Tanya Wenman Steel, editor-in-chief of foodie website Epicurious.com, knows a thing or two about food. But after the 45-year-old Port Chester resident gave birth to identical twin sons 10 years ago, she says she found herself “always wondering, what should I feed them? And if I needed help figuring how best to feed my kids, what about all those people who don’t know food like I do?”
Ergo Real Food for Healthy Kids (HarperCollins 2008), which Steel co-authored with friend Tracey Seaman, a single mom of two and test kitchen director for Everyday with Rachael Ray.
“You don’t need complicated recipes to make good food,” Steel says. “We table-tested every recipe with almost one-hundred kids and young adults and chose only the ones that got an awesome ‘two thumbs up.’”
A portion of the book’s proceeds will be split between Second Harvest, a food-bank network, and Halo, an organization for autistic children. “My life cause is to see that children eat healthy and have access to food,” says Steel. “I use Epicurious.com, which gets five-million viewers every month, as a platform to spread the word about hunger. A United Nations report noted that ‘one billion of us eat too much while every year, six-million children die quietly of hunger.’ I find that shocking and appalling.”
When Steel and her husband, a history teacher in Rye, decided to move from Manhattan to Westchester, they zoned in on Port Chester, in part, for the food. “I could never live in a place with only chain restaurants,” Steel says. Besides, she says, “In Manhattan, my kitchen was too small. Living in Westchester gives me the freedom to cook—I can have a real kitchen here.”
// Nancy L. Claus