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May 3, 2023

The Interview #95 | Mimi Smith-Dvorak - Too Many Eggs

The Interview #95 | Mimi Smith-Dvorak - Too Many Eggs
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Mimi Smith-Dvorak joined Craig to wander down memory lane and explore how she came to write her latest book.

Mimi’s interest in cooking began in 1966, with her family’s move to Tehran, Iran where they lived in the Sina Hotel. She would teach the French chef American English and in return he would cook her food not on the regular menu. Fast forward several decades when she decided to get a few chickens, unfortunately, the minimum quantity she could get was 25! “How many eggs can they lay?” she thought… leading straight to her cookbook “Too Many Eggs”.

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Mimi Smith-DvorakProfile Photo

Mimi Smith-Dvorak


My interest in cooking began in 1966, when my family moved to Tehran, Iran.  It took many months to secure a rental, so in the meantime we lived at the Sina Hotel.  The chef was a very nice man who spoke Farsi and French, but wanted to practice English. We created an alliance. He learned American English, I helped him in the kitchen (and he made me food not on the normal menu). My mother was delighted because it kept me occupied.  My father was supportive because he believed that everyone should learn how to cook.  I was hooked on cooking. 

This triggered a life-long interest in reading and collecting cookbooks. I especially like pre-1940s cookbooks, single subject cookbooks, and those written by restaurant owners. I have file cabinets overflowing with handwritten and mimeographed recipes, as well as junior league spiral bound booklets. My mother gave me all of her mother's cooking notes.

After jobs in the corporate world, and some other adventures in employment, I ended up worked for a few restaurants/bars during the Carter Administration recession of the early 80s. Many different jobs -- from waitress to prep cook -- too many to count.  I drifted out of food services and into writing, and other jobs.  In 2008, I opened a delicatessen in the Pacific Northwest which featured massive amounts of bulk spices, and delicious sandwiches.  We had rave reviews, steady customers, but the local economy was struggling. (Bad timing.)  

 I decided to get a few chickens, but the lowest number to order from the hatchery was 25.   How many eggs can they lay?  My logic was flawed. When all the hens began to lay the result was two dozen eggs per day (on average). The result: TOO MANY EGGS!   I gave away as many as I could.   And, I decided to start researching egg recipes, cooking them, and creating them. What can you do with lots of eggs?   That is how Too Many Eggs was born.