An author of best-selling cookbooks, a recognized food personality, and a father of two grown daughters, Mark Bittman works his dream job as a food writer: "I get to think about food, cook it, and eat it, and then broadcast my experience to anyone who wants to listen," he told Parents. But he didn't take the traditional foodie path -- culinary school and restaurant experience -- to success. Rather, he started his career as a journalist who liked to cook at home before he combined his two passions in 1980 to become a professional food writer. After a three-year run as a senior writer and editor of Cook's magazine (now Cook's Illustrated), Bittman started writing for The New York Times (his Minimalist column is still being published weekly) and released the best seller How to Cook Everything in 1998. As a follow-up, Bittman released How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (one of the best-selling cookbooks of 2007), even though he wasn't a vegetarian at the time. That project inspired Bittman to research "lessmeatarism" and to later write Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living. In total, Bittman has authored eight books, written hundreds of articles, and makes regular appearances on NBC's The Today Show.
Parents works with Bittman on a recurring column called "Simple Suppers," which features a seasonal recipe with several easy adaptations.