If you know what a “Cae Sal” or a “Smoo” is, then it’s safe to say that you probably know who Molly Baz is. If you don’t know what a “Cae Sal” or a “Smoo” is – and your brow is currently furrowed like some sort of forehead corn maze – then let me be the first person to tell you that you’ve been wasting a lot of precious time (and syllables) on the verbosity of words like “Caesar Salad” and “Smoothie”.
With well over half a million Instagram followers, and a mission statement of making accessible (and liberally abbreviated) plates of food, Molly Baz is a recipe developer and cookbook author who you should definitely have on your radar. She’s committed to her personal brand – anyone for a “Cae Sal” T-shirt? – but even more committed to teaching people like you and me just how fun cooking can be.
As a former senior food editor at Bon Appétit, Molly left her position at the food magazine in October 2020 to carve out her own path in the food scene. It’s kind of like when Justin Timberlake left *NSYNC to pursue his solo career. Except with a couple more issues surrounding accusations of toxic workplace culture and structural injustice. And a hell of lot more recipes for jammy onions and chewy miso oatmeal cookies.
If we’re continuing on that Timberlake train of thought, then Molly Baz has just released her Justified – an impressive solo album packed full of culinary bangers. Her debut cookbook, Cook This Book: Techniques That Teach and Recipes to Repeat, is filled with simple, hearty dishes like Pastrami Roast Chicken and Chickpea Carbonara as well as dozens of QR codes that link to instructional videos hosted by Molly herself.
Those videos, which bridge the gap between Molly’s infectious online personality and the gorgeous print product you’re inevitably going to end up covering in schmaltz, are designed to lay down the groundwork on basic kitchen techniques. It’s an innovative approach; one which I think that many cookbooks will be looking to as a template in the future.
The long and short of it is that Cook This Book is a super approachable and friendly cookbook and Molly Baz is a super-approachable and friendly person. Here’s what happened when MOB met Molly Baz.