Hello! Welcome to Retrolillies! I’m Chaya, the writer, baker and picture taker behind this blog.
Here, I combine my love of well made, seasonal food with my love for the written word. You’ll find find some of my favorite savory recipes for the Swiss, Jewish and American foods I grew up with, as well as baked goods using fresh, luscious fruits and whole grain flours. You’ll read about special cooking techniques, get baking tricks and tips I’ve picked up along the years and gain insight into what takes recipes from good to great.
Above all, I hope you’ll be inspired. Food, with its special combination of taste, texture and scent, has power unlike anything else. With it, you can forge connections, evoke long forgotten memories and create beautiful new ones.
Close your eyes. Inhale the tang of a lemon. Feel the silky rub of butter between flour. Watch yeast bubble and swell as it comes alive, and experience the change in seasons firsthand through what’s on your plate.
Cook something. Bake something. And of course, don’t forget to say hi. I always love hearing from you.
Are all the pictures featured on your blog original?
Yep, unless otherwise specified! I took a photography course at FIT one summer and am mostly self taught. Still a complete newbie, still learning lots. I like shooting in natural light when I can.
What camera do you use?
A Canon EOS 6D. I use a standard 50mm 1.8 lens, a 60mm 2.8 lens and a telephoto lens. I’d love to get into film one day.
How did you learn how to bake?
I taught myself! I baked, cooked and practiced lots and I learned even more when I interned as a pastry cook at a Brooklyn restaurant. At 19, I worked as a bread baker in an artisanal bakery and was trained in the art of making, baking and shaping sourdough bread. I love that I get to learn even more as I work.
Are all your recipes original?
Most are! Some of the recipes on this site are adaptations of recipes I love, carefully curated and edited from the best websites and cookbooks. In that case, I always provide proper credit and rewrite the recipe in my own words.
Can I use a picture from your blog?
Shoot me an email at email@example.com about the picture in question!
Do you sell any of your food and are you available for cooking demos?
Sadly, while I used to sell pastries + baked goods from my kitchen, I no longer have the time to do so, as work has become all encompassing.
How can we collaborate?
As a recipe developer, food stylist and food photographer and writer, I’m available for magazine work, online columns, guest blog posts, photography, recipe development and videos and editorials. As well, I give cooking and baking demos around the tri-state area. Email me so we can discuss options!
What do you love most about blogging and working in the food industry?
I love that I get to express myself creatively in this line of work and I am grateful to have so many outlets for my passions. I also really enjoy sharing what I know with lively and appreciative readers + audiences. But the best part for me has been meeting talented, fearless and inspiring women. I’ve loved getting to become a part of this community and am constantly in awe of the dedication and creativity people have for their craft.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org // instagram: @retrolillies