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Amelia Saltsman is a food writer, culinary and market educator, and longtime advocate for small family farms and farmers’ markets. Her new book, The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen: A Fresh Take on Tradition, explores the global and regional diversity of Jewish cooking and traces the delicious thread of its ancient roots to today’s focus on seasonality and sustainability. Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingerman’s, calls it “cultural Jewish cooking at its best,” and includes Amelia in the pantheon of such great women writers as Marcella Hazan, Joan Nathan and Claudia Roden.

Amelia is the daughter of a Romanian mother and an Iraqi father who met in the Israeli army and immigrated to Los Angeles, where she was born and raised. Her name is synonymous with intuitive seasonal cooking and her work reflects her eclectic background, with the diverse flavors and cultural touchstones that have made her first book, the award-winning The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook, a beloved classic. Amelia has been sought out for her expertise by publications such as Bon Appétit, Cooking Light, Los Angeles Times, Jewish Journal, and Vegetarian Times, and is a frequent guest on KCRW’s “Good Food with Evan Kleiman.” Visit Amelia at

Zengoula are infinitely more wonderful when infused with a tangy lemon syrup. Credit: Copyright 2015 Staci Valentine.

When it comes to Hanukkah, are you of the latke persuasion or are you in the fried pastry camp: sufganiyot, buñuelos, zengoula? [aside-b]Did you know

Marcella Hazan cooking in Florida. Credit: Courtesy of the Hazan family

Marcella Hazan, the great Italian cooking teacher and cookbook author, passed away Sept. 29. That evening, as I prepared a simple tomato sauce for