Meet Colu Henry

Meet Colu Henry

Colu Henry is an outstanding recipe developer, writer and cooking contributor for The New York Times. Colu has worked in food for over 15 years and is known for creating unique but low maintenance recipes, bringing us all excitement and constant inspiration to keep cooking. She is the Author of Back Pocket Pasta, Colu Cooks: Easy Fancy Food and host of ‘Colu Cooks’ on Patreon. She talks to us about her published cookbooks, passion for food and love for design, which doesn’t just translate into food!


Tell us a bit more about your latest book "Colu Cooks: Easy Fancy Food" - what excited you most about this project? 

After publishing Back Pocket Pasta which was full of class ingredients, creating Colu Cooks: Easy Fancy Food, I had a lot more experience and the approach and aesthetic was much more considered. My grandmother collected Gourmet magazines from the 1940s - the 90s and I took a big inspiration from the 70s decade. My food is rooted in my Italian-American upbringing, but my cooking is also influenced by other travels abroad. Most importantly, the recipes in Colu Cooks are elegant and approachable, which make anyone look good in the kitchen.


What are your favourite autumn/winter pantry essentials? 

It’s so funny that you asked! I’m actually in the process of doing a whole newsletter about that over my sub stack Colu Cooks! If I had to pick just a handful they would be: 
Beans; I’m crazy for dried beans, I buy as many varieties as I can. 
Pasta and Noodles; I suggest having a few types of dried pasta in the pantry such as the long and lean varieties like linguine and bucatini and one with texture and one with a tube, such as rigatoni and fusilli and Asian noodles for soups, salads, and stir-fry. Canned Tomatoes; Perfect for pasta and pizza sauce, they are also a dependable staple! Tinned fish; Italian tuna in olive oil! Anchovies! Sardines! Smoked trout! These can all be meals on their own served on toast. 


We love following your Nova Scotia farmhouse renovation! Can you tell us a bit about the design inspiration? Do you have any dream plans for the kitchen specifically? 

Thank you! It’s definitely a process. We want to maintain as much integrity of the original house as possible. It was built in 1866 and was a working farm for well over one hundred years.
I have big ideas for the kitchen, I would like to give it a classic farmhouse feel with lots of windows, a terracotta tile floor and an old looking range.
We found beautiful wide-planked wood floors, also beneath layers, and I mean LAYERS, of wallpaper we found these gorgeous plaster walls, which we plan on lime washing. 
I have my eye on this one from ILVE. I also plan on going with an electric/convection oven this time around. It’s better for the environment and much easier to clean.



Harvest Floral Carys Dress 


What are your top three recommendations for someone visiting Nova Scotia? 

Visit as much of the province as you can. The north shore and south shore are wildly different and equally as beautiful! Cape Breton is also another world. Be prepared to do nothing, I shed layers while I’m here.
Things move much slower here, so I recommend talking to locals. Most businesses are not on social media, so word of mouth is key. And, everyone here couldn’t be more lovely. 


How do you like to unwind when not cooking and creating?

I’m a big reader and when I find a book that captures me, I’m heads down and get lost in the pages. Currently it’s The Evening of the Holiday by Shirley Hazzard. I’ve also started writing some short stories, which has been really fun. Writing about things other than food is exhilarating. I don’t know what I’ll do with them just yet, but that’s part of the fun.


Would you be open to sharing a favourite fall recipe with us? 

Absolutely! One of my favourite things to do when the weather starts turning cooler is to braise. I don’t like to place favourites, but my recipe for Fennel-Rubbed Pork Shoulder with Creamy White Beans and Herb Oil from my book is right up there. See recipe HERE  



Follow Colu on Instagram:  @coluhenry 
Food photo credit - Credit Tara Donne 
All other photos - Credit Chad Silver 

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