‘Nothing Fancy’ author and chef Alison Roman will see a sellout crowd in DC

At the final stop on her book tour, ever-popular Alison Roman will reach local fans at Sixth & I in December.

Photo by Nikole Herriott and Michael Graydon

Of course Alison Roman is looking forward to Thanksgiving; it’s the biggest eating holiday of the year after all. But she won’t be cooking. 

She’ll be in Canada (which celebrated its Thanksgiving Day on Oct. 14 this year), and staying away from the kitchen.

“I’ve [cooked for Thanksgiving] like six times this year between the videos, photo shoots and recipes,” says Roman.

The social media phenom behind #The Cookies and #The Stew spent a majority of the year cooking Thanksgiving dishes while out-of-season for a recent release from the New York Times titled, “Thanksgiving in a Very Small Kitchen,” amongst other Thanksgiving-themed content for various publications.

But between the potato crushing (not mashing) and turkey braising, she also released her second much-sought-after cookbook, Nothing Fancy, on Oct. 22. 

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It’s in the same vein as her 2017 release, Dining In, with casual yet vibrant photos of roasted vegetables and glasses of wine, and the totally Instagram-worthy idea of “having people over.” 

The New York Times columnist and now dual-cookbook author has been on her book tour ever since, and will host her biggest event yet at the final stop in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at Sixth & I. Within just a few days’ time of tickets going on sale, the event was already sold out. 

“I am still absolutely floored,” says Roman of the sellout. “I love DC. It has such a good food scene and it has really amazing restaurants and bars. And everybody’s so nice.”

But don’t fret if you didn’t get tickets. You can still purchase your copy of Nothing Fancy and, with wine in hand, make the same recipes that Roman has made in her kitchen; ones that she believes might not go viral in the same ways her others have, but are enjoyable to cook, nonetheless.

“I feel like every time I do recipe development, it all comes from the same sort of procedural place,” says Roman. “Which is, what do I want to eat? What do I think is easy? And, what are other people going to be willing to execute and get excited to cook?” 

She ended up with frizzled chickpeas, brownie-like salted cookies, wine-roasted artichokes and a DIY baked potato bar. Each one has a touch of trendiness (see: all recipes with tahini or canned anchovies). 

“I feel like it’s not a one-size-fits-all thing with tastes and flavors,” says Roman. “It’s nice to give people the option to make it spicy or not, or saltier if they want to, or more strong and booze-y if they like it that way (such as in the DIY martini bar recipe).”

Is Roman creating the millennial and modern version of the dinner party?

“If you call it a dinner party, then people feel the pressure to have it be a lot fussier than it already is,” says Roman. “Maybe people don’t want to have a dinner party, but they definitely still want to go over to people’s homes and eat food.” 

And now, you can make it too. Roman says she doesn’t want people to feel as if they have to “dive off of the deep end” in order to start cooking impressive food.

“Maybe you buy a rotisserie chicken and then make two of the salads [in the book],” says Roman.

Then, one day, we can all work up the confidence to make the spatch-cocked chicken on the cover too.

Whether you’re trying your hand at your very-own Alison Roman recipes, or you’re heading to Politics & Prose for her appearance in the nation’s capital, here are a few extra tidbits to know about the author: 

Favorite snack: Cheez-Its

Favorite Thanksgiving side dish: Stuffing

Go-to karaoke song: “Father Figure,” by George Michael

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