Here is my official bio:
Emily Stimpson Chapman is an award-winning Catholic writer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her books include The Catholic Table: Finding Joy Where Food & Faith Meet (Emmaus Road, 2016); The American Catholic Almanac: The Patriots, Saints, Rogues, and Ordinary People Who Changed America (Image, 2014), These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body (Emmaus Road, 2013), and The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years (Emmaus Road, 2012). A contributing editor to Our Sunday Visitor and Franciscan Way Magazine, her writing has also appeared in First Things, Touchstone, the National Catholic Register, Lay Witness, Catholic Digest, and elsewhere. Honored by both the Catholic Press Association and the Associated Church Press, Chapman writes regularly about faith, hospitality, and food at her blog, The Catholic Table (www.thecatholictable.com). Married in 2016, she currently lives in Pittsburgh, with her husband, Christopher.
If you want to read a backlog of my old articles on my badly maintained (like, completely ignored website for the last year), visit www.EmilyStimpson.com.
For the purposes of The Catholic Table, however, this what you need to know.
First, I’m not a professionally trained chef. Not by a long shot. The sum total of my culinary education includes a year of helping run two Christian retreat centers (where, for who knows what reason, the cooking duties often fell to me and where I spent the occasional weekend cooking with professional guest chefs); countless hours poring through cookbooks (when I should have been eating instead, but wasn’t because I was trying to starve myself to death); and 15 years of non-stop entertaining (mostly because in Steubenville, Ohio, where I lived until December 2016, there wasn’t much else to do).
Second, that whole “trying to starve myself to death” thing lasted about six years. It was not the best season in my life. Fortunately, when I was 25, I returned to the Catholic Church and discovered the Eucharist and the Theology of the Body. I’ve written about this here and here. I’ll write more about it on this blog later. For now, it suffices to say that discovering the most intimate communion I had with God was that I ate him radically changed how I saw food. So did the discovery that I imaged God not just in soul, but in body. Those two realizations have informed every moment of my life for the past 16 years. They’ll inform most of what happens on this blog as well.
Anything else you need to know? Well, I don’t do fat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, or meat-free. Unless, of course, the recipe I happen to be making is fat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, or meat-free. I believe all food is good, and anything can be eaten in moderation. Except for peanuts. Because…well…death. At least for me. If you have a similar food allergy, by all means adjust the recipes you find here accordingly! And I promise, if you come to my house for dinner, I’ll happily do likewise.
Once upon a time, my kitchen was in a big old 1915 Craftsman that I bought in 2005 and restored bit by bit. After getting married in 2016, however, my new husband and I moved to Pittsburgh, to be closer to where he works. Now, we’re operating sans kitchen while we finish restoring a big old Victorian home in Pittsburgh, PA. It’s been crazy, but worth it…I think. All in all, life is good—wicked hard at times—but blessedly, beautifully good.