Maria in Bologna

Hi there! I am a Berkeley-born food writer and cook. I earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in food culture and communications from L’Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche. I interned with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, started my own catering company, and had the great pleasure of working with Suzanne Goin on The A.O.C. Cookbook, which won the 2014 IACP Cookbook Award in the Chefs and Restaurants category. I’m an avid home cook with a deep respect for restaurant cuisine, and I absolutely adore ice cream. I live in Brooklyn, NY with my fiancé, Graham Bradley, who designed this website.

Recipe Development

Rose Pistachio Birthday Cake

I currently write a weekly recipe column for KCET, the nation’s largest independent public television station. For the past year, I wrote the Local and Seasonal recipe column.

I believe that recipes are like stories. The best ones are engaging and exciting, with occasional unexpected twists.


Red Oaxacan Beans

Adapting restaurant recipes to the home kitchen is a bit like translating between two languages. I like to imagine myself working with one leg in the restaurant and the other leg in the home, moving fluidly between the two.

I have worked on The A.O.C. Cookbook (Random House) as the recipe tester, Where Chefs Eat (Phaidon) as the editorial assistant for North America, and This Is Camino (Ten Speed Press) as the co-author. Most recently I co-authored the forthcoming Sqirl cookbook, Everything I Want to Eat, which will be published by Abrams on October 4, 2016. I am currently working with Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery.

Everything I Want to Eat

Everything I Want to Eat (Abrams)

Jessica Koslow and her restaurant, Sqirl, are at the forefront of the California cooking renaissance, which is all about food that surprises us and engages all of our senses—it looks good, tastes vibrant, and feels fortifying yet refreshing.

This Is Camino

This Is Camino (Ten Speed Press)

In This is Camino, fundamental cooking skills (including open-fire cooking); unique, ingredient-focused recipes that are both sophisticated and pared-down; and inventive flavor pairings marry with lush photography and a stunning package to produce the new must-have cookbook for Camino's many fans and restaurant book lovers.

Where Chefs Eat

Where Chefs Eat (Phaidon Press)

Forget the restaurant guides compiled by a panel of mysterious experts, this new guide is by the real insiders: more than 600 of the world’s leading chefs. Listing their favourite places to eat from neighbourhood eateries to high-end restaurants, Where Chefs Eat is the ultimate guide to the world’s best food. With entertaining reviews the books should appeal to restaurant-goers and food lovers worldwide.

The A.O.C. Cookbook

The A.O.C. Cookbook (Random House)

“Maria and I spent the summer working out of my house—me in my office writing away and she in my kitchen testing every single recipe. I honestly cannot imagine what I would do, Maria, if you had not sent that letter and been such a dream—not to mention so smart and such a great cook! Thank you.”
​​​​–Suzanne Goin, The A.O.C. Cookbook

Food Styling

Chicken Fricassee

For both photography and film, I am drawn to food that looks natural, spontaneous, and inviting. The finest ingredients make for the tastiest and most gorgeous dishes.

I shoot all of the photographs for my KCET recipe column, and most recently I worked with Tastemade as the food stylist for their Online Cooking Classes and Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. Other clients include: Kingsford, Hidden Valley, Grey Goose, Stella Artois, and Bravo.


I’d love to hear from you! Please get in touch if you would like to discuss working together, or if you just want to say hi.

{929} 295 8616
Maria Zizka

Literary Agent: Katherine Cowles