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What would you get if you took the appeal of a widely available chain and paired it with a unique brand with high-quality products? Well, a good answer to that question would probably be Starbucks, but if you asked someone who lives in the San Francisco area, they might also say La Boulange Café & Bakery, and they'd be right.
The French café chain was started by Pascal Rigo, a baker from Bordeaux, France, who moved to California and opened a wholesale bakery within the rolling hills of the city by the bay. Since the opening of his Pine Street storefront, Rigo has expanded La Boulange into café chains all across the Bay Area. It’s no coincidence, either, that the brand has an affiliation to Starbucks, because just this past year Starbucks and La Boulange partnered together, and the coffee conglomerate will begin distributing La Boulange products in their stores throughout San Francisco.
The one thing they don’t have in common is that unlike Starbucks, La Boulange has a sense of exclusivity, because if you don’t live in San Francisco or the cities surrounding it, you’re not able to get your hands on their freshly baked pastries and goods. That’s OK, though, because Rigo is proud to release the café’s second cookbook, La Boulange Café Cooking at Home, which shares their popular menu items and more with their fans and readers across the country.
We spoke to Rigo himself about the cookbook, Starbucks, and his plans for La Boulange.
The Daily Meal: Tell us how your second cookbook is different from your first?
Pascal Rigo: The first cookbook was mainly about the initial bakery on Pine Street. [It] was all based around bread and pastries, [or maybe] a simple open-faced sandwich. This one is all about the chains of La Boulange, which are more than 10 years in the making. [It was written with a strong] understanding of our customers and what they like.
TDM: So, there are top-selling menu items in the book, which is great for La Boulange fans outside of San Francisco, but is there anything for your die-hard fans to look forward to as well?
PR: Yes, La Boulange Friday’s. Every last Friday of the month, we help raise money for a particular nonprofit organization by serving a special menu. It’s a new menu every time, so it’s really exciting to have some of the popular recipes from these events in the book.
TDM: What are some of your favorite recipes?
PR: The lamb shank confit tartine from a La Boulange Friday, the flan, and the lobster sandwich.
Click here to see the Lobster Sandwich Recipe
TDM: The lobster sandwich looks amazing.
PR: [Chuckles] The croissant roll? Isn’t it just incredible?
TDM: What else do you love about the book?
PR: [I love the fact that] what we tried to do was give this book as a base, not necessarily a bible [by providing readers with options for each recipe]. If you can’t find that [ingredient], then use this one, etc. [It represents] what cooking should be: not complicated but with telling results.
Click here to see the Mini Flan Tarts Recipe
TDM: Tell us about Starbucks, how it influenced your book, and if this means we can expect La Boulange to go nationwide.
PR: The book was done before the deal happened, but I asked Howard Schultz to write the forward because it’s such a great story for how we met. What he’s saying in the forward is genuine and it’s the reason we’re working together. We’re going to keep La Boulange in San Francisco, but expand it through Starbucks [by always] pushing the envelope. We can do better, we can try new products, new specials, [and we’ll continue to do that through Starbucks].
GOYA FOODS LAUNCHES SECOND EDITION OF THE MYPLATE/ MIPLATO COOKBOOK
Goya Foods, America’s largest Hispanic-owned food company, in collaboration with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative and the USDA, launches the second edition of the MyPlate/ MiPlato cookbook, Happy, Healthy Celebrations: Bright, Bold, Healthy Latin Recipes to Celebrate Every Occasion! This book is part of the national MyPlate campaign designed to help educate Americans on eating healthy. [A pdf copy of the cookbook is available for free at www.goya.com.]
Happy, Healthy Celebrations: Bright, Bold, Healthy Latin Recipes to Celebrate Every Occasion! is a free bilingual cookbook featuring 10 complete plates with 30 healthy recipes that celebrate the culinary traditions of the Latin culture from around the world. Each of the recipes incorporates all of the five basic food groups for a balanced diet including fruit, vegetable, grain, protein and dairy. The cookbook also includes nutritional information for every recipe, easy-to-follow cooking tips, and estimated costs for every affordable meal.
