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Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER

Cherry Bombe

founders Claudia Wu (left) and Kerry Diamond never pass up a culinary adventure, especially on a visit to Manhattan mainstay De Maria (pictured above). For the launch of Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook, out October 10, featuring a collection of 100+ dynamo women and their equally inspiring recipes, we asked the ladies of the indie food magazine to dish on go-to ingredients, prep tips, and memorable meals, and share their exclusive cookbook recipes.

Read more from the fall issue.

Photography by ALPHA SMOOT, reprinted from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook


Cairo-born, New York–based caterer and food installation artist; founder of Sunday Supper.

Always have a bottle of:

Aperol for a spritz. And champagne in the veg drawer, because you never know.

Signature flowers:

Mimosas. I’m also into carnations right now. I like how they’re considered “out of fashion.”

Secret ingredient:

A good finishing salt, like a Maldon.

Prep trick for the meal:

This will sound boring, but stay organized and clean as you go!

Ultimate dinner party, fictional or real:

Eating fried fish and drinking a cold beer with Picasso in Málaga. He died in France while he and his wife were entertaining friends for dinner. A good way to go, if you ask me.

Zucchinis Farcies

Makes 8 to 10 servings 

  • 5 medium zucchini 
  • ½ medium onion, minced 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 cup short-grain rice 
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt 
  • ½ tsp ground allspice 
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tbsp dried mint, crushed with your fingertips 
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 2 cups boiling water 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (optional) 
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Slice each zucchini in half crosswise, leaving the ends intact. Gently hollow out each piece using a melon baller or a teaspoon measuring spoon, putting the scooped-out flesh in a bowl as you work. Set the zucchini halves to the side. Add the minced onion and 1 minced garlic clove to the bowl and mix. Layer the mixture in the bottom of a roasting pan that can accommodate all 10 zucchini halves.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine rice, remaining garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, and mint. Add a teaspoon or two of water and mix so that the dry spices adhere to the dry rice. Using a spoon and your fingers, stuff each hollow zucchini halfway with the rice mixture. (Do not overstuff, as the rice will expand while cooking.)
  4. Combine the tomato paste with the boiling water and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
  5. Nestle the zucchini pieces in the pan and pour the tomato water into the pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour, or until the rice is cooked and the zucchini has softened.
  6. To serve, drizzle the zucchini with a yogurt sauce and garnish with basil and thyme, if desired.

Yogurt Sauce

Makes about ½ cup 
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • Juice of ½ lemon 
  • 1 tbsp dried mint, crushed with your fingertips 
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
Combine the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, mint, salt, and ¼ cup water in a small bowl. Stir until smooth.
Photography by ALPHA SMOOT, reprinted from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook


Owner of Vinatería, an Italian- and Spanish-style restaurant and wine bar in New York’s Harlem. 

Must-play jams:

A Mariachi Flor de Toloache album when you want to dance.

Secret ingredient:

As a Jamaican, I find myself sneaking ginger into everything. It’s wonderful for savory/sweet dishes and adds that extra kick in drinks.

Prep tricks for the space:

Lighting is incredibly important. Use soft string lights, especially if you can find them on a dimmer.

Always have a bottle of:

Sauternes. It’s a bright, balanced, and complex dessert wine to round out the night.

Ultimate dinner party, fictional or real:

Going to the Cotton Club or the original Red Rooster at the height of the Harlem Renaissance.

Go-to meal for last-minute guests:

You only need a few basic ingredients for homemade ravioli—eggs, flour, ricotta. Toss in a simple brown butter and sage sauce, and your guests won’t know what hit them!

The Sinsear

Makes 2 cocktails

  • ½ cup (4 oz) bourbon
  • ¼ cup (2 oz) apple cider
  • ¼ cup (2 oz) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp (1 oz) simple syrup 
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon, cider, lemon juice, simple syrup, and ginger. Add some ice and shake. Strain into two glasses over fresh ice. Garnish each with a rosemary sprig and serve.

Photography by ALPHA SMOOT, reprinted from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook


Self-taught chef and owner of Michelin-starred Elizabeth Restaurant in Chicago; author of upcoming memoir and new cookbook.

Favorite table setting:

I have a few plates I love, but my absolute favorite is a teal-colored bowl by Felt+Fat.

Best icebreaker:

I don’t drink, so when someone asks if I’d like another nonalcoholic cocktail, I say, “I’m trying to pace myself.”

Secret ingredient:

We make vinegar from everything—rhubarb, cherries, juniper, pine. Macerate the content with raw honey, add water, and then let sit until it converts.

Ultimate dinner party, fictional or real:

The Alice in Wonderland–themed dinner party series at Elizabeth happening each Sunday this October.

