ABOUT THE SITE
The Sophisticated Gourmet is an ever-growing home to nostalgic classics, spins on old and forgotten favorites, and the ultimate source for extremely flavorful recipes that anyone will love. All of the recipes found on this website are extensively tested to ensure quality– we like to do away with the guesswork so you can enjoy your time cooking, baking, and sharing.
This website was created in April of 2008 with a focus on sharing simple, sophisticated, and delicious in-season food that anyone can make at home.
Around this part of the world wide web, you’ll find:
• Approachable and sophisticated recipes, made with in-season ingredients (well, most of the time), easy enough for cooks and bakers of all ranks to recreate at home.
• Poetic writing
• Silly stories with the occasional sarcasm tied in
What you will not find around here:
• Overly-complicated recipes with incredibly snobby ingredients like: locust bean gum or over-priced puff pastry from expensive French marketplaces (we make our own; don’t worry, it’s easy!).
Basically . . .
All the recipes you’ll find on this blog will never need expensive specialty equipment, or require you to perform insane tasks only suitable for gastronomic masters. We’re all about approachable home cooking and baking around here.
Food should be simple to make, sophisticated in beauty and flavor, accessible, and most importantly: food should be delicious.
ABOUT KAMRAN SIDDIQI
“He looks like a model and he’ll bring us carrot cake. Step aside, Mary Berry, there’s a new baking guru on the block, Baking God Kamran Siddiqi. The kitchen just got a whole lot hotter.” -InStyle UK
Hey there! I’m Kamran Siddiqi. Feel free to call me Kam; most of my friends and family do. I’m the gears behind the entire Sophisticated Gourmet operation. I am a self-taught baker, home cook, author of the Hand Made Baking cookbook, and photographer & recipe contributor to some of your favorite publications.
I was raised in New York City, a place packed with amazing restaurants and foods from practically every country around the world. Growing up, trips to restaurants were rare; they were left for birthday parties and to experience different cuisines. Our bakery visits, however, were always frequent. I grew up on incredible bagels, unbelievably flaky and buttery croissants, artisanal breads of all kinds, and pastries and cakes made by sweet Russian babushkas and Italian nonnas.
My mom was born in New York City, to a father from Cádiz, Spain and a mother from The Dominican Republic. My father hails from Pakistan, where he was born into a (mostly) Punjabi family that breathes good food. Growing up in a multiethnic household meant food was always homemade and always delicious.
I learned the dance of true flavor and unadulterated quality through endless reading of dog-eared pages in classic cookbooks and years of standing side-by-side in the kitchen with my loved ones. My tastebuds were nurtured by a family of amazing home cooks whose imperceptible vigor of timeless fervency is the secret ingredient in every dish.
I am a home cook and self-taught baker with the belief that sumptuous, simple, and sophisticated food should be shared with the world. As a child, I was surrounded by an old-school mentality– talks of secret recipes and secret ingredients were regular. When I started this site, my aim has been to change that old mentality so many of us have been accustomed to; to break down the walls of secrecy created by the sorcerers and sorceresses we’ve come to admire in the kitchen.
During the winter months, smells of hand made cakes and flavorful pies caper through the house like a Punjabi bhangra dancer. In May, mustard greens and glorious green leaves of spinach are cooked down to make Saag, an Indian spiced spinach dish, the very way my great-grandmother taught our family. In the summer, produce is abundant and there are always several punnets of venetian-red strawberries and crimson tomatoes à gogo. There are no secrets behind it all; we work with the seasons and use the best ingredients we can afford, which is always the first step to making good food.
Like every classical blurb of a self-respecting author, one must mention with whom they live with and where. So, here goes… I live in New Jersey, with my two cats, Adam and Eve.