In January of 2012, Goya collaborated with the USDA and First Lady Michelle Obama to support and promote the MyPlate/MiPlato campaign among Hispanic and general market consumers. “We’ve always produced healthy products such as our Goya beans, rice, frozen vegetables and other household staples like olive oil and seasonings all naturally good for you,” says Joe Perez, Senior Vice President of Goya Foods. “The MyPlate campaign has been a successful collaboration with the First Lady and has given us the opportunity to expand our product portfolio as well as provide the necessary tools and education to meet the health needs of our consumers.” Goya’s healthy product line has expanded to feature over 40 variations of low sodium and organic beans, organic rice, brown rice, quinoa, frozen vegetables, fruits, coconut water and diet beverages, as well as low sodium condiments.
In addition, Goya has produced and distributed over 400 million products marked with the MyPlate logo and created more than 250,000 copies of two editions of the MyPlate cookbook, brochures, posters and lesson plans that have been distributed to consumers, supermarkets, teachers, school programs, and events nationwide. In addition, Goya has reached millions by integrating healthy eating into its overall communications campaigns and will continue to focus on the health and wellbeing of their consumers for many more years to come.
La Boulange Releases Second Cookbook - Recipes
EXECUTIVE PASTRY LINK RESTAURANT GROUP, CHEF/PARTNER LA BOULANGERIE
Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maggie Scales pursued her Undergraduate degree at University of California, San Diego, majoring in Language Studies. After graduating, she relocated to Boston, Massachusetts to attend the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in the Professional Pastry Program. While in Boston, Maggie worked at Chef Bob Kinkaid’s Sibling Rivalry Restaurant and the Metropolitan Club under Chef Todd Weiner and held a position as Pastry Chef at Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse. In 2009, she accepted a position at James Beard Award winner Lydia Shire’s Scampo Restaurant at the Liberty Hotel. When Chef Shire opened Towne Stove + Spirits in 2010, Maggie became its executive Pastry Chef. After relocating to New Orleans in 2011 and working for the Omni Hotels, Maggie joined Link Restaurant Group as a Pastry Chef in 2013. In summer 2014, Maggie accepted the position as Executive Pastry Chef overseeing all aspects of Link Restaurant Group’s pastry department. When Link Restaurant Group purchased La Boulangerie from its original owner in 2015, Maggie partnered up with Chefs Link and Stryjewski and is now also running the bakery.
CARLOS B. SANCHEZ
At age 20 Carlos immigrated from El Salvador to the US in 1990. He started his culinary career as a dishwasher at Shanghai Reds at Marina Del Rey California, and later that year accepted a position as prep-cook at Air Gourmet for in-flight catering, learning the ins and outs of cooking. From 1994 to 1997 Carlos worked for Marriott Corporate Services at Northrop Grumman Headquarters in Los Angeles, constantly training and expanding his culinary knowledge. In 1997, Carlos returned to Air Gourmet to learn the art of making bread and pastries. Carlos served as an apprentice baker for Victor Benne Bakery at Gelson’s Market and became the pastry chef-baker for Air Gourmet in 2000. After moving to New Orleans in 2003, Carlos worked for the Felicity Redevelopment Project restoring historic houses in the Central City area. In 2007 Carlos accepted the position as Sous Chef of Dominique Rizzo, the original owner of La Boulangerie, managing and making artisan breads and pastries. He still holds this today, overseeing the bread program under the leadership of Chef/Owner Maggie Scales.
