is like but I didn't need any heavy sedation in writing this book. The Joy the Baker Cookbook is my declaration of love to all things butter and sugar. It's filled with the sort of recipes that I take comfort in in my own home. It's meant to be approachable and fun... with lots of pretty pictures.
What's been the greatest joy of creating your own blog/cookbook? Biggest challenge?
My blog is a constant source of joy and surprise in my life. I'm constantly surprised by how I'm able to connect with people all over the world. My blog has taught me a lot about hard work, persistence, and has also taught me to be open to the way that life connects the dots for us all.
Do you actually bake every day? How do you stay so self-controlled? (I would totally weigh 200 pounds if I baked every day!!)
I find myself in the kitchen everyday. I bake about four times a week. I also love to ride my bike like a maniac. It's a (not so) delicate balance.
What is your go-to comfort food?
Hot dogs with spicy mustard and sauerkraut.
You've also got an amazing website and podcast series called Homefries. Can you share a bit about how that came to be?
I started Homefries last year with my business partner, Michael Friedman. We wanted to create a destination for high-quality lifestyle podcasts. We're podcast fanatics and I wanted to explore a new medium. The Joy the Baker podcast has been an awesome way for me to connect with people using a new technology. I podcast with my dear friend Tracy, and our show is a snapshot of our silly lives. It's just another way people can connect with me, and I totally love it.
What's next? More books? More blogging? A TV show? A big vacation?!
So much is next! I'm hoping to write another book, and I'm going to continue to grow Joy the Baker and Homefries. I'm excited to put together more video content for both sites. And... I'll only take a vacation if I can secretly work half the time... there's too much good to stop now!
If you had 8 friends coming over for an impromptu dinner tomorrow, what would you make?
A giant bow of angel hair pasta with lots of garlic, chili flakes, cheese, and fresh arugula on top. I'd ask a few friends to bring wine, ice cream, and a good playlist. All a good party really needs is happy people and copious amounts of pasta.