Cooking, Education, Good Food

Molly Stevens, Award-Winning cookbook author, returns to Ann Arbor

All About Dinner by Molly StevensA new cookbook from Molly Stevens titled All About Dinner: Expert Advice for Everyday Meals, will be released just in time for her to join us at the Roadhouse for a special dinner on November 12. 

Molly’s previous cookbooks, All About Braising and All About Roasting, each won James Beard and IACP cookbook awards. Molly Stevens has been described in the New York Times Book Review as “a beautifully clear writer who likes to teach.” 

All About Dinner offers 150 recipes for vegetables, grains, meat, fish, and sweets that will invigorate your everyday menus and build your kitchen know-how. 

A longtime friend of Zingerman’s, Molly Stevens will showcase recipes from her new cookbook that remind her of her travels with Zingerman’s over the years. 

We sat down with Molly ahead of her upcoming visit to talk about his new book, her dinner at the Roadhouse, and her thoughts on cooking at home. Please join us as we welcome back Molly Stevens!

Take a peek at the menu and make sure to reserve your seat before the dinner is sold out. 

Hello, Molly Stevens! The menu for your dinner at the Roadhouse looks delicious. Which dishes are you most excited about? 

“The thing that’s really fun to me is Lecso, the Hungarian pepper stew that I first tasted in Budapest with Ari and Amy and Frank (of Zingerman’s Bakehouse). I tagged along on Amy and Frank’s first trip to research Hungarian pastries. This dinner is a nice opportunity to show appreciation for being able to be apart of that. And it’s also such a great dish in the fall, because of the peppers. 

Also, because Zingerman’s is friends with Mahjoub, the Tunisian olive oil producers, I was fortunate enough to visit them with Ari. It was on that trip when I learned about Lablabi (a Tunisian chickpea stew), the starter course of the Roadhouse menu. Ari and I have been friends for a very, very long time. It’s nice when you have a friendship with someone in food, there are a lot of influences that are shared. It will be fun for me to tell the story of that trip through those two dishes!

The rest of the menu is based on seasonality. When Bob and I collaborated on the menu, we looked for dishes that go with the season and demonstrate the variety of the book.”

What led you to write this book? How is it different than your other books? 

“I cook every day. I cook at home, my last two books – All About Braising and All About Roasting – books I’m very proud of, are singular in one style of cooking. I was at a point in my career and life where I wanted a book that talked about a diversity of techniques and flavors. I wanted a book that you could cook from every day. If I was a rock and roller, it’s my album of my greatest hits – these are recipes I go to again and again. I wanted a more personal book that reflected who I was as a cook, eater, and my relationship to food.”

How do you want people to use your book? 

“I would like people to find a few recipes that sound good to them, learn to make them following the recipe, but then make them their own – to adopt them, adapt them, to improvise with, to use as bases. The more we can learn to cook without recipes, the more pleasurable and relaxing cooking can be. In a lot of recipes in this book, I talk about variations, ideas for improvisation, highlight techniques involved, 

The first recipe in the soup chapter is a pureed vegetable soup, and once you make one or two puree vegetable soups following the recipe, I hope readers start making their own versions. It’s a gateway to cooking without recipes, using it as inspiration for their own kitchen adventures.” 

Has any feedback on it surprised you so far?

“People are responding very positively to the cover. To not have a photograph of a plate of food is a risky choice, but people think the illustration is very beautiful. That makes me very happy!” 

What are you excited about in today’s home cooking landscape? 

“Access and fluency to flavors and ingredients seem to be continuing to expand. It’s wonderful you can go to a regular supermarket and find out-of-the-ordinary ingredients.

I also think there’s a growing interest in more transparency around our food. To me, it’s fantastic that people are caring about where their ingredients are coming from. Today you can find humanely raised meat, local organic vegetables. The choices we are becoming more exposed to, through caring about our ingredients, are really great.” 

What advice would you give someone who’s interested in improving their cooking skills? 

“The only way to cook is to cook. Pay attention to the little things, try to be attentive to what you’re doing. Most importantly, commit to cooking on a regular basis until you feel confident and comfortable.”

Why do encourage people to have fun cooking at home? 

“Because life is so much better when we cook for ourselves! We solve so many problems by cooking. When you cook for yourself you find it impossible to not care about the quality of ingredients, because when you’re cooking, you notice the difference. When you cook from scratch, you put less crap in your food, you know exactly what’s in that dish you’re eating. It makes a big difference in your relationship to food – it just helps so much! Plus, when you’re cooking at home, there’s always something to eat, and, if you’re fortunate, someone you love to share it with. Time at the dinner table is never wasted.”

Who would you like to see at your dinner? 

“Everybody. People who enjoy good food! I’m excited to meet new friends and reconnect with old friends. It really means a lot to me to be able to come to Ann Arbor as part of my book tour, and I feel very grateful to be invited.” 




Hungarian-style slow-cooked peppers and tomatoes.
Served on Zingerman’s Bakehouse Sage and Walnut bread


Tunisian chickpea stew

Second Course

Roasted Carrots
With pistachios, sumac, and yogurt lime drizzle


Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak
With sweet potatoes and chipotle aioli


Eggplant Roll-Ups
With ricotta, spinach, and basil

Pear, Dried Apricot and Ginger Crisp