Library Notes: June 2017 [New York]

As the weather turns warmer I find myself craving fresh fruits and vegetables more than any other time of the year, and I am always looking for ways to avoid turning on the oven and heating up the kitchen! If you’re like me, you will find plenty of recipe options to do just that right here in the ICC library!

Alice Waters is probably the undisputed queen of highlighting the beauty of seasonal produce. She was smuggling baby greens into the US before they were available in supermarkets and was the first to serve a simple piece of fresh fruit for dessert after a multi-course meal; who better to turn to for fruit advice? Chez Panisse Fruit includes not just recipes but encyclopedic coverage of everything from Apples to Quinces. Each section highlights Waters’ favorite varieties and multiple ways to prepare them. As a bonus, the book also includes some basic recipes you can enhance with your fruit of choice. Try the Chez Panisse take on galette or frangipane then top with your favorite fresh summer fruit. As a bonus, familiarize yourself with Alice Waters and the Chez Panisse story in preparation for her forthcoming memoir, due out this fall!

In Season by Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld is the hyper-local source you have always looked for. This compilation of the column by the same name highlights various unique ingredients that can be sourced from New York City Farmers Markets along with flavor profiles, growing season and a recipe contributed by a celebrity chef. So pick up this book to try Daniel Humm’s Strawberry Gazpacho, Jody Williams’s Raw Artichoke Salad or Alex Raij’s Stuffed Avocado Squash.

Instead of being organized by the classic headings of appetizers, entrées and desserts, The Love & Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio is divided up by fruit or vegetable! This is ideal for if you receive a CSA share, stop by the Greenmarket to pick up whatever catches your eye or find yourself unexpectedly gifted with a friends’ garden spoils. Simply flip to the section for berries, peppers or summer squash and see what Donofrio recommends. The back contains a great section of recipe variations which offers substitutions and changes depending what you have on hand, for instance, if you are craving pesto but only have mint on hand or if you’re cooking tacos but have some fresh peaches to use up.

If you are a fan of The Smile café, you will love the book Modern Mediterranean by Melia Marden, ICC Alum. If you’re not, then you have probably never been there – and what are you waiting for? It is right down the street from school! Modern Mediterranean is a beautifully designed and photographed book with lots of fresh ideas for how to use produce perfect for summer. Try the tomato, nectarine & mozzarella salad for a modern take on the caprese, grilled corn with lime butter or the rosemary and honey roasted quince. This book is not exclusively fruit and vegetable recipes, but you will find a produce focus in all the recipes included.

So whether you’re planning a fresh summer garden party or just looking to incorporate more produce in your daily dining, check out these books from the ICC library for some new and creative ideas.  To see what ICC is reading, follow us on Instagram: @intlcullibrary.

Library Notes: Women’s History Month [March 2017]

Written by Sara Quiroz
ICC Librarian

In honor of Women’s History Month, we are highlighting several female authors from our collection.

Women Chefs of New York by Nadia Armugam profiles some of the biggest chefs in the city, including alums Jean Adamson and Christina Tosi. Each profile includes a personal history of the chef, info about where they are cooking now and several of their favorite recipes. Try out some diverse and tasty dishes from your favorite female fronted kitchens such as rabbit stroganoff, smoked duck soba and peaches and cream cookies. The recipes included are as unique as the stories of the women behind them.

photosbyarielle-20Cooking without Borders by Anita Lo “Food, like language, is constantly evolving. It is a living entity that grows and changes at each individual stove-top, at the hands of cooks across the globe,” so says Anita Lo in the introduction to this beautiful cookbook. To call her style fusion cuisine is an oversimplification because, as she says, all cuisine is fusion. Every style of cooking is influenced by others as cuisine truly knows no borders.  Check out her beautifully designed book for recipes like foie gras soup dumplings, braised pork cheeks in caramel and crisp warm sesame mocha.  Anita will also be speaking on our upcoming Food for Thought panel.

Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen by Dana Cowin
Longtime editor of Food & Wine, it was a shameful secret that Dana Cowin could not cook. She decided to up her game and learn from the pros – including ICC Deans Jacques Pepin, Jose Andres and Cesare Casella as well as alumni David Chang , Dan Barber and Zak Pelaccio. The book is fun and approachable for the new cook but seasoned foodies will love it for the insider secrets of their favorite chefs. Did you know Chef Cesare Casella freezes his cooked beans in their liquid? Mario Batali cuts up overcooked pasta, breads and fries it. These and many more tips and tricks from great chefs in addition to approachable yet unique recipes (hello Jerk Lamb!) are all included in Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen. Dana will be moderating our upcoming food for thought panel.