Kelly Pacillas grew up on the West Coast, moving every couple of years, living in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Hawaii. Kelly’s career in the hospitality industry started as a cook at a summer camp. While raising three children, Kelly worked her way through every position in the restaurant world back and front of house and eventually landed permanently in the position as a General Manager. She spent several years working for Susan Sarich as General Manager of multiple Susiecakes locations on the West Coast. After a cross country move, Kelly joined Link Restaurant Group early 2019 as General Manager of La Boulangerie. In her free time you can often find her enjoying a run by the river or listening to great jazz with her husband of 28 years.
EXECUTIVE CHEF AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER LINK RESTAURANT GROUP: HERBSAINT, COCHON, COCHON BUTCHER, CALCASIEU, PÊCHE SEAFOOD GRILL, GIANNA AND LA BOULANGERIE
Inspired by the Cajun and Southern cooking of his grandparents, Louisiana native Chef Donald Link began his professional cooking career at 15 years old. Recognized as one of New Orleans’ preeminent chefs, Chef Link has peppered the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans with several restaurants over the course of the past fifteen years. Herbsaint, a contemporary take on the French-American “bistro” was Link’s first restaurant. Cochon, opened with chef-partner Stephen Stryjewski, is where Link offers true Cajun and Southern cooking featuring the foods and cooking techniques he grew up preparing and eating. Cochon Butcher is a tribute to Old World butcher and charcuterie shops which also serves a bar menu, sandwiches, wine and creative cocktails. Calcasieu is Chef Link’s private event facility that takes its name from one of the parishes in the Acadiana region of southwest Louisiana. Pêche Seafood Grill serves simply prepared coastal seafood with a unique, modern approach to old world cooking methods featuring rustic dishes prepared on an open hearth over hardwood coals. Enjoy handcrafted pastries and breads at La Boulangerie Link’s neighborhood bakery and café.
Link’s flagship restaurant Herbsaint earned him a James Beard award in 2007 for Best Chef South. The same year Cochon was nominated for Best New Restaurant Link was also nominated by the James Beard Foundation for the prestigious award of Outstanding Chef for multiple years. Pêche Seafood Grill was awarded Best New Restaurant at the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards. Gourmet Magazine listed Herbsaint as one of the top 50 restaurants in America, and was inducted into the Nations Restaurant News Hall of Fame. Cochon was listed in The New York Times as "one of the top 3 restaurants that count” and recently named one of the 20 most important restaurants in America by Bon Appétit. For his commitment to the industry, the Louisiana Restaurant Association honored Link by naming him Restaurateur of the Year in 2012.
The James Beard Foundation also honored Link’s first cookbook-- Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana (Clarkson Potter) with their top award for Best American Cookbook. Released in 2009. Real Cajun is a collection of family recipes that Link has honed and perfected while honoring the authenticity of the Cajun people. In February 2014, Link celebrated the release of his second cookbook "Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything," (Clarkson-Potter), which looks beyond New Orleans and Louisiana at dishes in nearby states. In 2015, Chefs Link and Stryjewski created the Link Stryjewski Foundation to address the persistent cycle of violence and poverty, as well as the lack of quality education and job training opportunities available to young people in New Orleans. http://www.linkstryjewski.org
CHEF/PARTNER, LINK RESTAURANT GROUP: COCHON, COCHON BUTCHER, CALCASIEU, PÊCHE SEAFOOD GRILL, GIANNA AND LA BOULANGERIE
Winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundation “Best Chef South,” Stephen Stryjewski is Chef/Partner of New Orleans’ award winning restaurants Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Pêche Seafood Grill, Calcasieu a private event facility and La Boulangerie a neighborhood bakery and café, as well as Gianna, Link Restaurant Group's latest addition to the family. Stephen has been honored as “Best New Chef” by New Orleans Magazine, and as a “Chef to Watch” by The Times-Picayune. In 2007 Cochon was named a “Best New Restaurant” finalist by the James Beard Foundation, and in 2014, Pêche Seafood Grill won the James Beard Foundation award in the same category. Cochon has been recognized in the New York Times by Frank Bruni, “Coast to Coast, Restaurants that Count” and Sam Sifton, “Dishes that Earned their Stars,” and has been consistently listed as a Top Ten New Orleans Restaurant in The Times-Picayune Dining Guide and was recently named one of the 20 most important restaurants in America by Bon Appétit.
