The Canal House

Christopher Hirsheimer is a home cook, writer, photographer, and cofounder of Canal House, whose facets include a publishing venture, and culinary and design studio. Before starting Canal House in 2007 in Lambertville, New Jersey, Hirsheimer was one of the founders of Saveur, where she was executive editor. She co-wrote the award-winning Saveur Cooks series and The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market Cookbook (Chronicle, 2006). Melissa Hamilton is a home cook, writer, painter, and cofounder of Canal House. She previously worked at Saveur as the test kitchen director, and was its food editor for many years. Christopher and Melissa currently publish Canal House Cooking, for which they collaborate on all the writing, recipes, photography,design,and production. They were the recipients of the 2013 James Beard Foundation award in the General Cooking category for their cookbook, Canal House Cooks Every Day (Andrews McMeel, 2012) and were nominees for their Bon Appétit video series, "The Seasonal Cooks", as well as 2013 IACP nominees for Photography and Food Styling. They write a column for Bon Appétit, "The Seasonal Cooks." Their daily blog, Canal House Cooks Lunch, has thousands of daily followers interested in what these two have cooked up that day. To see more, visit their website,

Q: What's the story behind Canal House? What inspired you to create it?

A: We had worked with each other as food editors in the magazine world. We traveled the globe in search of essential and authentic recipes, sliding into banquettes in famous restaurants, meeting big deal chefs and even cooking in far-flung home kitchens. It was great and exciting. But our work took us both away from our families, our homes and our gardens, away from what really matters, after all.

Q: What summer fruits and vegetables do you most look forward to cooking with?

A: The way we cook in the summer couldn't be simpler. We forsake the convenience of the supermarket and live in the season—slicing big ripe tomatoes, preserving tomatoes, grilling leeks, roasting chickens and slathering them with herb butter, foraging for chanterelles, turning corn into succotash, baking berry cobblers and making apricot jam. Cooking is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the season around you.

See the full interview on our blog >

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Le Creuset Dutch Ovens
These handsome classic pots last a lifetime. Our kitchen would be incomplete without them, in any shape or color, but we're partial to Dijon and Flame.

Weck Mold Jars
The wide mouth and darling shapes of these glass jars make anything you put in them look wonderful, whether it's a little jar of fruit preserves or a batch of tall fat pickle spears.

Stainless-Steel 3-Piece Mesh Colander Set
Every kitchen needs a couple of colanders, and these sturdy mesh strainers do a fine job of straining.

Kilner Stainless-Steel Jam Pan
For all our jam-making, we love to use this beautifully designed pan with its pail handle for easy lifting and its intelligently placed interior measurement markings.

Kilner Clip-Top Jars
We love the look of these sturdy jars and are particularly fond of their attached, hinged, clamp-shut lids that never go missing.

All-Clad Stainless-Steel Mesh Skimmer
We grab this fine-mesh skimmer to skim the surface of any foam or debris when we're making stocks and boiling fruit preserves.