Four Kitchens by Lauren Shockey Have you ever dreamed of living around the world? Alum Lauren Shockey did just that. After completing her culinary education she went to work in kitchens in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv and Paris. Interspersed with her grand adventure are recipes inspired by each city. An ode to life on the line, Lauren shows that no matter how different we may be, there is always common ground in the kitchen.

Girl Hunter by Georgia Pellegrini
Part memoir and part how to guide, Girl Hunter chronicles Georgia Pellegrini’s experience learning how to hunt and all the characters she met along the way. It also includes multiple recipes, from whiskey glazed turkey breast to squirrel dumplings. She also includes helpful charts of game meat characteristics and which substitutions will be successful in the recipes and useful equipment for the haute cuisine hunter.

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Library Notes: Local Roots + Local Farms [February 2017]

Written by Sara Quiroz
ICC Librarian

In this edition of library notes, we will highlight some selections from Local Roots Founder and Friend of the Library, Wen-Jay Ying. Do you know about Local Roots NYC? It is a CSA or community supported agriculture connecting New Yorkers with fresh produce and other goodies from local farms. We have a pick up location right here at ICC! When Wen-Jay isn’t trekking up to farms, maintaining the super fun social profiles or producing her radio show, Food Stripped Naked she sometimes does her admin work right out of the ICC library! If you want to bring a #soiltocity perspective into your own kitchen, check out her recommended reading list below, all available for circulation here in the library.

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The Food Lab by J.Kenji Lopez-Alt

Last year’s James Beard Award Winner, this book covers just about anything and everything in the culinary world. With essential techniques, ingredient advice and tasty, very well tested recipes it could easily be your only cookbook. It also makes an excellent starter for new homecooks but still has the science and test kitchen detail to intrigue seasoned chefs. Wen-Jay particularly loves that he explains both how and why various food preparations work.

The Food Substitutions Bible by David Joachim

This guide contains simple substitutions for any ingredient, equiptment or technique you may be missing from Atemoya to a zester. This book is important to Wen-Jay because sometimes trying to cook with only local ingredients can make recipes feel confining, but learning the substitutions can give you more flexibility in the kitchen and empower you to be a versatile chef with your Local Roots NYC produce.  “Cooking does not need high-end appliances or an infinite supply of spices or specific vegetable varieties. Let your taste buds and this book guide you to be more flexible in the kitchen, “ said Wen-Jay.

The Frugal Colonial Housewife by Susannah Carter

This book is also one of my favorites and a fun glimpse into the past through food. It was the first truly American cookbook published in the colonies, back when everyone was trying to recreate British style cooking. Carter introduced local ingredients which new arrivals from England weren’t familiar with such as pumpkin and corn. Something unique you will notice is that the style of writing recipes was very different. They offer vague ingredient description (something green, a piece of meat) as it was difficult to produce specific items. The instruction is also much less detailed than we expect today, most women learned everything from their families and never needed written instruction on technique. Says Wen-Jay, “Love that Sara introduced me to this cookbook when interviewing her on my radio show! People used to cook with stripped down recipes because everyone had basic culinary skills and “farm to table” was the only way to cook.”

The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia Bone
“LOCAL ROOTS NYC LOVES SUSTAINABLE COOKING! We recently hosted a cooking club because 85% of food waste happens on the consumer end between home chefs, restaurants, etc.” said Wen-Jay. If you find yourself in that very predicament, pick up the Kitchen Ecosystem. Bone explains sustainable meal planning and various ways to use every ingredient. For each item listed, she details how to prepare it fresh, how to preserve it and how to use scraps then lists several recipes for each incarnation. Organized by ingredient, The Kitchen Ecosystem covers produce, fish and meat with enough variations to suit every palate.

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Setting the Table by Danny Meyer

For a guide on successfully providing excellent hospitality and to understand the success of Meyers ventures, check out Setting the Table. He lays out his philosophy of “enlightened hospitality” or connecting deeply with customers through small details, creating a nurturing work culture and building community. Says Wen-Jay, “At Local Roots NYC, we believe that constantly reimagining our food system is necessary for its longevity. We’ve reimagined the traditional CSA model and continue to mature and mo It brings us joy to show appreciation to our customers and have built meaningful relationships with our customers and producers with some practices mentioned in this book.”
The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry

Wen-Jay considers this seminal text her bible and tries to read some every morning. This book was the inspiration for much of the Local Roots value system. Barry considers good farming to be a cultural development and a spiritual discipline. Says Wen-Jay, “He emphasizes the importance of regional systems, making decisions not based on short term needs but long term commitments, and makes parallels between the health of farms with the vitality in life.”

How did you like our guest contributor? Who else would you like to see a reading list from, contact Sara the Librarian with your suggestions squiroz@culinarycenter.com and follow the library on Instagram for more @IntlCulLibrary