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Cookbooks for creative chefs

We’re taking a trip around the world with these books and landing back in Buffalo for some Nickel City favorites


Home chefs will love digging into the recipes in these books to  explore flavors from around the globe as well as stand-bys from our own back yard. Learn how to tease the most flavor from vegetable-forward dishes as well as the basics (and then some) on how to smoke and barbecue big, ol’ hunks of meat. Speaking of meat, Arthur Bovino literally wrote the book on what’s best to eat in Buffalo, and now has a cookbook out with how-to’s on everything from wings to ‘weck and beyond. And we love the recipes in The Kitchen Without Borders provided by the chefs  from Eat OffBeat catering company, which creates quality jobs for refugee and immigrant home chefs. Bonus: proceeds from the sales of this book  benefit the International Rescue Committee.



The Kitchen Without Borders: Recipes and Stories from Refugee and Immigrant Chefs

Eat Offbeat chefs

Workman Publishing, 2019

If you’re looking for a gift for a loved one who likes to eat well and do good, here’s a book that checks off both boxes. Kitchen Without Borders is a collaborative cookbook from Eat Offbeat, a unique catering company founded by brother and sister Wissam and Manal Kahi in New York City. Eat Offbeat is staffed by chefs through the International Rescue Committee from countries including Syria, Iran, Eritrea, and Venezuela, who have found a home in America. The seventy recipes bring to life the culinary traditions of fourteen immigrant and refugee chefs from countries around the world, including adas (lentils pureed with berbere spices) from Chef Mitslal of Eritrea; fattoush (salad and pita) from Chef Diaa of Syria, fattayer (chicken hand pies) from Chef Dhuha of Iraq; and paneer curry from Chef Rachana of Nepal. Further nourishing is the hope each chef found in America illustrated through essays and personal stories interwoven with the recipes and gorgeous photos. Workman Publishing will donate two percent of the cover price to IRC for every copy sold between March 1, 2020 and March 30, 2021.



Umami Bomb: 75 Vegetarian Recipes that Explode with Flavor

Raquel Pelzel

Workman Publishing Co., 2019

Umami, the fifth taste (after sweet, salty, bitter, and sour) can be hard to define. It’s kind of a combination of salty/fatty/brothy/meaty and is found in foods that contain a lot of the amino acid, glutamate, like soy sauce, Parmesan cheese, miso, and mushrooms. Suffice it to say that it makes food taste much more savory and delicious. If that’s the missing element that’s been stopping you from eating your vegetables, here’s a handy guide to suffusing veggies with flavor you’ll crave. Pelzel, the former editor of Cook’s Illustrated, has written more than twenty cookbooks and here provides simple, straightforward recipes made from pantry and fridge staples, like fried rice, cheddar cornbread, and a savory mushroom, potato, and parmesan bread pudding that we’re dying to try. She even includes desserts like chocolate truffle bomb cookies with smoked salt and grilled banana splits. Chapters are organized by star ingredients: Parmesan and aged cheeses, soy sauce, tomatoes, mushrooms, caramelized onions, miso, smoke, and nutritional yeast, with a bonus chapter for fish.



BBQ&A: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Barbecue

Myron Mixon with Kelly Alexander

Abrams, 2019

Mixon is is a celebrity chef and competitor on the competitive barbecue circuit. He is a four-time barbecue World Champion and appears as a judge on Destination America reality television show BBQ Pitmasters. Mixon answers his fans’ frequently asked questions in this guide to getting started in pit mastery. He’s careful to note that he is not a nutritionist, scientist, or historian--just a barbecue champion, and he can tell you how he got that way and how to make food at home that tastes a lot like his prize winning creations. Mixon starts out describing the world of competitive barbecue and moves on to barbecue basics and equipment. Subsequent chapters are devoted to the type of animal used (poultry, pig, cow, seafood) with extremely helpful simple diagrams of how to cut and prep each one. The book is shot through with mouthwatering photos and comprehensive easy-to-follow recipes. Of course, there are chapters on sides and desserts, too.



The Buffalo New York Cookbook

By Arthur Bovino

Countryman Press, 2018


Arthur Bovino is a restaurant, food media, and travel writer, and the author of Buffalo Everything: A Guide to Eating in “Nickel City”. The Daily Meal’s founding Eat/Dine editor, Bovino is a graduate of New York City’s International Culinary Institute. His foodie bona fides are fully established, to be sure. What’s unexpected is the interest and passion this Long Island native and world traveler shows for Buffalo cuisine. I mean, we all know that Western New York has a long history of great food, but it was kind of surprise that this downstater took up the mantel so energetically.


Bovino’s cookbook brings Buffalo to the world’s table with seventy recipes handpicked from our favorite eateries and our mom’s and grandma’s kitchens. Yes, there are the requisite  wings and beef on ’weck, but who among us has perfected the Tom & Jerry? Homemade sponge candy? Kummelweck roll? Bovino takes a deep dive into what makes our favorites so fabulous and offers easy-to-follow instructions on how to reliably get those results at home.


We also love the Q&A’s with worldwide and local celebrity chefs from José Andrés’ take on great wings to Charlie Roesch (Charlie the Butcher) dishing on the proper amount of au jus.


Looking for something for the gardening enthusiast? Click here!


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