Fertig, Judith

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Fertig, Judith

(Judith M. Fertig)

PERSONAL:

Education: Trained in culinary arts at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine, Paris, France, and the Cordon Bleu, London, England.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Kansas City, MO. Office—c/o Pig Out Publications, Inc., 6005 Martway, Ste. 107, Mission, KS 66202; fax: 913-789-9592. E-mail— [email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, food expert, journalist, educator, and chef. Conducts cooking classes and workshops throughout the United States. Frequent guest on radio and television programs and networks, including Better Homes & Gardens TV, Food Network, and DIY Network.

MEMBER:

Les Dames D'Escoffier (past president, Kansas City chapter).

AWARDS, HONORS:

International Association of Cooking Professionals (IACP) and James Beard Award nominations, for Prairie Home Cooking.

WRITINGS:

Prairie Home Cooking: 400 Recipes That Celebrate the Bountiful Harvests, Creative Cooks, and Comforting Foods of the American Heartland, illustrated by Sara Love, Harvard Common Press (Boston, MA), 1999.

Prairie Home Breads: 150 Splendid Recipes from America's Breadbasket, Harvard Common Press (Boston, MA), 2001.

(With Karen Adler) Fish & Shellfish, Grilled & Smoked: 300 Foolproof Recipes for Everything from Amberjack to Whitefish, plus Really Good Rubs, Marvelous Marinades, Sassy Sauces, and Sumptuous Sides, Harvard Common Press (Boston, MA), 2002.

All-American Desserts: 400 Star-Spangled, Razzle- Dazzle Recipes for America's Best Loved Desserts, Harvard Common Press (Boston, MA), 2003.

(With Karen Adler) The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbecue, Harvard Common Press (Boston, MA), 2005.

(With Karen Adler) Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens, Harvard Common Press (Boston, MA), 2006.

Author of weekly food column, Kansas City Star. Contributor to periodicals, including Cooking Light, Food & Wine, On the Grill, Vegetarian Times, Better Homes & Gardens, Cooking Pleasures, Country Living, Kansas City Home Design, Saveur, Midwest Living, Taste Magazine, Sunday Times (London, England), and the New York Times.

SIDELIGHTS:

Food writer, journalist, and barbecue (BBQ) expert Judith Fertig is a popular cook and cookbook writer whose collections of recipes cover hearty fare from America's heartland, the Midwest, as well as seafood, desserts, and outdoor barbecue. In Prairie Home Cooking: 400 Recipes That Celebrate the Bountiful Harvests, Creative Cooks, and Comforting Foods of the American Heartland, Fertig delves into the long history of Midwestern cooking, famous for its filling meals, delicious desserts, and comfort foods. A number of the recipes highlighted by Fertig reflect the ethnic backgrounds of immigrants as they made their way west and often settled in the fertile lands of the Midwest. Fertig describes ingredients and preparation techniques for dishes such as Santa Fe Trail smothered steak, baked macaroni and cheddar, Polish wild mushroom and potato soup, St. Louis gooey coffee cake, and church supper chicken and wild rice. Fertig also offers a number of historical sidebars and essays covering topics relevant to Midwestern foods. A reviewer on inmamaskitchen.com remarked: "The recipes are practical and earthy, and carry within them centuries of old-world traditions.

There are recipes for every course, all of them written with clarity, all of them attainable by the home cook without a scramble to find exotic ingredients." A Publishers Weekly critic remarked, "For reliable, filling recipes that make great leftovers, this is the ticket."

Fertig considers one of the staple foods of the heartland in Prairie Home Breads: 150 Splendid Recipes from America's Breadbasket. She covers various types of breads, including yeast, naturally leavened, whole grain, and quick rising, and offers expert advice on preparation and baking. Fertig also includes recipes and preparation techniques for a number of complements to bread, including jams, preserves, and jellies, and for dishes that use bread as a key ingredient, such as bread puddings. She includes short essays on a number of bread-related subjects. John Charles, writing in Library Journal, called Fertig's work a "culinary delight: a cookbook as much fun to read as it is to bake from."

