Who we are
We’re two good friends who met at the local farmer’s market where we discovered we’re both chefs and neighbors and our kids went to the same preschool. Fast forward many years (our kids are now in elementary school) passing countless afternoons of coffee and snacks at each other’s houses, communal meals with cocktails and neighbors, hilarious stories of living, and of course food stories, going late into the night. Sharing (and eating) food makes our world more joyful.
In this fast-paced digital world, we both crave solid real-world connection. And that’s where this idea came to be. We love sharing the food we’ve made with the people in our community to ease the burden or add to the joy in their lives. We love it so much that we started this site. Here’s a little more about each of us.
As a cook, mom, gardener and writer, Stacy Basko is happiest leaning on her creative side. She came up in the Bay Area where DIY is king and scouring thrift stores (locations: secret) for one-of-a-kind treasures is a way of life. Her curiosity has taken her to many places. She’s backpacked across Southeast Asia, walked into (and out of) county jails, and surfed down the Jersey shore with her grade school daughters.
At San Francisco State University, she started as a ceramics major but writing classes steered her toward the Journalism Department. At the same time, she studied Criminal Justice and was lucky to learn from members of the Black Panther Party and other intellectuals who stuck around after the heady, hazy hippie days. She developed a deep commitment to social justice and upon graduation, worked and eventually ran a community-based prison program for women and children. There she learned how to make tamales, chicken soup and stewed greens and how to be resilient in times of crisis. In a second life, she suited up and entered the corporate world of marketing where she learned to manage creative teams and present brand strategy in the boardroom. She left the office to attend culinary school and cook in 4-star kitchens and fancy private homes.
She currently makes a living writing about food, developing recipes, and teaching people to cook and eat what they love. She believes the connections we create are what make us human, and will cook for anyone who asks, and sometimes for those who don’t. A recovering urbanite, she now calls the Garden State home. She spends way too much time growing things, and lives close enough to jump the train to NYC. Every once in a while she thinks about going vegan, but decides she just can’t live without butter.
As VP Culinary Creative Director at Zero Point Zero (ZPZ), Krista Ruane spends her days creating original, food driven content with a voice, know how, and look that supports the production company’s brand. She shows the real, gutsy side of food, the one that tells the truth and ultimately the most interesting story.
A 2015 Emmy nominated producer for her work on ‘The Kitchen,’ Krista got her start cooking and styling food for television way back when it was just beginning. It was the dawn of food tv and she worked with the chefs and shows that would come to define the genre – ‘Molto Mario’, ‘Iron Chef’, ‘Emeril Live’, ‘Cooking Live”, ‘Barefoot Contessa’. Her credit list is long and her knowledge is deep. She taught Queen Latifah how to break down a chicken while filming ‘The Last Holiday” movie, made soufflés for Julia Child, orrecchiete with Lidia Bastianich and just about everything Italian or American with Mario Batali. Her more recent shows include ‘Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn’, ‘Junk Food Flip’, ‘Restaurant Redemption’, and ‘Simply Laura’ which she produced and directed for the Cooking Channel.
Krista met Mario Batali while working on ‘Molto Mario’ sixteen years ago. She became a trusted member of his team, stepping into the inner circle when he asked her to be his food stylist and recipe tester. Since then, she’s styled five of his cookbooks (all bestsellers), directed and produced his iPhone app, and traveled with him to far away places like Jakarta for food festivals. They continue to work together whenever they can.
She’s worked on more than a dozen bestselling cookbooks, including the recent hunting guides by Stephen Rinella, (host of ZPZ’s ‘MeatEater‘). She’s tested recipes, ghost written chapters, styled photos, produced and art directed photo shoots. Her work in print has been seen in top magazines, ad campaigns and digital campaigns.
Though she’s all about food and went to culinary school (which she calls figure drawing for food), Krista’s first love was art. She was a glass blower while earning a BFA in sculpture at Washington University in St. Louis. She spent time in Rome, carving marble and learning from the masters. Her travels reignited her childhood love for her family’s Italian cooking. She went on to merge both passions in her sculpture installations and performances where food became both her subject and the medium.
Today Krista lives in the suburbs of NJ with three dudes, one of whom is her husband. When she’s not working, she can be found reading spy novels with her boys or smoking a huge hunk of meat in her backyard that she will probably share with every single one of her neighbors. She’s obsessed with wooden spools and has a large collection stashed in her basement.
Be a part of the Doorstep Dishes community. Join the conversation in the comments section on our posts. We want to hear your traditions and how food makes your world better, too. We do edit these, so keep it smart and helpful. We’re all in this together, folks. Unkind trolling posts will be deleted.
All of these photos were done by our fabulous friend and neighbor Julia Verderosa. Check out more of her amazing work here.