Russ Crandall is the NYT bestselling author and blogger behind The Domestic Man, a leading food blog in the Paleo, gluten-free, and whole foods communities. In his 20s he suffered a number of life-threatening illnesses, was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune condition–and was sent home with a lifetime’s worth of medications. Disenchanted with modern medicine, Russ started searching for his own answers and quickly discovered that eating a gluten-free, nutrient-rich diet alleviated most of the medical issues that had plagued him for years. Taking cues from traditional cuisines, The Domestic Man inspires readers to look to historical recipes for that ever-elusive key to health. His work has been featured in People Magazine, Food & Wine, and was nominated by Saveur Magazine as one of the Best Food Blogs of 2013.
Hi everyone, my name is Russ Crandall, and I am the home chef behind The Domestic Man, where I post new Paleo-friendly recipes every Tuesday. After years of trying to treat a rare autoimmune condition (Takayasu’s Arteritis) with modern medicine, I found that eating a Paleo-centric diet greatly improved the issues that had been plaguing me for years. It’s been nearly six years since then, and it’s been a huge motivating factor for me to continue this diet.
For me, one of the most important factors to maintaining a healthy diet is creating meals that I find especially delicious; that way, I’m never tempted by the hyper-palatable frankenfoods that are abundant in the Western diet. Second, I’ve found that focusing on traditional foods-—those tested over hundreds of years—-are a key to success as well. Why reinvent the wheel each evening, when there are many traditional and international recipes that are already healthy? This was the theme of my first cookbook, The Ancestral Table (pictured below).
Shortly after finishing my second cookbook, Paleo Takeout, I was chatting with my friend Tony Federico, who hosts the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast. We were discussing the hustle that comes with writing a cookbook – pumping out hundreds of recipes, with the hope that someone who buys the book will make a dozen of those recipes. At that point, we reached a eureka moment; what if we created a cookbook with just a few recipes, but they were just right? And so the idea of Deep Dish was born.
Deep Dish is founded on the idea that the foods we eat are steeped in history; every plate, every ingredient, tells a story. Instead of overwhelming the reader with too many recipes to choose from, we would focus on just one meal, and test it to perfection. In addition to sharing the recipes, we would dive into the history of each element of the dish, record a radio show based on our research and findings, and then bring it all together to make a single “season”. For anyone who’s read the recipes on my blog, you know I’m a huge fan of food history – I feel that it connects all of humankind, from past to present – after all, everyone eats. We decided to step that idea up a notch.
For our first season, we decided to focus on the quintessential All-American Meal. After some discussion, we settled on meatloaf as a representation of American history and ingenuity. To accompany this dish, we developed recipes for mashed potatoes and gravy, peas and carrots, and apple pie.
For each of these recipes, we approached the dish with a new perspective; in addition to retaining the spirit of its traditional preparation, we wanted to use modern culinary and manufacturing techniques to create the optimal version of each food. For example, when peas and carrots were first popularized, canned vegetables were a novelty, and the resulting bland, pressure-boiled canned vegetables were the bane of many childhood suppers. Since then, roasting vegetables came into vogue (in the past, ovens were used primarily for baking bread), so we ended up testing a roasted carrot recipe. In contrast, we opted for a raw pea pesto to accompany the roasted carrots (capitalizing on today’s exceptional flash-frozen peas).
After nearly a year of recipe development (yes, you read that right – we were very motivated to get the recipes perfect!), we released Deep Dish last month, and we couldn’t be more proud. The first season comes with four episodes of our radio show, where we discuss this journey, and the recipes come together in a 68-page eBook featuring these six classic recipes. All of the recipes in the book are gluten-free, with dairy-free and Paleo substitutions included to accommodate many different readers.
For a limited time, we’re offering free streaming of all four episodes of Deep Dish, where you can hear all about our research, and what came out of our recipe development. Fair warning – don’t listen on an empty stomach! If you choose, you can buy the full season, which includes the radio shows plus the eBook which includes all of the recipes in a stunning PDF that can be used on your phone, tablet, or home computer!
For more information, and to stream the first season, click here – enjoy!