Meet the Valley Village Chef Behind What’s Gaby Cooking?

Gaby Dalkin up close.

Over the last 11 years, Gaby Dalkin has created a mini empire of her tasty, beautifully depicted, California-inspired recipes. And no one is more surprised than Gaby at what’s transpired.

“Originally it was just a passion project. I was trying to work my way through culinary and pastry school at the time and working as a private chef. Honestly, for a good while the only person reading my blog was my mom!” she chuckles.

Gaby, often clad in her Lululemons, works out of the Valley Village home she shares with her husband and business partner, Thomas. She creates all sorts of dishes, which are tested by her professional team and then shared with her throngs of devoted fans. She has nearly a million social followers and a blog, What’s Gaby Cooking, with 2 million visitors a month.

“My style is pretty laid-back. I want people to feel like they are in the kitchen hanging out with me. None of the recipes are hard to make, and none of the ingredients are hard to come by. I weave in several cuisines and ethnicities —but it is all very approachable.”

What’s Gaby Cooking has a line of food products sold at Williams Sonoma and her third cookbook, Eat What You Want: 125 Recipes for Real Life, was released this spring. Here she shares one of her favorite dishes, Chicken and Beef Kefta.

For more on Gaby, check out her interview on the SheSez podcast:

 Chicken and Beef Kefta

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup sliced scallions
  • ⅔ cup chopped fresh mint
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 pound ground chicken (white or dark meat)
  • 1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
  • 24 small wooden skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes

Grate the zucchini, combine it with 1 teaspoon of salt, and let sit for 5 minutes. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. In a large bowl, mix together the zucchini with the scallions, mint, cilantro, garlic, cumin, coriander, 2 teaspoons salt, and the tahini. Divide the zucchini mixture into two bowls. Mix the chicken into one bowl until well combined and the beef into the other.

Divide the chicken mixture into 12 pieces. Then with damp hands, shape each piece around a soaked skewer into a sausage-like shape—round and roughly 5 inches long. Repeat the same process for the beef skewers.

Heat a large flattop grill pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brush the kebabs with a bit of oil, then grill them for 8 to 10 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Serve immediately.