PRESS, AWARDS & RECOGNITION
• Hand Made Baking Featured on Brit + Co. – November 24, 2015
• One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes Featured on A Cup of Jo – September 23, 2015
• Presented at The Today Show – September 5, 2015
• Featured on The Today Show – September 5, 2015
• No-Bake White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Featured on Delish – June 8, 2015
• Blueberry Hand Pies Featured on Delish – June 8, 2015
• Party Cake with Whipped Cream & Raspberries Featured on Delish – June 8, 2015
• Dulce de Leche Banoffee Pie Featured on Delish – June 8, 2015
• Featured in Food & Wine Magazine – June 2015 Issue
• Featured on Food & Wine – May 22, 2015
• Coffee Crumb Cake Featured on David Lebovitz – April 23, 2015
• Everyday Brownies Featured on Bakerella – February 22, 2015
• Butterfly Cookies Featured on Leite’s Culinaria – February 22, 2015
• Quick Puff Pastry Featured on Leite’s Culinaria – February 22, 2015
• Dutch Baby Pancake Featured on Bakepedia – February 17, 2015
• Chocolate Cupcakes Featured on Bakepedia – February 17, 2015
• Nancy Drew Blondies Featured on Set the Table – February 9, 2015
• Featured in Publisher’s Weekly – February 2, 2015
• Featured in Food & Wine Magazine – February 2015 Issue
• Nancy Drew Blondies Featured on Leite’s Culinaria – January 31, 2015
• Featured on Penn & Fork – December 22, 2014
• Featured on Yahoo! Food – December 11, 2014
• Jammy Linzer Cookies Featured on the Chronicle Books Blog – December 6, 2014
• Ginger Pear Loaf Cake for Food & Wine Magazine Featured on BuzzFeed – December 6, 2014
• Featured on Food Network – December 5, 2014
• “Baking Lessons from Exceptional Cookbooks” on Food & Wine – December 4, 2014
• Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge & Hand Made Baking Featured on A Cup of Jo – December 3, 2014
• Featured in InStyle Magazine UK – December 2014 Issue
• Hand Made Baking Featured on Rolling Spoon – November 25, 2014
• Hand Made Baking Cream Scones Recipe Featured on Cookbooks365 – November 25, 2014
• Featured on The Abrams & Chronicle Books Blog – November 24, 2014
• Featured in Food & Wine Magazine – September 2014
• Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Featured on BuzzFeed– April 5, 2014
• Featured in Mode Media Advertising Campaign (formerly Glam Media) – 2013 – 2014
• As seen on The Cooking Channel – Spring – Summer 2013
• New York-Style Soft Pretzels Recipe Featured in print and Online at The Oregonian – April 2, 2013
• Mango Frozen Yogurt Recipe on Babble – April 27, 2013
• New York-Style Bagel Recipe Featured in The Oregonian – April 2, 2013
• As seen on Glam’s Foodie.com
• New York-Style Bagels Featured on Cupcakes & Cashmere – September 11, 2012
• Featured in Foodie Crush Magazine – July 10, 2012
• Featured on The Veda House – June 2012
• As seen in Sated Magazine – May 2012
• New York-Style Soft Pretzels Recipe Featured on Babble’s The Family Kitchen – January 3, 2012
• New York-Style Bagel Recipe Featured on Seattle Weekly’s Holey Sh** – November 7, 2011
• Mentioned on The Kitchn’s Decadent Soup Without Cream: 10 Favorite Recipes – October 26, 2011
• Featured in Gourmet Live’s “Growing Up Gourmands”– September 14, 2011
• Mentioned on Summer Tomato “For the Love of Food” – September 9, 2011
• Interviewed on Wisconsin Cheese’s Wisconsin Cheese Talk Blog – August 19, 2011
• Featured on Splash Life’s “30 Under 30: Futurist Foodies” – June 30, 2011
• Presented at BlogHer Food 2011 – “The New Generation” – May 20, 2011
• Featured on Abrams Books’ Stewart, Tabori & Chang Cooks Website – April 26, 2011
• Soft Pretzel Recipe Mentioned on The Examiner – April 26, 2011
• Mentioned on food52 – March 30, 2011
• Food News Journal’s “Best of the Blogs” – February 28, 2011
• Mentioned on The Kitchn – February 24, 2011
• Featured on Epicurious.com – February 18, 2011
• Mentioned on Gluten-Free Girl & The Chef – October 2010
• Featured in Yum Food and Fun Magazine – October 2010
• Mentioned in the Dix Hills Patch Online Newspaper – September 12, 2010
• Mentioned on The Pioneer Woman – August 2010
• Featured on Mommy Niri – June 2010
• Featured on The Cooking Channel Blog – May 2010
• Mentioned on Martha Stewart – January 2010
• Featured on Summer Tomato – May 2010
• Featured on Cooking With Amy – October 2009
• The Sophisticated Gourmet has been featured several times on Foodgawker, Photograzing, and Tastespotting
•“Kamran came to the rescue” – Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen – July 6, 2009
• The Sophisticated Gourmet has been featured several times on the Foodbuzz Top 9 and as a featured foodie in their July newsletter – July 2009
• The Sophisticated Gourmer Awarded the “Kreativ Blogger” award and the “One Lovely Blogger” award several times.
• “If the end of the world means soda bread and jam, I’m there in my Marc Jacobs and fur collar.” – likeomg (dot org) – July 27, 2009
• Kamran was featured as a chef on the US Wellness Meats website – August 2009
• “My Mom’s Amazing Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe” featured on Good Bite Top 5
• “My Version of the Croque Madame” featured on Good Bite
• “Parathas & Mango Chutney: A How-To” featured on Good Bite
• Kamran mentioned on My Kitchen Addiction on several different occasions
• Photos from The Sophisticated Gourmet were featured at BlogHer Food 2009 by Diane and Todd of White on Rice Couple. – September 27, 2009
• Featured in “OFFICIAL LIVE BLOG – Session #2 (1-2:15 pm), Visuals Track: “Principles of Photography“” at BlogHer.