Summer Cooking Party with Athena & Eden

By Camille Styles

There’s nothing I love more than inviting a girl friend to come hang out in my kitchen: cooking together, comparing recipe notes, opening a bottle of wine and inevitably sharing lots of laughs. Two of my favorite foodie gals recently got together and did all of the above, and blogger-designer Athena Calderone was sweet enough to stop by and dish on her day in the kitchen with TV food personality Eden Grinshpan (and share the recipe for the most drool-worthy fish recipe I’ve ever laid eyes on.) My only regret is that I couldn’t join them in the kitchen, but the gorgeous photos by Winnie Au are the next best thing. Click through for all the details from Athena, and hop on over to EyeSwoon to get the recipe for the cherry and feta crostini that kicked off their cooking session!

Eden Eats wasn’t just the name of Eden Grinshpan’s first cooking show…. I mean, she really eats! But she also cooks—and let me tell you, she really cooks! Nothing fills me with more joy than cooking and chatting with other food-loving freaks like myself, but I have a special gratitude to Eden, for introducing me to a new flavor profile, reminding me to incorporate tahini and mustard seed, cumin and coriander, into my culinary repertoire. We can all get stagnant in the flavors and habits we turn to in the kitchen, and I love to grow, expand and evolve. Giiirrrrl, we made a mean striped bass, drizzled and punctuated with all the Middle Eastern goodness that Eden had to offer.



Eden’s energy is bright and present and filled with excitement. Her heart is as big as the warmest, most open smile that is pretty much always spread across her face at all times.  



Eden’s journey into food television began with an obsession with the Food Network, and this lady went after it. It’s not surprising that after a rather intense and amazing culinary education at Le Cordon Bleu in London, Eden found herself on a pilgrimage through India, which led her to an orphanage for a life-altering journey resulting in her first TV show, Eden Eats.

Eden ate her way directly into my kitchen, arriving with a bag full of vegetables and a bright smile, and we dove right in to not only cooking but also laughing. There was nothing serious about our day together, because bursting playful excitement took center stage. The only serious thing in the kitchen that day was SERIOUSLY insane Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food!

And before we get to the recipe, a few questions from Athena for Eden:

How would you describe the food you create? What is the core value / approach represented in your food?

I definitely love making modern Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. My father is Israeli, so I have been going my whole life. I am so inspired by all the incredible produce, bold flavors and the rustic approach. All I need in life are great spices, tons of fresh herbs, fresh fish, smoky grilled meats, freshly baked pitas, the juiciest fruits like figs, pomegranates and watermelon, tons of olive oil, and fresh lemon juice. I love the colors, freshness, smokiness and overall love that goes into middle eastern foods.

Most important flavor building ingredient or combo? Any kitchen trick for home chefs that guaranteed to pack flavor into their dishes?

My favorites…Extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon, preserved lemons, cumin, capers, olives, fresh herbs, tons of garlic.

I love buying whole spices and toasting them myself for a dish, you can throw it in whole or crush with other ingredients. It brings a nice toasty, nutty element to the dish and really brings out the flavor of the spice. Also I am huge into herbs. I love tossing fresh basil, mint, parsley, tarragon etc. into my salad leaves to bring a fresh aromatic element to my salads.


Late night indulgence / Guilty pleasure?

Please take the cereal away from me…I could eat the whole box…

A childhood or college day snack your mildly embarrassed you still love?

Lucky charms and fluff.


What’s always in your fridge?

Greek yogurt, Persian cucumbers, almond milk, maple syrup, tons of jams, unsalted butter, free range eggs, tahini, beer and white wine.

Your ideal meal is…  With…

Israeli bbq with my family- complete with the most insane amount of mezes, hummus and tons of kebabs.

Your favorite dish to create at home?

I love cooking in a very rustic way. Keeping things whole to me seem just right. Roasting a whole head of cauliflower (leaves attached-when they roast up they are crunchy delights) with tons of olive oil, salt and cumin, served with a herby, nutty tahini sauce. I also love whole roasted eggplant until the skin chars- by burning the skin the eggplant takes on a really smoky flavor, remove the skin and serve it with sheeps milk feta, lemon juice, olive oil, pomegranate seeds, toasted pine nuts  and tons of fresh herbs like basil and mint.

Click here for the recipe for this Striped Bass in a cumin and mustard seed tomato sauce, topped with raw tahini, zaatar olive oil, garlic scapes and fresh cilantro.

This spectacular day had me breaking bread on my terrace with a brand new friend that wholeheartedly inspires me and makes me laugh ridiculous amounts. New food breeds new friendship: one that will 100% find us cooking together again, many times. 

Catch more of Athena’s cooking adventures on her site EyeSwoon, and follow along with what Eden’s eating (and cooking) on her blog. Thanks for stopping by, ladies!

*all photos by Winnie Au.