Chatting with Seven Spoons author Tara O'Brady

The food blogger's debut cookbook is packed with dazzling food photos, warm, intelligent prose, and delectable recipes.

We’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but when the cover is a stunning photo of plump honey-drizzled figs sitting atop toasted grainy bread, it’s hard to see that as a bad thing.

Diving into Tara O’Brady’s debut cookbook, Seven Spoons (also the name of O’Brady’s 10-year-old food blog), the reader is met with more dazzling food photos, warm, intelligent prose, and delectable recipes that pull from a vast range of culinary influences.

There’s Everyday Yellow Dal, and Pakora, nods to her Indian roots, Walnut Cherry Oat Butter Tart Pie, and Baked Irish Mash, inspired by her husband’s English-Irish family, and a myriad of other flavours and cultures at play.

[For your chance to WIN a signed copy of Tara O’Brady’s Seven Spoons, courtesy Appetite by Random House, submit a comment below telling us the one ingredient you can’t live without.]

O’Brady, who lives in Southern Ontario with her husband and two sons, tells she doesn’t feel limited in the kitchen to just one food style, and the book is a reflection of how she and her family eat.

“So many of us are cooking in a very eclectic way – when you’re looking at food media, magazines, Instagram, or even just restaurants, we see all these influences and we want them in our home kitchen,” O’Brady notes. “Even if you go to the grocery store now, the fact that you can get vadouvan or togarashi or any of these things in your regular grocery store means there’s so much more available to us, and that’s inspiring.”

Cooking has always been a part of O’Brady’s life – both her parents are great cooks, she explains – and she’s now making sure that her boys get involved in the kitchen.

“Whether it’s being at the farmers market and talking about what the ingredients are, or letting them pick some of the ingredients and then me working backwards to make a meal around what they’ve picked out that day, I think that gives them a great sense of ownership over it and, truthfully, will always help them in eating it when they’re going through those picky times.”

Watch’s full interview with Tara O’Brady below.