Cooking requires creativity. For example, what do you do when you don’t have access to traditional kitchen tools? When you find yourself with a surfeit of wilting herbs? Alexis deBoschnek, culinary influencer and author of the cookbook To the Last Bite, has answers.
Her journey to writing a cookbook was circuitous, but she’s always been obsessed with food. “When I was growing up, my mom would make me these beautiful lunches with marinated peppers, pâté, avocado,” says deBoschnek, Fabric Styling ’12, Fashion Merchandising Management ’10. She didn’t consider a culinary career until her junior year at FIT, during a trend-forecasting internship. “I was in a meeting, and they were talking about the Pantone Color of the Year like it was truly life-changing,” she says. “I thought, ‘I can’t do this for the rest of my life.’” Books by the noted food critic and editor Ruth Reichl inspired deBoschnek to complete an International Culinary Center certificate in Culinary Techniques.
She moved to Los Angeles and landed at BuzzFeed’s cooking site, Tasty, in 2018. She became part of its Talent Program, which featured both famous chefs and rising digital stars experimenting with content. As part of this job, deBoschnek hosted Tasty’s “Chef Out of Water” video series, during which she had to make full meals using household appliances like irons and coffee makers.
In 2019, deBoschnek went freelance and soon landed a book deal with Simon & Schuster. She describes her recipes as “easy and approachable,” so it makes sense that one of her favorites is rice—albeit zhuzhed with sautéed shallots, white wine, and stock. In To the Last Bite, it’s called “Weeknight Rice,” but her friends call it the rice. DeBoschnek admits that beyond flavor, “I’m thinking about color and texture. That’s the art school coming back,” she says.
Her cookbook is filled with comforting options like a riff on shrimp cocktail, spatchcock chicken, and Creamsicle-esque orange meringue semifreddo. It’s also designed so readers can cook efficiently and reduce waste. Each recipe has footnotes explaining how leftover ingredients like herbs, onion, and buttermilk can be used in other recipes in the book. Prior to its April 2022 release, To the Last Bite received mentions in Thrillist, BookRiot, and TIME.
DeBoschnek still occasionally makes “Chef Out of Water” videos—in a recent episode, she cooked with a wax warmer. This involved nearly six hours of cooking and an entire roll of tin foil for heat retention. And yet, she produced tomato confit, poached tuna, and chocolate bark. “When I’m with these weird tools,” she says, “something clicks and my creativity comes out.”
Try this recipe for deBoschnek’s Butter-Braised Lamb Chops from To the Last Bite.