When the pandemic hit last spring, Lidey Heuck already had a plan in place for escaping New York. The food blogger and recipe developer had rented an apartment in Belfast for the summer and was looking forward to working at The Lost Kitchen in Freedom.
For Heuck, 29, it was all part of plotting the next chapter of her life after working more than six years for Ina Garten, acclaimed cookbook author and host of the “Barefoot Contessa” show on the Food Network. One of her last assignments from Garten was to test recipes for Garten’s latest cookbook, “Modern Comfort Food,” which came out Oct. 6.
“Didn’t we have FUN?!!!” Garten commented on Heuck’s Instagram the day the book was released. “How many times did we make that Boston Cream Pie? And you added the ingredient that made it perfect.”
Heuck says she’s “not totally sure” what that ingredient was because they tested the recipe “over and over and over.”
“I can say, though, it’s out of this world and well worth the effort.”
Heuck, originally from Pittsburgh, is a graduate of Bowdoin College, contributes recipes monthly to the New York Times, and has her own food and entertaining blog, lideylikes.com. (Lidey is short for Elida, which is an old English variation of Eliza.) She has been featured in Food & Wine and the Food Network magazine and has more than 80,000 followers on Instagram.
Heuck lives in New York with her fiance and Winkie, her Welsh terrier, who has his own Instagram account (@winkiethewelsh) with more than 9,000 followers. We spoke with her about her career and her summer in Maine at the end of October, as she was preparing to return to New York, where she will be focusing on her blog and recipes for the Times. She also plans to work on developing recipes for her own cookbook, featuring “approachable, seasonal and delicious food.”
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Q: You originally went to work for Ina Garten as a social media manager, but did you always want a career in food?
A: I kind of fell into it. I liked to bake when I was growing up, but it was never something I thought I would do for a living. In college at Bowdoin, my friends and I cooked a lot. We had weekly dinners, especially in the winter when there was not a whole lot to do. Cooking was just one thing we did for fun, and that was where I started to enjoy entertaining for friends.
I have this connection to Ina Garten through a friend’s father, and I just have always admired her. There was something about her I found so intriguing in terms of just being a beloved culinary figure and also a