Magical kitchen gadget:

Tiny tube hole-punchers and rose-shaped molds to create cool things, like lobster, tarragon, and porcini “fruit loops.”

Buttered Chanterelles

Makes 4 servings 
  • 1 lbs chanterelles 
  • 1 tbsp canola oil 
  • Kosher salt 
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar 
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar 
  • 1½ tbsp unsalted butter 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
  1. Brush any dirt off the chanterelles or quickly swish them under water and let dry on a dishtowel. Any large chanterelles should be cut lengthwise into smaller pieces. Trim away any dry or unsightly pieces.
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a sauté pan large enough to hold the mushrooms without crowding them. Stir in the chanterelles and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Cook until liquid is released and evaporates, and the mushrooms are slightly browned around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in sugar and vinegar and stir. Add the butter, another ⅛ teaspoon salt, and some pepper. Stir to prevent the butter from becoming too hot and separating. When the butter has coated the mushrooms and cooked away a bit, remove the pan from the heat. Taste for seasoning. Garnish with the thyme leaves and serve warm.
Photography by ALPHA SMOOT, reprinted from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook


Part of New York photography duo Gentl & Hyers, known for shooting atmospheric cookbooks like Small Victories and Buvette.

Favorite table setting:

I collect hand-thrown ceramics, and I like to mix them with old cutlery on a very rustic table.

Best icebreaker:

Mezcal is the ultimate truth serum.

Must-play jams:

The Smiths, David Bowie, New Order. I’m an ’80s girl. One must always hope for the dinner to evolve into a dance party.

Secret ingredient:

I stock my pantry with jars and jars of preserved lemons, limes, blood oranges—basically any citrus I can get my hands on—and use them in everything from a quick pasta sauce with olives and herbs to my gingery turmeric lentils.

Go-to hostess gift:

Honey from a far-flung land.

Lemony Lentil Stew

Makes 4 servings 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped 
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped 
  • 1½ cups Petite Crimson lentils or toor dal (split pigeon peas) 
  • ¼ cup coconut oil 
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 1½ tsp fennel seeds 1 (1½-inch) piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 1 preserved lemon, quartered and seeded 
  • 1 small dried Indian red chili ¼ tsp dried Aleppo pepper 
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • Fresh cilantro and plain Greek yogurt, for serving 
  1. Warm olive oil in a large heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots, and sauté until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t let them brown.
  2. Add the lentils, coconut oil, ginger, fennel seeds, and turmeric. Reduce heat to low. Let the coconut oil melt into the spices and lentils for about 2 minutes to release the flavors and coat the lentils.
  3. Tuck the lemon quarters into the lentils to melt down during the cooking process, then add the red chili, Aleppo pepper, salt, and 5 cups water. Cover the pot and simmer over medium heat for 40 minutes, or until soft and soupy. Stir occasionally to break up the preserved lemon, and add more water if the mixture seems too dry. Remove the red chili before serving and taste for seasoning. Add more salt if necessary. Ladle into bowls and serve with a sprinkling of cilantro and a dollop of yogurt.
Photography by ALPHA SMOOT, reprinted from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook


Founder of Impatient Foodie, a website and recently launched cookbook, which she also authored.

Signature flowers:


Must-play jams:

When I’m throwing a dinner party or barbecue, I like to play music with no or minimal lyrics, like bossa nova and jazz.

Secret ingredient:

Almost everything tastes better with either a little lemon juice and/or lemon zest.

Favorite table setting:

I inherited my grandparents’ collection of antique Japanese plates and bowls. Nothing matches, but they’re all so beautiful and somehow work together.

Dibs on cooking or cleanup duty:

I cook; my boyfriend cleans.

Go-to meal for last-minute guests:

I always have ingredients on hand to whip up pasta al pomodoro.

Pink Spaghetti

Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 red beets, the size of tennis balls
  • 2 tbsp plus ¼ cup
  • olive oil
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 2 cups part-skim ricotta
  • 1 lb dried spaghetti
  • ¼ cup freshly grated
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  1. Fill a large pot with water and several large pinches of salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Peel the beets, then shred them in a food processor, using a shredding blade, or on the large holes of a box grater. You’ll have about 4 cups.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the grated beets and a pinch of salt and sauté, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes. Once the beets have softened, add the ½ cup boiling water and cook for 3 minutes more.
  4. Transfer the beets to a food processor, add the remaining ¼ cup olive oil, and purée into a smooth paste. Add the ricotta and 1½ teaspoons salt. Purée again until very smooth. Set aside.
  5. Cook the spaghetti in the pot of boiling water according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the spaghetti.
  6. In a large bowl, quickly combine the hot pasta with three quarters of the beet-ricotta sauce and mix together well. If the sauce is too thick, add the reserved pasta water one tablespoon at a time. Add more sauce and/or water if necessary. (Any extra sauce will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.)
  7. Twirl servings of pasta onto plates or into bowls and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano, basil, walnuts, and lemon zest. Serve immediately.
Photography by ALPHA SMOOT, reprinted from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook


Pioneering New York DJ, especially followed in fashion crowds, and badass (classically trained) pastry chef. 

