Interview with Alumna Emilie Raffa from The Clever Carrot

ICC Professional Culinary Arts’06 graduate Emilie Raffa is the blogger behind The Clever Carrot and the author of The Clever Cookbook: Get-Ahead Strategies and Timesaving Tips for Stress-Free Home Cooking.

Emilie’s work has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine, The Huffington Post, Food 52, Saveur, Food & Wine, Today Food, and in the pages of Artful Blogging Magazine. She was a finalist for ‘Best Food Photography’ in the annual the Saveur Blog Awards, and she also contributes to the digital cooking publication Feedfeed.

The Clever Cookbook Emilie Raffa

-What did you do before attending ICC?

Before attending ICC, I was working in sales. I couldn’t stand my job! Following my gut and enrolling in culinary school was one of the the best decisions I ever made.

-What is your best memory from your time at ICC?

This is going to sound silly, but I’ll say it anyway: the bread! Baguettes, to be exact. I remember arriving to class, ripping off a chunk of bread from the kitchen, and then settling in (at my station) to assemble my paper chef’s hat (yes, our hats were DIY and stapled together, by the way).

-Describe a day in your life.

Hectic! I like to wake up really early in the morning to write. Then, once the kids are up, I switch gears into Mom Mode. Then, it’s back to work again- cooking, photographing, answering emails and of course, more writing. My cat is incredibly demanding too, if that counts.

Clever Carrot Emilie Raffa

-What is your personal favorite recipe from The Clever Cookbook?

Tough question! I’d say my One-Pot Creamy Orzo with Asparagus. It’s like ‘risotto’ pasta.

-What would you tell someone who wants to publish a cookbook?

Do not settle. Wait for the right deal. Many bloggers are getting book deals right now so don’t sell yourself short with a subpar offer, especially if you will be doing your own photography, styling and recipe testing. Good things come to those who wait!

– What’s next for you?

I’m always brimming with ideas! Right now, I’m still promoting my cookbook so we’ll see after that!