kocomoko’s #CBR5 Review #02: Dirt Candy: A Cookbook by Amanda Cohen

dirt-candy-cookbook-coverMy significant other heard about this on NPR and got this book. It’s a comic book cookbook! The full title of the book is “Dirt Candy: A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward From an Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant”. There are two primary themes to the book: how Dirt Candy came to be and how to be (and not to be) a chef at a restaurant. Dirt Candy is a vegetable restaurant located in NYC, where the focus is to serve, of course, amazing veggie dishes. The book is divided like a menu – appetizers, salads, soups, pasta, etc. and each section has its own story and chock full of recipes in between. The recipes are for the nouvea riche with acquired off-the-beaten-path taste (pea soup with spring pea flan with pickled potatoes??) – New York style. The cooking knowledge they show is great, and while I have never worked in a restaurant before, they also explain the “ballet” of a kitchen and chef really well. She answers questions such as “why does a salad cost $14?” or “why it is hard to open a restaurant?” or “how does one lose at Iron Chef?” She even explains all the different ways to bring out the flavors of vegetables. For example, to maximize the flavors of onions in onion soup, you first caramelize the onions, then roast them, then blender/pulverize them, and then rehydrate into a soup! Who does that!? Amanda Cohen. Overall, informative, innovative recipes and good art style!