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Meet Kat Nitsou of Macedonia: Recipes from the Balkans Cookbook in Los Feliz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kat Nitsou.

Kat, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Family, food and travel is what really inspires me. There is nothing more rewarding to me than these three things. Everything I do in my professional world is to nurture these elements in my life.

A few years ago, I embarked on writing a Macedonian cookbook. With the help of my husband Oliver Fitzgerald a cinematographer and owner of Schema Media, we began the journey of creating a book that contained a comprehensive collection of Macedonian recipes. The book features the most traditional and celebrated recipes of the country. Macedonian cuisine is deeply rooted in its culture and we endeavored to capture the essence of this cuisine, throughout the book.

Over the course of 6 years, I began to compile, write, and test all the recipes. Once the book was complete we then styled and photographed each dish. We had a total photo collection of about 32,000 images which we narrowed down to one image per recipe. The book in total is 105 recipes with corresponding pictures for each. Once the book was complete, I tried the traditional road of finding a publisher and although unsuccessful I discovered a great printing company out of Canada & decided to move ahead and self-publish the book, selling directly from our website.

I wasn’t aware of how intense creating this book was going to be when we started, but I was always really driven to use my skills as a chef to showcase Macedonian food in an elegant and sophisticated way. I wanted there to be a Macedonian cookbook that is on par with the quality of cookbooks from other countries published today and a book that non-Macedonians can really connect to and enjoy cooking from, while learning about the Macedonian cuisine and culture. Macedonian food is pretty straight forward from a cooking technique standpoint. Some of the baked goods and desserts are definitely more involved and can take experience to perfect but my philosophy on Macedonian food is just use really fresh ingredients and let those ingredients be the star of the dish!

I currently work as a Realtor for Sotheby’s International in Los Feliz and absolutely love the world of real estate. Writing and publishing this book was always a passion project for me and I’m grateful to have it complete and be able to share it with the world. As a cookbook author or real estate agent, I’ve found a balance in my work that I’m really happy with. Oliver and I along with our daughter, live in Los Angeles – but I’m originally from Toronto and Oliver from Melbourne so we try to see our families as much as possible and travel any chance we get. Whether abroad or at home in LA, food is always the center of our social life, with great meals shared among the ones we love.

Has it been a smooth road?
The hardest thing with any passion project is staying disciplined to finish. That was probably my biggest challenge in executing a cookbook from start to finish. There were numerous times and meltdowns on my kitchen floor when a recipe wasn’t working out the way it was supposed to, that I thought “that’s it… I’m over it!” So staying motivated to follow through on my personal goal of writing a Macedonian cookbook took a bit of mental work.

Although I will say, that can also be the benefit of staying committed to a passion project, in that you can step away from it if you need to and go back to it when you’re ready. There were no expectations from anyone but me to complete the book within a specific deadline so when things weren’t working out I could take a breather without the guilt.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Macedonia: Recipes from the Balkans Cookbook – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
As a self-published cookbook author, I really just focused on the quality and authenticity of the book and making it accessible for people to enjoy. It was something I wanted to create and put out there. The positive response of the cookbook has been overwhelming from people all over the US, Canada and Australia. It has been really humbling to be at the center of.

With my work as a Realtor at Sotheby’s International Realty, I feel really loyal and committed to my clients. I really try to go above and beyond to create a personalized experience for them and cater to their needs specifically rather than fitting them into a mold. I work with a mix of people from first-time home buyers to experienced investors, but I really connect to the magnitude of the real estate transaction so my clients in turn see me as a trusted advisor on property potential and investment opportunities. My priority is making sure my clients are informed and well protected throughout the process.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I genuinely LOVE LA!

I’m originally from Toronto, which don’t get me wrong is a fabulous city and great place to grow up, but there is something about LA that just nurtures the ability to follow your dreams. I find the culture here really embraces creativity. There is almost a knowingness that “any idea is a good idea,” so with style, good taste and hard work anything is possible. I love the range of “polished” to “grit” from neighborhood to neighborhood and how each pocket of LA has a totally different feel with totally different architecture. I love that the food scene in LA is so broad and ever-changing. I really only just wish the city was more compact so I could take public transport more often, as I grew up accustomed to never really needing to drive.

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Image Credit:
Photo’s Courtesy of MACEDONIA Recipes from the Balkans by Katerina Nitsou
Photographed by Oliver Fitzgerald
Published by Schema Media

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