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.
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From destruction comes the new. There’s lots of ways to say that, some more poetic than others. There’s even more ways to see that. Hurricane Katrina was heavy on the former before even a trace of the later was anywhere in sight. During the aftermath, rebuilding and rebirthing, The Times-Picayune became a post-hurricane swapping spot for recipes that were washed away. Marcelle Bienvenu decided to take 250 of these salvaged gems and create Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found. Not only does this book champion one of the greatest cuisines on the planet but it chronicles one of the most devastating events to hit the United States through the stories of the recipes creators.
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.
If there’s one book you load up on your kindle before landing in the Crescent City make it Eat Dat. It’s been a long, long time since we saw a food guide as comprehensive as this. It makes sure all the famous restaurants are included while rounding out the 250 spot hit list with places locals might haven’t even heard of. Things are changing quickly in New Orleans. Hopefully Michael Murphy will keep the book as updated as possible. For now, be sure to pick up a copy when you’re prepping your JazzFest bag.
Play culinary casino with your next meal and let fate decide your flavor. We’ll say it over and over again at FTHQ, playing with your food makes it taste better. Lady luck adds a bit of mystery and mayhem to that fun. Last time we rolled ‘em we wound up with a baked lemon, dandelion green salad. Double down on that.