We first wrote about Chitra Agrawal when we discovered her Brooklyn Delhi products. Since then she’s been up to a lot more than just jarring delicious pickled things from India. Her latest edition to your Indian food education comes in book form with Vibrant India. South Indian cooking is not the Indian dishes that commonly pop to mind for us Americans. Having a South Indian mother-in-law has schooled me on these flavorful and light regional tastes. Chitra draws from her mother’s cooking bringing Bangalore all the way to Brooklyn where she adds her own twists to these vegetarian classics. I’ve often proclaimed, “I could go full vegetarian.” after eating at my in-laws for a weekend. As a pretty serious carnivore, that says a lot about her book and the deliciousness potential. Point is, there’s something for everyone in this book. Vegan, vegetarians, paleo or carnivore the flavors and simplicity will swoon you. We promise.
All Culture Stuff
We’re back from our Nordic adventure. If you’ve been following the IG story you know. Now that we’re settled back in BK, expect an onslaught of Nordic and North Euro finds and events on the blog this week. Kicking it off is this bible of new, and old, Nordic cuisine from the man who made it an unignorable culinary trend. Of course, Magnus Nilsson doesn’t call it trendy. He just calls it his childhood food. Part of his notoriety and the cuisines attention stems from his restaurant Fäviken in Sweden. Currently ranked the 25th best restaurant in the world and with two Michelin stars, it’s almost impossible to get a seat. Incidentally, it’s almost impossible to get to as it’s a 7-hour drive from Stockholm. All part of his plan and experience. In comes The Nordic Cookbook. Broken up into sections, you can find classic Nordic favorites and New Nordic expressions woven together as you flip the pages. Ingredient lists read as you might expect. Lingonberry, juniper, pine, pig trotter, fiskbullar and blodpalt, to name a few. Winter is coming in quick. Perfect time to grab this book and make some hearty, comfort cozy for you girlfriend.
Here at FT HQ, we’re used to chicken of the fried, roasted, baked, and, well, eaten variety. But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk up the alternatives, like David Ezra Stein’s “Interrupting Chicken”, an illustrated story-within-a-story book geared towards the sleepy little chicks in your life. Let’s hope this funny, not-so-cautionary tale about a young chicken named “Chicken” who can’t stop interrupting his bedtime story succeeds in easing your clutch into quick and uninterrupted slumber instead of, well, the opposite. If, on the other hand, you’re reading this to your brood in Bushwick after a drink and draw, all bets on sleep are off. You know as well as we do you’ll finish the story at Roberta’s.
An otherworldly drink is your future, at least if it comes from Tarot of Cocktails, a deck of 30 recipe cards that promise to add some spirit to your…spirits. Created thanks to funding from a successful Kickstarter campaign, the cards have an ethereal, tarot-inspired layout featuring cocktails with names like “The Violet Twilight,” “Seer of Dreams,” and “Blood and Smoke” to make you feel like you’re communing with another world (the alcohol may help, too). The cards are mortal-friendly and aren’t meant for official divination purposes BUT we like picking a random card and letting the concoction in question predict the night ahead. We’re willing to bet that the buzz from Queen of Bees portends a better evening than The Withering Vine. But really, what do we know? It’s all in the cards, and what we see in the cards are some darn good drinks, whatever destiny awaits you.
We’re going to let the book jacket write this one for us because it’s succinctly so many things we live for. The Mad Feast is a richly illustrated culinary tour of the United States through fifty signature dishes, and a radical exploration of our gastronomic heritage. We’re kinda obsessed with dishes that define cities and states. Matthew Gavin Frank does just that and digs in the history of each to boot. If you follow the Drool List, you know we’re entering travel season. This one makes us want to dust off the luggable loo and mount up the truck for an epic cross country zig zag…again.
It’s not often the person we spend our work week five feet from publishes a food book. It’s even less often there’s a city-specific theme which awakens our travel bug gene. Nina, as us lucky insiders know to call her, hails from Athens Georgia, the Classic City, in the shadow of Hotlanta. Nina lifts this veil in a who’s who, foodie filled, Athenian hardcover. Classic City Cooking is perfect for those Georgian friends or people like us who just added another city to our gastro-travel list. If you’re in NYC and want to celebrate all things Athens, her book party is on September 16th. You’ll find us in Athens ASAP, book in hand.
Alex is an awesome illustrator based in Wisconsin. About a year ago he Kickstarted an idea for this book focused on famous characters eating only Junk Food. The results, besides a successful funding, was this 112 page turning masterpiece. if you have a favorite hero character chances are s(he)’s been n a strict diet of devil dogs and Big Gulps thanks to Alex. The Famous Chunkies is now in regular stock these days so pick one up for your favorite junk food obsessed bestie. They will either love you or hate you for it. Either way, I think you win.