In 2015, Stryjewski and his business partner Chef Donald Link created the Link Stryjewski Foundation to address the persistent cycle of violence and poverty, as well as the lack of quality education and job training opportunities available to young people in New Orleans. http://www.linkstryjewski.org
In 1997, Stryjewski graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and went on to work for some of the most notable chefs and restaurants in America including Michael Chiarello at TraVigne, Jamie Shannon at Commanders Palace, and Jeff Buben at Vidalia. Stryjewski grew up moving frequently as an “Army brat” and has traveled extensively in the United States and Europe. He resides in New Orleans’ Irish Channel with his wife and two daughters.
A Taste of San Francisco’s La Boulange Comes Home
Since the first La Boulange opened on Pine Street in 1999, the café and bakery, now 20 strong and part of the Starbucks family, has nourished San Franciscans with traditional French pastries and breads, as well as fresh and affordable bistro-style food. Now, chef-owner Pascal Rigo is inviting his café cuisine into your kitchen with the April 2 release of his second book, Café Cooking at Home.
The book is a step-by-step, photo-filled guide with 100 easy-to-prepare recipes culled from the La Boulange vault of customer favorites.
“We’ve spent 5 years pulling together this incredible collection of our favorite recipes,” says Rigo. “We are thrilled to share them with our customers.”
I recently chatted with the effervescent chef and we dished about bread, the book and our favorite pastime — eating out in San Francisco.
I read that you started your training at a local bakery in a village near Bordeaux when you were just seven. What intrigued you about baking that inspired you to make a career choice out of it?
The smell. It didn’t matter if we were baking anything or not. The smell of the flour, salt, yeast maybe it was the fermentation. I also recall that specific moment when you score the bread dough before it goes in the oven. It was a real sensory experience and I just loved it.
Do you come from a family of cooks or chefs?
Not at all. I did have a grandfather who was a winemaker. Maybe he transferred that love of fermentation on to me [laughs].
I know food and dining is social glue in France. Many big decisions and celebrations happen around a table. Was that the inspiration for opening La Boulange?
Yes. France and California are very similar, you know, especially when it comes to wine and food. Coming from Bordeaux, the wine country [in California] reminds me especially of France and the availability of fresh produce is also similar. There might be more competition here, but people are always willing to try new things.
Why do you think La Boulange has been so successful in San Francisco?
La Boulange is true to the product, and customers in San Francisco are very food smart. There is no compromise when it comes to authenticity and we offer it at a great value. Where else are you going to find a baguette for $1.50? It is really important to us to make good quality food accessible to everyone, not just rich food snobs.
So you had a book, The American Boulangerie. Why the second book now?
Our first book was all about the bakery, but we have more to offer now than just baked goods. People come to La Boulange for a meal as well as their daily bread.
I love the step-by-step instruction with accompanying photos in your book. What made you decide on this approach?
Personally, I hate cookbooks with no photos. The step-by-step photos make the book easy and unintimidating. Mostly, we want people to grab the book and cook.
The recipes are a compilation of some customer favorites. What are some of those?
The lobster burger, quiche Lorraine, salads, soups and our open-faced sandwiches called tartines.
Someone has just bought your book but isn’t a cook. Which recipe do you recommend they start with?
Try a tartine sandwich, for sure. It’s very easy to make, full of flavor. Serve it with a green salad or soup and it’s a quick and delicious lunch with few ingredients.
When you are not eating at La Boulange, do you like to go out in San Francisco?
Oh yes, I go out a lot. San Francisco has such good restaurants. I like so many places, it’s hard to think of them all. Piperade is great and the chef, Gerald [Hirigoyen], is a really nice guy. And in my neighborhood [Noe Valley] I love Contigo.
