Welcome to The Familiar Kitchen! My name is Ann Ittoop and I am a recipe developer and food storyteller. One of my greatest joys in the kitchen is in the expressive, almost poetic, sharing of the foods and experiences I grew up with. Through sharing, my hope is that I can offer you a little dose of familiarity with a whole lotta flavor!
Growing up as a first-generation Indian-American, I got the chance to experience the best of both food worlds, oftentimes on one plate! On one hand I had Kerala staples like appam and chicken curry. On the other I had chicken and waffles. If there’s one thing that has helped me understand my identity and express both ends of my cultural upbringing, it’s most definitely food.
My mom is one of my greatest food inspirations. The first thing she ever taught me how to make was the perfect cup of chaya (homestyle tea). Watching the magical process of her making tea helped me feel the stories behind each step and also understand the importance of cooking with heart. She always said, “people can taste what you feel so make sure your mind is ready to cook.”
I have a firm belief there is literally magic in the cooking process. That’s why most nights you’ll find me in the kitchen. I’m there always testing and creating new recipes that stem from my wild imagination. And I’m there searching for the familiar memories of my childhood.
I started The Familiar Kitchen to not only help myself find this magic, but for those seeking a way to find their own magic. Join me on my adventures through cooking classic Kerala-inspired dishes, some of my Southern favorites, and all the recipes in between.
With Love & Magic,