Writing this book was my first step towards making food my profession. I began writing it before I started my culinary training where I was able to refine my techniques. I chose to start with a Macedonian cookbook because it was the food I knew best and the food that I loved most. As a Macedonian woman, I also wanted to teach and share with others the beautiful food from this glorious part of the world. I have always believed, as most chefs do, that the best way to learn about any country or culture is through its food and its kitchens.

Through my research for this book, I realized that there was a broad abundance in the Macedonian cuisine, much more than the few dozen recipes that were the staples in my home. While writing this book, there were many times in my own kitchen that I felt deeply connected to my family and my ancestry simply because I was preparing food that they had been making for centuries. This book is not just a celebration of my ancestry, it is a journey into a culinary world that is modest, simple and honest.

I am a classically trained Cordon Bleu chef originally from Toronto and now residing in Los Angeles. I have experience in writing, testing and photographing recipes from my time working in the Los Angeles Times test kitchen, and with Catherine McCord’s Weelicious company. By owning and operating my own private chef and catering company for 5 years, I have had the privilege of cooking for many Los Angeles elites and celebrities. I have also had a series of recipes published in the Los Angeles Times.

My husband, Oliver Fitzgerald, owner of Schema Media, photographed each recipe in the book. This truly was a labor of love and a very special time in our marriage where we could create something together. We are enthusiastic about the creation of this book and how far it has come since we started working on it six years ago.

I put my heart and soul into this book and it is my hope you enjoy its recipes and they become staples in your home for years to come.

Katerina Nitsou