Magical kitchen gadget:

The OXO cherry pitter. It really speeds up pit removal!

Go-to hostess gift:

A box of assorted chocolates. See’s Candies just opened in New York, and I couldn’t be happier.

Prep tricks for the the space:

Never light a scented candle and always have music playing at a reasonable level—loud enough for your guests to notice but never blaring, as good conversations will ensue throughout the night.

Must-play jams:

I make custom playlists for a special dinner, which usually include a Cure song, one of my favorite bands. Being a DJ for almost 20 years, Spotify just doesn’t cut it for me.

Ultimate dinner party, fictional or real:

David Bowie, Judy Blume, Siouxsie Sioux, Aziz Ansari, Brian Eno, Eddie Murphy circa 1983, Jack White, and Ian McEwan (for my husband). Now that should be a weird dinner party. 

Cherry Bombe Cake Balls 

Makes about 24 cake balls

Chocolate Cake

  • 4 tbsp (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup sifted Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup strong brewed hot coffee 

Swiss Meringue Buttercream 

  • ⅓ cup sugar 
  • 3 tbsp egg whites 
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes 
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt 
  • 24 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate 
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup 
  • Green food coloring 
  • Edible red pearlescent luster dust
  1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch cake pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix on low speed until well combined. Slowly add the egg, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Slowly beat in the hot coffee.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Meanwhile, make the buttercream: Whisk together the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl) and cook, whisking continuously, until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature of the mixture registers 140°F on a candy thermometer.
  5. Return the bowl to the mixer and use the whisk attachment to beat the mixture on medium speed, gradually increasing to medium-high, until stiff peaks form. Once the meringue has completely cooled, begin to add the butter, several tablespoons at a time. Add the vanilla and salt, then switch to the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until smooth.
  6. To make the Cherry Bombes, in a large bowl, crumble the cooled cake with your hands until there are no large pieces left. Using a large spoon, add the buttercream and mix well. With your hands, roll the cake mixture into 1½-inch balls. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with wax paper, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, until firm.
  7. Once the cake balls are chilled, chop the bittersweet chocolate into chunks, reserving a 1-inch “seed” piece for tempering. (Tempering is a technique that ensures the chocolate coating will be glossy and crisp.) Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water). Heat the chocolate, stirring if necessary, until it has melted and registers 115 to 120°F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and drop the reserved 1-inch piece of chocolate into the bowl. Stir frequently and let the chocolate cool to 80 to 85°F.
  8. Place the chocolate back over the pan of simmering water and return the temperature to 88 to 91°F. Remove any remaining bit of the “seed” chocolate. The chocolate is now ready for dipping. If the temperature drops, rewarm it gently.
  9. Insert a wooden skewer into the center of a cold cake ball and dip the ball into the tempered chocolate. Shake off any excess chocolate, return to baking sheet, and remove the skewer. Repeat with the remaining cake balls.
  10. Line a separate baking sheet with wax paper. Place a Silpat liner on a third baking sheet.
  11. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cover and cook for 3 minutes to dissolve the sugar crystals. Uncover and cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 300°F. Remove from the heat and stir in the green food coloring.
  12. Place a double layer of latex gloves on your hands. Working quickly, pour half the melted sugar onto the Silpat and let cool until you can work it with your hands. The sugar should still be warm and easy to manipulate, with a texture similar to saltwater taffy.
  13. To make leaves, pull a small amount of sugar and form it into little cherry leaves with your thumb and index fingers pressed together. Place the finished leaves on the baking sheet lined with wax paper. The leaves should all look different. If the sugar hardens, place it back in the saucepan over low heat and melt again, repeating this process as many times as necessary.
  14. To make stems, dip a spoon into the melted sugar and drip in thin 2-inch lines over the Silpat. Use some melted sugar to adhere the leaves to each stem. Place on the wax paper–lined baking sheet to harden. Rewarm the reserved sugar if necessary.
  15. Using a paintbrush, dab the luster dust onto the chocolate-covered cake balls. Carefully place a stem into each cake ball through the skewered hole in the top. Serve at room temperature.

Read more from the fall issue: 

Tour a Mid-Century Hacienda Filled with Modern Charm How Maggie Gyllenhaal Prepared to Play a 1970s Porn Star The Simple Swap That Will Instantly Upgrade Your Decor