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On today’s show, I talk to Alison Roman. She’s a cook, NYTimes columnist, contributor to Bon Appétit, and author of Dining In. If you don’t know her name, you probably know her Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies—otherwise known as “the cookies.” That recipe went viral last year, and just before we recorded, Alison had another recipe that was basically everywhere: her chickpea stew, a.k.a. “the stew,” which I definitely made and ate for lunch on the days leading up to our interview. Recipes aside, Alison is so smart and laser-focused. She’s managed to cobble together a true hybrid career: 50% cook, 50% writer—a job that didn’t really exist when she was starting out (at least in the particular way her career has unfolded). On the show, we talked about:

  • How to stay organized when you’re “allergic to structure”
  • Why leaving the security of a full-time job can be worth it if you want to define your work as an individual
  • When you should say “no” to an opportunity (Alison’s big “no” involved ketchup)

I highly recommend you whip up a batch of “the stew,” find a cozy spot on your couch, and get ready for the freelance pep talk we all need sometimes.


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