Café Cooking at Home is sold at La Boulange locations and online as well as at Starbucks locations in the Bay Area.
An easy, delightful way to dress up grilled corn.
Want to dress up corn on the cob in a whole new way?
Look no further than “Corn with Hosin-Orange Butter” from the new “The Grilling Book: The Definitive Guide from Bon Appetit” (Andrews McMeel), of which I recently received a review copy.
It’s easy as can be — just a matter of grilling whole, shucked ears, then smearing them with a creamy mixture of softened butter, hoisin sauce, Chinese chili-garlic sauce and grated orange zest.
Grab a cob with your fingers and take a bite. You’ll be greeted with a delicious smokiness plus the sweet-savoriness of hoisin sauce that compliments the natural sugars of the corn so well. The orange zest is really what makes it, though, adding a bright, perky complexity. You know the orange butter you like to smear on cornbread? Imagine that flavor with Asian hoisin sauce thrown in. Irresistible, right?
Taste of Soul Cookbook
“Our culture is such a rich culture often imitated, never duplicated, especially when it comes to cuisine. The African-American experience with food is spiritual. After a piece of sweet potato pie I know my spirit soars and I feel better than I did before.”
“Since 2005, Danny Bakewell Sr. and the Bakewell family have provided a legendary venue to showcase our delicacies in South Los Angeles. Now, the world over can take part in the soul food tradition and craft authentic recipes on their own.”
-Bernard Parks, Los Angeles City Council Member, 8th District
“How we eat and what we eat is a reflection of our family history and who we are as people. The Taste of Soul Cookbook is a way to share our collective experiences.”
-Jan Perry, former Los Angeles City Council Member, 9th District
“The success of ‘Taste of Soul’ has always been rooted in families. Our cuisine is an expression of our culture and our history. It’s that certain way grandma cooked, and the recipes that continue to be handed down from one generation to the next. It is her memory and her recipes that will hold a family together long after grandma has passed on. Taste of Soul is more than a collection of recipes it’s a collection of those memories.”
-Herb Wesson, President, Los Angeles City Council, 10th District
Carol Field's 'The Italian Baker' republished
1 of 6 Carol Field, author of, "The Italian Baker," shapes dough for bread on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 in San Francisco, Calif. Field will release an updated version of the cookbook she first published in 1985. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less
2 of 6 Carol Field, author of, "The Italian Baker," seen on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 in San Francisco, Calif., will release an updated version of the cookbook she first published in 1985. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less
4 of 6 Carol Field, author of, "The Italian Baker," baked ciabatta on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 in San Francisco, Calif. Field will release an updated version of the cookbook she first published in 1985. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less
5 of 6 Carol Field, author of, "The Italian Baker," seen on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 in San Francisco, Calif., will release an updated version of the cookbook she first published in 1985. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less
Carol Field's description of pizza, as written in the original edition of "The Italian Baker" published in 1985, reads as follows: "These crisp or chewy country breads are the food of peasants and wily city dwellers with little money but lots of imagination."
Try telling that to the lunch crowd at San Francisco's Zero Zero, where Field, a longtime San Francisco resident, was eating recently.
As she dug into a slice of the $16.95 margherita extra pie with buffalo mozzarella, she shook her head.
"The irony is that the food of the poor is no longer for the poor," she said.
Field is the author of five Italian cookbooks, including "In Nonna's Kitchen" and "Italy in Small Bites," but perhaps her best known is "The Italian Baker," which introduced regional Italian breads and pastries to the United States, and is being republished this month.
The 2011 version includes a few key additions - notably color photographs, a second ciabatta recipe, a natural yeast recipe and both metric and U.S. customary units - but the content is almost identical, even as the state of Italian bread, both in Italy and in America, has changed.
"I wrote this book in the golden age of bread," Field said, picking up a slice from the Mission pie - broccoli rabe, roast garlic, caramelized onion. "It's not the golden age anymore."
