Are you someone who knows a million ways to have food delivered but never got around to mastering the art of cooking?
Then Santa Rosa native Gabi Moskowitz wants you to read her latest cookbook, “Hot Mess Kitchen: Recipes for Your Delicious Disastrous Life.” The new cookbook serves up small bites of funny, personal anecdotes between humorous helpings of recipes that range from “I’m a Fraud French Toast” to “A Pad (Thai) of One’s Own.”
Adding her two cents to the culinary comedy is co-author Miranda Berman, a writer for the Hulu series “The Mindy Project,” starring writer/actress Mindy Kaling of “The Office” fame. Together, the two writers create a narrative of messy, millennial disasters to help readers digest a series of tasty yet accessible recipes.
“The ‘Hot Mess’ voice is a good way to get information,” Moskowitz said in a phone interview from her home in San Francisco. “We disarm you by embarrassing ourselves and convince you to get into the kitchen.”
Moskovitz, who studied acting and writing while enrolled in Santa Rosa High School’s Artquest program, has already written four other cookbooks: “The Brokeass Gourmet Cookbook” released in 2012; “Pizza Dough: 100 Delicious Unexpected Recipes” released in 2013; and “Young & Hungry,” released in 2017, a companion to the Freeform TV show, based on Moskowitz’s life as a food blogger and personal chef. She wrote that cookbook with Diana Snyder, a writer for the “Young & Hungry” show.
“At this point, it’s highly fictional, it’s not the Gabi Moskowitz story,” Moskowitz said. “The book is geared for younger women, teens to early 20s … I wrote the recipes and she wrote the advice about how to live your best life when you’re young and hungry.”
For her latest book, Moskowitz met her co-author through the beta testing of an app launched by actor B.J. Novak, who played Ryan on “The Office.”
Using The List app, people can collaborate on building lists that range from travel and entertainment suggestions to amusing ways to kill time with funny photos from their phones.
“One of the things you can do on the app is to send list requests,” Moskowitz explained.
“I was getting requests about the best tuna salad recipes and pastrami recipes.”
Then she got some rather odd requests for recipes with funny names, like “Best Meal to Trick a Guy into Falling in Love with You” or “I’m Ready to Sleep with You Chocolate Dessert.” They were sent to her by Berman, who lives in Los Angeles.
“We were joking around with each other … and I said, totally kidding, that we should write a book where I write the recipes and you write the titles,” Moskowitz said.
“She said, ‘That’s not a bad idea.’ So we got on the phone and started talking.”
The cookbook pits the “millennial big sister” voice of the 35-year-old Moskowitz, who is married and has cooked all her life, against the uber-millennial voice of the 28-year-old Berman, who is single and relies on food-delivery services like Postmates.
The combination of Berman’s almost absurd humor with Moskowitz’s more earnest tips and confessions throws a wide net, appealing to women who are the life of the party as well as to gals who don’t mind staying home and eating “Super Sad Saturday Night Salmon,” one of the recipes in the book.