So if you’ve read anything of mine over the past few months, you may have noticed I have been a bit preoccupied with the likes of Joy the Baker. Yes, Joy is a baker. And yes, she does it incredibly well.
Just ask Saveur, who named her blog the Best Baking and Dessert Blog of 2011. Also, the London Times granted her website the distinction of being one of the Top Fifty Food Blogs in the World (Yes, in the WORLD.)
Also, she has a highly popular and equally enjoyable podcast available on iTunes, where it debuted in May as the #9 most listened to podcast of the week. Go listen after you check her website and finish reading this interview, but before you make dinner.
I got the chance to sit down and chat (via video internet amazingness) with Joy. The resulting text below is what I have strung together into some semblance of an interview after nearly an hour of pretty awesome banter.
Joy doesn’t really like the woods. Or Ke$ha. She does, as one would expect, like to go out for dinner and cocktails. She likes to put Maker’s in her tea. And I am very much okay with all of it.
Matthew: How did you get into baking for a living?
Joy: I’ve just been baking with my dad. I’ve been doing baking, as jobs, since I was 15 working in kitchens and restaurants. Then I went to college and I was a baker.
Matthew: Did you go to college for cooking?
Joy: No, I went to school for English literature and play writing. I was going to be a teacher, but then I realized I don’t really want to hang out with kids all my life…Look what’s on my desk! I’ve been working on it all day and I have to send it tomorrow!
Matthew: What is that?!
Joy: It’s my book!
Matthew: I’ve heard about this book. I think. Maybe?
Joy: Yes! This is the part I’m done with (a large stack of papers) and this is the part I have to do (a smaller stack of papers). I send it tomorrow, and then they design it more with photos and I guess they publish it, and they send me a copy.
Matthew: Oh, that’s nice of them, to send you a copy of your own book! Are they going to use your photographs?
Joy: Yes. I took all the photographs.
Matthew: What kinds of things are in it?
Joy: The same stuff that’s on my blog. Muffins, pancakes, you know, food that you want to eat. There’s a hundred recipes and a hundred photos. And, like 90 of the photos are really good and 10 of them are sooo bad, and they are going to use all of them! ARG!
Matthew: That’s okay. If you have 90% amazing photos, you should be pretty well off.
Joy: Yeah, but the 10 others…wooooo.
Matthew: You should have a contest and see if anyone can pick out the 10 worst pictures from your book and then they can win a free copy.
Joy: Yeah. With those 10 recipes ripped out.
Matthew: Is there any pickling involved in your book?
Joy: No. Why?
Matthew: Because I like pickling.
Joy: I don’t think I’ve ever pickled anything.
Matthew: I think that is your next challenge.
Joy: Yeah! Let me write a note. I write a lot of notes. I have a whole board full of notes. Pickles…
Joy: Pickled Fennel? Wait..nobody wants to eat that.
Matthew: I love fennel.
Joy: (Joy holds up pink post-it note) Pickles because Matthew says. I was supposed to make chamomile soda today. But I didn’t. I made beer yesterday. I’m obsessed. Have you ever made beer before?!
Matthew: No…what kind of beer?
Joy: I’m making a Belgian beer. It’s really cool. There’s yeast in it. You cook it and it smells bad. It gets green and it’s like “what?!” Can you see this picture? (Shows off picture of ground grains from her phone) They’re grains! I ground them myself! Then you boil them. And these are hops. (Show another picture) Hops is a flower!
Matthew: I’m more impressed that you have 2,031 photos on your iPhone.
Matthew: I have a question from a friend.
Joy: Okay. Are you just saying that because…Is it really from you?
Matthew: No, he’s real. His name is Johnny. He has a girlfriend with a gluten allergy and he wants to know what a good Tuesday morning breakfast and a good Sunday morning breakfast would be to make for her.
Joy: Tuesday morning? He makes Tuesday morning breakfast? That’s a nice guy. He should make those coconut waffles I made for a Sunday.
Joy: Yes! And he can also turn them into pancakes if he doesn’t have a waffle iron. And then on Tuesday, a frittata! It’s so easy! You just puts eggs, whipped up in a pan with vegetables, and bake it while you’re in the shower.
Matthew: Do you have a release date for your book yet?
Joy: It’s Valentine’s Day. For the lovers.
Keep an eye out for Joy’s book when it is released by Hyperion in 2012. She’ll also be doing a book tour to promote her culinary creations in print, so be sure to stop by and say hello when she comes through wherever you happen to be.
For Joy’s recipes, photos, podcasts and all around highly impressive blogging skills, go to JoyTheBaker.com.