Originally published by Harper & Row, the book won an award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals in 1986 and in 2010 was included in the James Beard Foundation's "Baker's Dozen," its compilation of 13 indispensable baking books.
Shortly thereafter, a New York bookseller realized that the book was out of print, panicked and reached out to her.
"He said, 'It's like not being able to find Jane Austen,' " Field recalled, "which I think is a bit of an exaggeration."
Perhaps, but Field's meticulously researched book has been a revelation to bakers for 30 years, which is partly the reason the new edition has few changes. Classics are classics.
From Wonder Bread to Acme
Field opens her book with a discussion of bread's role in Italian culture. Not only is it at the heart of the kitchen and family, it has filtered into Italian colloquialisms, including "issu esta una cantu de pane" (literally: he is a piece of bread colloquially: he is a good and reliable man) and "essere pan e cacio" (literally: to be like bread and cheese with someone colloquially: to be thick as thieves).
While the phrases still exist, the "golden age of bread" has dulled. Field conducted her research in the 1970s and '80s when regional bread was alive and thriving, thanks in part to the efforts of Carlo Veggetti and his Il Fornaio bakeries. Now, par-baked and frozen loaves are flooding Italian supermarkets.
"Living the life of a baker is hard," she said, "and the next generation doesn't want to do it."
Paradoxically, the state of Bay Area bread seems to be A-OK, she said. When she was recipe-testing for the first edition, Field remembers it was almost impossible to find durum flour here, let alone quality olive oil. Now, corner stores carry imported oils and specialty flours, and the Wonder Bread era has given way to the Acme era.
"We owe so much to Steve Sullivan," Field said of the Acme Bread Co. owner, who opened his doors in 1983.
Stamps of approval
As of 2011, the greater Bay Area has 2,042 Italian restaurants and 629 bakeries, according to the California Restaurant Association. A few, including Della Fattoria in Petaluma and PIQ (Pane Italiano Qualita) in Berkeley, rival those in Italy, Field said.
Local chains such as La Boulange are producing quality loaves, so much so that Field brought an Italian baker into one store and ordered him a walnut loaf, which he liked - a stamp of approval if there ever was one.
When the Zero Zero waiter came to clear plates, Field gave her own stamp of approval and asked for a to-go box. She anticipated wanting a leftover-pizza snack that evening before heading to a screening of "Focaccia Blues" at the Italian Cultural Institute. The documentary follows a period in Altamura, a small town in Puglia, when McDonald's opened next to a beloved focaccia shop. Residents refused to patronize McDonald's, and the giant was driven out in less than two years.
Fittingly, the Italians have a bread-related phrase to describe what happened: "trovar pane per i propri denti." Literally: to find bread for one's very teeth. Colloquially: To meet one's match.
Carol Field will appear at the Pasta Shop in Berkeley at 2 p.m. on Saturday and at Rakestraw Books in Danville at 7 p.m. on Nov. 17.
Inside: Reviews of Birch Street and Acquerello. E2
Now you can eat the straw on your Frappuccino! The Cookie Straw at Starbucks is here!
La Boulange pastries arrive in Seattle soon: Melody attends a tasting event at the Starbucks headquarters!
A Trip to a La Boulange Cafe (owned and operated by Starbucks)
They really are Marvelous Madeleines by La Boulange.
Seattle wakes up to La Boulange bakery treats at participating Starbucks stores.
Goodbye Mini Loaves at Starbucks. Welcome Back Sliced Lemon Loaf.
The Cookbooks You Need for 2020, as Selected by Chefs
The authors Alison Roman, Niki Segnit, Diana Henry and more share the volumes they’ll be returning to again and again this year.
After sticking to an exercise routine, cooking more might be among the most commonly adopted New Year’s resolutions. But where do you start? This year, T wanted to come up with a new sort of cookbook list: one written by the cookbook authors themselves. What follows is a round robin of sorts, in which one recently published cookbook author recommends their favorite title of recent months, then passes on the honor to that book’s author, and so on.
