“It’s amazing to see that no matter how far we are apart geographically that we all have some similarities in our food,” Craig Chapman writes in the introduction to his cookbook, Real Food Real Kitchens New York Cookbook.
~ What ~
At two-hundred-and-eight pages, this paperback targets those interested in food recipes from residents living in New York. With a quarter to full-page, full-color photographs that cover each of the complete meals as well as the cooks and their families, there are almost fifty recipes.
After forewords by Regina S. Bernard-Carreno and Marie A. Bragg and an introduction, the book is divided into five locations: Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Each at-home chef is written about on a personal level and why the dishes are selected. The recipes are listed by ingredients used first, followed with directions.
With New York being such a cauldron of ethnic backgrounds, some of the recipes include Italian Wedding Soup, Tofu Planks, Black Rice (Djon Djon), Fuzzy Squash Broth, Ethel’s Guyanese Pepper Pot, Cajun Shrimp Scampi, Carbonnade Flamande, and Sicilian Rice Balls.
~ Why ~
Since the author and photographer go into each of the chefs’ homes, watch them prepare the meal, and sit down with their family, this is truly a family, food, culture, and history book as intended. I love viewing and reading the eclectic collection of food choices.
~ Why Not ~
With these recipes not being tested by professional chefs, some may not want to try them. Not including preparation or total time, serving size, or caloric information, the book may not be good for a novice cook.
~ Who ~
Author Chapman is an award-winning television and film executive producer and magazine editor who has worked twenty years in New York. Photographer York was born and lives in New York and is known for his portraits, street photography, and music scene documentation.
~ Wish ~
I am looking forward to other cities spotlighted in this cookbook series.
~ Want ~
If you are looking for a down-home recipe book from residents in New York, this one is a thoughtful gift that covers a plethora of ethnic flavors.
Thanks to Cedar Fort for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.
Rating: 4.5 stars of 5