Hoboken Author Lisa Chernick Talks About her First Cookbook

In the midst of a global pandemic, quarantine has brought out the inner chef in all of us. Whether you’re honing your craft or learning from scratch, it always helps to have a professional opinion, some tips, and tricks. Thanks to Lisa Chernick’s newly published cookbook, Your Starter Kitchen, cooking just got a whole lot easier. Lisa Chernick is a local Hoboken resident who sat down with us to chat more about what her new book entails — as well as life as a chef/author/local resident.

About Lisa

lisa chernick hoboken

Lisa a Hoboken resident has been a food writer and editor for over 20 years, starting at Food Arts magazine, Epicurious.com, and most recently at WW’s {formerly Weight Watchers} website and its cookbooks. Lisa’s first book, Your Starter Kitchen, {$16.99} was published in August 2020 {Simon & Schuster} and is available for purchase on Kindle and in paperback at various online retail sites as well as in the Hoboken-based Little City Books bookstore.

“My husband has been living in town since the 1980s. He’s a musician and has always had a practice space in Hoboken. I moved here from Brooklyn in 2000 when we got married, and we stayed to raise our daughters.”

Lisa’s Book – Your Starter Kitchen

lisa chernick your starter kitchen

Lisa’s first book, Your Starter Kitchen, {$16.99} was published in August 2020 {Simon & Schuster} and is available for purchase on Kindle and in paperback at various online retail sites as well as in the Hoboken-based Little City Books bookstore. Your Starter Kitchen is a hands-on guide to gearing up, stocking a pantry, and starting to cook in a kitchen of any size, and it offers basic cooking techniques and recipes.

It’s perfect for people starting out in their first kitchens, as well as for others further into their kitchen lives with different kinds of spaces and all kinds of cooking needs. With individuals and families spending more time inside the house, the kitchen has become the “heart” of the home. “My book will help guide your creativity, allow you to connect with family, and stay organized to keep your sanity, Lisa told Hoboken Girl.

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When it came to finding the inspiration for her cookbook, Lisa says “My husband and kids inspire me daily, which is corny, but true. On a different level, living in Rome in my 20s, on a grad student budget, taught me about good food and eating well. There’s an Italian appreciation for the best ingredients, combined simply and specifically, that I try to channel at the grocery store, in the kitchen, and around the table. That, along with the country’s exquisite geography, architecture, art, and people, will inspire me forever.

Lisa’s goals for the year are “well, surviving, first of all. And voting. I’m also working on a new business aimed at helping people optimize their overall kitchen comfort and happiness. It is kitchen edit meets cooking therapy so that the heart of the home delivers joy, easily and often, {sorry Marie Kondo, closets be damned!},” Lisa told us. 

lisa chernick hoboken

Outside of Work

A typical day for Lisa, like many of us, begins with a lot of coffee. “I’m currently brewing Uncle Pauly’s blend from Empire. I walk Hazel, my sweet little poodle, then I get to work. That entails being Executive Food Editor for WW, looking after my two teens and my kitchen, and getting the word out about my book.

After years of working in the editorial, writing, and cooking world, “A few biggies have been my James Beard Award nominations, the chance to photograph fruits and veggies in Rome a few summers ago, and writing my book. I’m also very glad I went to culinary school and learned to speak Italian,” she shared.

Exploring Locally

Locally, Lisa is a huge fan of Little City Books. “I like everything they do! I feel the same about Guitar Bar and Drum Den, and am grateful on a regular basis for the existence of Choc-o-pain,” she told us.

When she’s not working, Lisa likes to dig into grub from Corto, Bread and Salt, La Isla, Sapthagiri, and Double Dough {their killer made-to-order baked goods are all current contenders}. When it comes to shopping, her dog Hazel is also the main focus, so she browses Cornerstone Pets regularly for new treats and toys.

“I love driving around and exploring, even after 20 years it doesn’t get old. The bluffs in Weehawken always impress, as does walking around the waterfront in Hoboken. And I am always happy to be greeted by the giant David Bowie mural in Jersey City on my way into town.” She continues, “My balcony is also my favorite place to hang with friends. We get some nice wine from Riverview Wine & Spirits in Jersey City or Sparrow, individually bagged snacks, and then we sit miles apart and chat—the balcony is very long! I also love getting ice cream at Milk Sugar Love and strolling around Hamilton Park.”

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“Pre-COVID, I was at Iron Plate Studios. Currently, my favorite place to workout is my balcony. I’m not kidding—A Small Green Space [in Jersey City] helped us transform it a few years ago from a bit of a junkyard into something wonderful. Also, every April for about two weeks when 1st Street is in full bloom, the stretch between Willow and Washington is ridiculously pretty—I can’t get enough of it. It reminds me of my older daughter – her birthday is April 14th.”

Lisa also walks through Southwest Park and rides her bike on the bike path that starts behind the 2nd Street light rail. “It’s a secret gem – lots of great flowers!”

We asked Lisa what she felt Hoboken was missing, and she said, “A bowling alley would also be great, as would a live music venue—I miss Maxwell’s. Lastly, I miss the HOP. #BlueHOP4ever.”

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Written by:

Victoria is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square, and Jersey City. Through playing softball in town for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, Hoboken Fire Museum/Hoboken Historical Museum, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting, or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.