First up was Alison Roman, a New York Times contributor whose first book, “Dining In” (2017), set off a small sonic boom in millennial kitchens across the country with its unfussy dinner recipes and much-Instagrammed shortbread cookies. Her second, entertaining-focused book, “Nothing Fancy,” came out this past fall. Roman has a great eye for what’s good and what’s next, just what we all want in a cookbook recommendation. See below for her choice — and the six other picks that followed.
“Lateral Cooking” by Niki Segnit
Chosen by Alison Roman, who says:
I’m increasingly interested in cookbooks that don’t take the expected form and challenge me to think about what a cookbook can be, instead of what they are. “Lateral Cooking,” like Segnit’s first book (2012’s “The Flavor Thesaurus”), is definitely more of a resource than a cookbook, but that’s what I’m into. A delightful read, it’s essentially a guide on how to draw the line from one technique (say, a custard for ice cream) to countless other dishes (if you can make custard for ice cream, then you can make a custard-filled pie, and so forth). Anyone looking to feel generally inspired by the concept of cooking while giving oneself a rest from the usual format of recipe and photo should check it out.
“Dishoom” by Shamil Thakrar, Naved Nasir and Kavi Thakrar
Chosen by Niki Segnit, who says:
A recent acquisition that already looks well used is my copy of “Dishoom.” Dishoom is a small group of London restaurants whose menus and interior design are inspired by the Irani cafes of old Bombay (present-day Mumbai). The book takes you on walking tours of the city — there’s a foldout map — among recipes that bring the fragrance and flavors of Malabar Hill and Chowpatty Beach to your own kitchen. Dishoom is famous for its black dal, but I recommend making the rajma (curried kidney beans). The first time I cooked it, my husband was out, so I set some aside for his supper. He woke me at 1 a.m. to sing its praises. A bold move. Can you imagine being that excited by a dish of curried, slow-cooked kidney beans? Exactly. It’s that good.
“Midnight Chicken” by Ella Risbridger
Chosen by Shamil Thakrar, Naved Nasir and Kavi Thakrar, who say:
Great cookbooks show us how to make beautiful dishes, but we’re inclined to think that the very best share something more. They tell the stories of how those dishes came to be, and the flavors of those stories enrich both the act of reading and the act of eating. Ella Risbridger’s “Midnight Chicken” is exactly that, beginning with a chicken that is simply roasted and devoured late at night. It is this meal that sets the author on a journey of discovery and healing, and what follows is an education on the transformative power of food. Each recipe documents a particular moment, part of the author’s gradual process of falling back in love with cooking and finding joy in what can feel like a dark world.
“From the Oven to the Table” by Diana Henry
Chosen by Ella Risbridger, who says:
It’s not a stretch to say that Diana Henry is a huge part of the reason I am a food writer. Diana, to anyone who loves food and writing about food, needs no introduction: One of the leading lights of British cookery writing, she makes food you want to eat and writes about it in prose you want to read. I used to save up for her books with coins in a jar (literally!). But her latest, “From the Oven to the Table,” is one of my favorites of all, both beautiful and useful. It’s an intensely practical book, and it does exactly what it says on the cover: You put the things she says in the oven in the order that she says, and then it’s magic. (Try the chicken with plums!) You would think this meant some kind of compromise on flavor or texture or ingredients, but it never does. Not once.
“Sababa” by Adeena Sussman
Chosen by Diana Henry, who says:
When all’s said and done, you have to go for the title you actually cooked from most, the one that made you rethink your ideas on flavor, the one that you stuck Post-it notes all over. For me, that book is “Sababa” by Adeena Sussman. When I first got it, I read it into the wee small hours, mouthing “oh yes!” as another recipe (like grilled chicken with corn and avocado-za’atar green goddess dressing) struck me as a must-make dish. Sussman delivers bold, bright flavors as well as dishes and combinations of ingredients (like caramelized pineapple with sumac and labneh spiced date, kumquat and kashkaval focaccia pizza Turkish coffee-rubbed rib eye steaks) that were entirely new to me, and everything is doable. “Sababa” has taught me, inspired me and fed me. You can’t say better than that.