I’ve know a few starving artists in my day. In fact there was a time in the 90’s where I actually was one. Although todays newly minted “starving artists” don’t really seem starving and, not to be too judgy here but, no so much artists. More like graphic design graduates that took their senior project to ETSY, Bushwick or Instagram. It’s why Sara Zin and her The Starving Artist Cookbook gets props from the whole FT crew. Sometimes just making sh*t for YOU is the best foot forward. Way to keep it real and delicious Sara.
With the every exploding foodie craze devouring New York, a book like Ina Yalof ’s Food and the City is a peephole into the minds of those on the front lines. Cutting through the clutter of food tweets, Instagram gasto-sensational pics and verbose bloggers (present company included) Ina interviews New York’s pro chefs, restaurateurs, line cooks, street vendors, and purveyors getting to the root of their passion for their daily grind. In a lot of ways, this will reground us all to why we care so much about this newly crowned food lifestyle popularity in the first place.
Dad’s are tricky people. you never know if your going to get a life lesson, a lazy afternoon sharing a beer or an informal reprimanding about saving in your 401k. Regardless, we wouldn’t be here without them and celebrating them next Sunday is not only appropriate but critical. The right gift could defer some of those tougher talks for a few months. Here’s our favorite nine round up for 2016. Sfoglini Pasta of the Month $75 | Dad Bod T-Shirt $23 | Silicon Grip Grill Gloves $20 | Big Apple Barbecue Block Party FREE | House Beer $8 | Dude Sweet $8 | Detroit Denim Apron $115 | Bourbon Maple Syrup $16 | Po’ Man Charcoal Grill $115
10 years ago I read a book called “The History of Food” which chronicles human eating habits from the hunters and gatherers we started as through the birth of restaurants and into today’s modern industrial food complex (disaster). A History of Food in 100 Recipes sets out to drop the same knowledge but in a more approachable less academic prose. There’s pretty pictures too which softens some of the more aggressive and outright despicable turns in our food history. For anyone who wants to not only what we eat but why we do, this is a great read.
For a city with such an indulgent gastro presence a book is a no brainer. But until now there has not been a single portfolio that encapsulated the “right now food magic” from across the entire city in one trend telling, step-by-step, storytelling cookbook. Montreal Cooks Book fixed this by bringing together heavy hitter natives like Jonathan Cheung, Tays Spencer, Gail Simmons. The book chronicles 40 local chefs best recipes and stories capturing the NOW of the Montreal food scene from the artery clogging indulgences to the surprising fresh and local.
Recipes, stories and design are cross bred into each issue of this extremely beautiful indie food magazine. Dinette is the Québécois version of Kinfolk and we love it. Reading a little french helps to really dig in but browsing the beautiful photography and perfectly aired page layouts makes it as much a look book than a deep dive into tasty dishes and food maker stories. Issue three is out now.
We left New Orleans with a copy of John Kennedy Toole’s a Confederacy of Dunces in our digital back pocket. We were inspired to read the comedic, novel depicting Ignatius J. Reilly’s exploits because of Cynthia LeJeune Nobles’ cookbook of the same name. The Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook is a series of dishes inspired by 1960’s New Orleans and Ignatius’ favorite foods. The research that went into this book is incredible. I’m not sure which one I suggest you read first. Maybe read them both and cook simultaneously for a real immersive trip.
Books seem useless these days. The content on the other hand is invaluable. Sometimes great content can’t be found with a Google search and New Orleans: The Underground Guide is one such unicorn. Packed with hidden gems, secret places and local flavor, Michael Patrick Welch outlines the food but takes it much farther. With music and art at its core this guide book will keep you far from the French Quarter disaster and get you deep into places that you’ll remember for a lifetime.
You might know chef Ripert from his acclaimed and record holding, New York City restaurant Le Bernardin. You might know him from cameos on No Reservations with his pal Tony Bourdain. You might know his as the charming french guy with the piercing blue eyes who picked up your wind blown umbrella while struggling down 51st Street. I know him as the guy who loved my mom’s chicken cacciatore recipe after I told him the contents of the mini sandwich I served him during a Michelin awards ceremony. And, you may not know him at all. In either case, his memoir, 32 Yolks, will fix that. Starting at the beginning and ending sometime around now, follow Chef Ripert’s ups and downs in and out of the kitchen. Truly avec Eric.