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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

While on tour for her new dessert cookbook, Sweet Enough, Chef Alison Roman stopped at Sixth & I, a center for arts and entertainment in Washington, D.C., on March 30. Journalist Abby Phillip interviewed Roman about her new publication as well as her thoughts on food and life more generally.

Sweet Enough is Roman’s third cookbook, this time focusing on desserts. It joins her first, “Dining In, and her New York Times Bestseller, “Nothing Fancy,” on the shelves of fashionable millennials nationwide. Though she began her career as a chef, Roman has become a well-published author. She has written recipes for Bon Appetit, New York Times Cooking, and Buzzfeed. Her recipes are said to be cult favorites, particularly her viral shallot pasta, whose mention earned a significant round of applause during her introduction.

Roman, a Brooklynite cook and food writer, gallivanted on stage in a white Cinq á Sept set, silver Yves Saint Laurant slingbacks and a bright red lip. She joked about “self-identifying as a normal person” (despite her more than 700K Instagram followers) and seemed honored by the size of the crowd. 

This time, Roman wished to write a book “for people like [her],” meaning those who like desserts but are truly more “cooking people” in their bones. That said, this book is purposefully unrestricted by any sugar-free, health-food nonsense. Roman’s motto for dessert is,

 “If you’re going to do it, just do it!”

While the evening was full of mouth-watering food discussions, Roman also took the opportunity to share some valuable life experiences. She discussed her leaps from one publication to the next and her final jump to working only for herself. The author recalled the hesitation often married to major career changes and the fear of going on your own. She compared this experience to a breakup;

“You’re like, ‘We’ve got to break up,’ and then it’s another three months and then you really break up.”

In the end, though, Roman feels that there’s hope. She believes these risks,

“always work out, even if not immediately.”

Roman also commented on her experience with cancellation. Roman faced Twitter criticism for her comments about Chrissy Teigan and Marie Kondo in an interview with The New Consumer. Roman noted that she disapproves of their profiting off of product lines built from their brands. Readers took this as casual racism, in that Roman singled out two Asian women. The author felt the backlash, noting that she has learned from the feedback and is working to be more sensitive. That said, she emphasized that she opposes the label of “canceled” in its lack of differentiation between behaviors. Roman explained, 

“I don’t agree with how that label is applied to different levels of severity.” 

The audience Q&A portion of the evening fell short, with an excessive number of people waiting in line to share praise and long anecdotes with Roman rather than asking questions. This awkwardness did not go unnoticed and produced a minor Twitter storm

One fan did ask Roman a question about her relationship with food. The author touched briefly on body image, identifying with the ever-present battle between womanhood and food. These difficulties are emphasized, Roman said, when you live in the public eye. She expressed that she gets through all the pressure to be thin through her love of food. Roman shared, 

“When I think about a life without food, it makes me sad.”

The author’s love for food goes beyond the obvious. Roman feels that 

“So much about making dessert is about sharing.” Roman hopes her recipes will bring people together and create some joy because that’s what dessert is all about.

Emma Destito

American '25

Emma is a sophomore at American University pursuing a BA in political science with a minor in women's, gender, and sexuality studies. She is very passionate about social justice and the legal system, and enjoys exploring the D.C. food scene in her spare time.