“Jubilee” by Toni Tipton-Martin
Chosen by Adeena Sussman, who says:
Toni Tipton-Martin, I thank you for writing “Jubilee,” for continuing the process you began in 2015’s “The Jemima Code” of reframing African-American cooking for what it is — American cooking — and for re-educating us that they are, more often and not, linked beyond separation. Your graceful writing beckons, your immaculate historical research illuminates, your recipes are ones I will be cooking at the holidays for years to come. I let out an audible gasp upon seeing the beautiful black hands gracing Jerrelle Guy’s lovely photographs, those hands as much a visual reminder of what has been missing for so long from American culinary culture as they hold promise for a possible, more equitable future, one where credit is given where credit is due. Ms. Tipton-Martin, I thank you for making every page an exercise in reclamation, for revealing the ways African-Americans have made their mark on this country’s cuisine while reveling in it and advancing it themselves, whether they were hired cooks or wealthy captains of industry. Most of all, I thank you for the warm welcome your book extends to Americans of all races at a moment when we quite possibly don’t yet deserve it. I, for one, am grateful for the sincere invitation to cook alongside you, to learn from you and to draw on your deep well of revolutionary grace.
‘ I Am a Filipino : And This Is How We Cook’
Although Filipinos constitute one of the largest Asian immigrant populations in America, cuisines like Thai, Japanese and Korean are far better known in this country. A desire to rectify that pushed Nicole Ponseca, a former advertising executive, to open the restaurants Maharlika and Jeepney in Manhattan. And it’s what inspired her to write her first cookbook, “I Am A Filipino” (Artisan, $35), with the chef Miguel Trinidad. “I want people to taste the pungent unctuous, real Filipino flavors,” she writes, which are confidently funky, highly acidic and coyly sweet. The recipes run the gamut from comforting pansits, noodle dishes filled with seafood, vegetables and crunchy pork rinds to piquant piaparan manok, a haunting turmeric-spiced chicken-wing stew with ginger and chiles to ginataang tambo, a mildly tangy shrimp and coconut milk dish ready in 15 minutes. MELISSA CLARK
San Antonio author Cassy Joy Garcia to launch leftover-inspired cookbook Cook Once Dinner Fix
If you’re guilty of throwing away leftover food more often than not, San Antonio native Cassy Joy Garcia wants to help you mend your ways.
In September, the best-selling author and food blogger will release a second cookbook titled Cook Once Dinner Fix: Quick and Exciting Ways to Transform Tonight's Dinner into Tomorrow's Feast.
While that title may be lengthy AF, the premise is to make quick work of dinnertime decision-making by guiding home cooks through recipes that use leftover meals to stretch the feast into the next day.
“I want to show you that dinner doesn’t have to be difficult to be delicious, and it doesn’t have to be expensive or consume all of our precious time,” the introduction of the forthcoming Simon & Schuster
book states. “… We can enjoy dinner without feeling exhausted or depleted from the effort. That is the purpose of this book: to give you confidence, ease, and prowess in the kitchen, all in a way that fits your budget.”
Garcia was born in the Alamo City before moving to Texas A&M to study entomology and nutrition. In 2011, she launched Fed+Fit, a “no-rules wellness” blog that chronicles her journey toward a healthier and happier life.
Now a holistic nutrition consultant, she also the authored Cook Once Eat All Week, which was published in 2019, also by Simon & Schuster.
Cook Once Dinner Fix: Quick and Exciting Ways to Transform Tonight's Dinner into Tomorrow's Feast will be available in bookstores and as an ebook September 14 and will retail for $30.
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