Fertig is one-half of the duo known as the "BBQ Queens," and along with her grilling partner Karen Adler, she participates in barbecue competitions throughout the country. Fertig and Adler undertook their royal mission after a Kansas City radio personality declared, on air, that "women can't barbecue," noted a biographer on Fiery-foods.com. Often appearing in glittering tiaras and regal sequined clothing, the BBQ Queens combine showmanship with solid cooking skills and determined experimentation in their quest for the perfect barbecue. In The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbecue, Fertig and Adler offer dozens of recipes for chicken, beef, fish, lamb, pork, and vegetables, plus more than sixty-five different seasoning rubs and sauces. They highlight an obscure grilling technique called planking, which involves soaking a hardwood plank in water and then grilling food on top of it. Also included are recipes for side dishes and related complements. Library Journal reviewer Judith Sutton noted that the volume's recipes are "easy and appealing" for cooks and diners at all levels.

Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens contains Fertig and Adler's grilling wisdom redirected toward the perpetual task of weeknight dinner preparation. The recipes included cover a variety of meats and other foods that can be grilled over wood pellets, briquettes, and other fuels. Most dishes can be prepared in forty- five minutes or less, and the authors encourage use of prepared food and supermarket items in order to save valuable weeknight time. Fertig and Adler also include detailed information on cooking techniques, utensils to use, and expected timetables for cooking particular foods. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that "the sheer variety of ingredients will let home cooks call on whatever happens to be in their pantry."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, July, 1999, Mark Knoblauch, review of Prairie Home Cooking: 400 Recipes That Celebrate the Bountiful Harvests, Creative Cooks, and Comforting Foods of the American Heartland, p. 1905.

Library Journal, August, 1999, Judith C. Sutton, review of Prairie Home Cooking, p. 129; September 1, 2001, John Charles, review of Prairie Home Breads: 150 Splendid Recipes from America's Breadbasket, p. 218; April 15, 2002, Judith Sutton, review of Fish & Shellfish, Grilled & Smoked: 300 Foolproof Recipes for Everything from Amberjack to Whitefish, plus Really Good Rubs, Marvelous Marinades, Sassy Sauces, and Sumptuous Sides, p. 120; October 15, 2003, Judith Sutton, review of All-American Desserts: 400 Star-Spangled, Razzle-Dazzle Recipes for America's Best Loved Desserts, p. 92; April 15, 2005, Judith Sutton, review of The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbecue, p. 112; March 15, 2006, Judith Sutton, review of Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens, p. 94.

Nation's Restaurant News, November 11, 2002, Michael Schrader, "Tomes Offer New Twists As Seafood Scales New Heights," review of Fish & Shellfish, Grilled & Smoked, p. 64.

People, December 6, 1999, Max Alexander, "Pages," review of Prairie Home Cooking, p. 59.

Publishers Weekly, July 19, 1999, review of Prairie Home Cooking, p. 190; September 1, 2003, review of All-American Desserts, p. 81; February 28, 2005, review of The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbecue, p. 59; February 13, 2006, review of Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens, p. 82.

ONLINE

AARP The Magazine,http://www.aarpmagazine.org/ (December 3, 2006), biography of Judith Fertig.

BBQ Queens,http://www.bbqqueens.com (December 3, 2006), biography of Judith Fertig.

epicurean.com,http://www.epicurean.com/ (December 3, 2006), Claire Charlton, "Grill Friends Strut Their Stuff," review of The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbecue.

Epicurious,http://www.epicurious.com/ (February 22, 2002), Irene Sax, review of Prairie Home Breads.

Fiery-foods.com,http://www.fiery-foods.com/ (December 3, 2006), biography of Judith Fertig.

Global Gourmet,http://www.theglobalgourmet.com/ (November, 2001), review of Prairie Home Breads; (June, 2006), review of Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens; (December 3, 2006), biography of Judith Fertig.

inmamaskitchen.com, http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/ (December 3, 2006), review of Prairie Home Cooking.

Pig Out Publications Web site, http://www.pigoutpublications.com/ (December 3, 2006), biography of Judith Fertig.

Woman's Connection, http://www.womans-connection.com/ (December 3, 2006), biography of Judith Fertig.