Genevieve Ko.

Learn to Cook (and Love It) with New York Times Deputy Editor Genevieve Ko

In Episode 46 of the Kitchen Confidante Podcast, Liren Baker talks with Genevieve Ko, the Deputy Editor for the New York Times Food section and NYT Cooking, about their newest recipe series, Learn to Cook (and ❤️ It).

Genevieve Ko.
Learn to Cook (and Love It) with New York Times Deputy Editor Genevieve Ko
Tune in to the Kitchen Confidante Podcast and Learn to Cook (and Love It) with NYTCooking Deputy Editor, Genevieve Ko.

On the podcast, I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Genevieve Ko, Deputy Editor for the New York Times Food section and NYT Cooking. In that role, along with Nikita Richardson, Melissa Clark, and Eric Kim, her team has released a new, special project that includes ten recipes for beginner cooks to help them build confidence in the kitchen.

Listen to the full episode here or keep reading for some of my favorite moments with Genevieve chatting about this recipe collection.

How Did You Get Started as a Food Editor and Cook?

I was working in education when I met Mark Bittman, a former food journalist at the New York Times, at a book signing, and he happened to be hiring a research assistant. From there, I started writing for newspaper sections and worked in kitchens professionally to learn how to cook.

When I was learning to cook, I made beginner mistakes that everyone makes. For example, I’ve found that salt confuses many people. This is because there are so many different kinds, and different recipe developers all have their favorite ones. Each type of salt varies in its level of saltiness, which many people don’t know. Many people also have different preferences for how salty they like each dish. Therefore, it can be easy to over or under season your food, and it won’t taste right.

One trick I’ve learned is to salt a little less generously to start, then taste your food often and season as you go. This will help you get the seasoning right and learn your personal tastes. Therefore, we tend to omit specific salt amounts in our recipes at the New York Times.

Learn to Cook (and Love it) In 10 Easy Dishes

Today, NYT Cooking is a database of over 20,000 recipes. We have recipes with all the bells and whistles for those interested in that, but we also have simple recipes for people who are just getting started cooking or need something budget and basic. My kids have told me they don’t cook our recipes because they are too hard or complicated. So, our team wanted to focus on creating a resource for young adults or anyone learning to cook for the first time. We wanted to reach people who might not have any specialized equipment or cooking training and show them how wonderful, fun, and joyful home cooking can be.

Therefore, we launched a set of 10 recipes called Learn to Cook (and Love it) in 10 Easy Dishes. We like to think of these recipes as a “Couch to 5K” for cooking: a set of recipes that help you build the right skills and get confident in the kitchen as you go along (although you can cook them in any order if you’d like). It starts with easy no-cook recipes, moves on to skillet and pan recipes, and ends with a grand finale of roast chicken and potatoes — no fancy tools required. For those who want to continue, we also curated a set of recipes we recommend cooking next.

Learn more

Listen to the full podcast episode with Genevieve and find the Learn to Cook (and Love it) in 10 Easy Dishes series here

Learn more about Genevieve Ko at

Follow Genevieve on Instagram @genevieve_ko


10 Recipes for Beginner Cooks on YouTube

Eric Kim’s Tuna Mayo Rice Bowl
Genevieve Ko’s How to Make Butter Mochi


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