Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Our October/November 2015 Cook the Books Pick: "The Hundred-Foot Journey" by Richard C. Morais (+ Optional November Food 'N Flix Movie Tie-In)

I read all manner and genre of books but my favorites are the ones that sweep me away to different places, cultures, and foods. The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais doubly takes me away, combining the curries and spices of Mumbai with traditional French cooking in a small village in the French Alps. It took several recommendations and a viewing of the movie to push me to read this book--and to choose it for our Cook the Books: October/November selection--as nothing is more fun than having some wonderful friends along on a culinary reading journey. 

The Hundred-Foot Journey is the story of Hassan Haji and his family, who leave India after a family tragedy and end up settling in the small village of Lumière, France. They open a noisy family-style Indian restaurant just 100-feet across the road from the fancy and renowned restaurant of Madame Mallory. The 100-feet is at first a huge cultural divide between the Haji family and the prickly Mme. Mallory, but it inspires Hassan to learn French cooking before making his way to Paris to seek his success as a chef.

Another reason I chose The Hundred-Foot Journey was finding out that long-time CTB participant Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is hosting November's round of the monthly foodie movie event Food 'N Flix, and she selected the movie version of The Hundred-Foot Journey. (You can find her invite here.) We thought it would be a fun opportunity to pair up book and film for those of you interested in combining your book and movie worlds. 

Of course, it's strictly optional to do both events and how you do it (a combined post or two separate posts) is up to you!

If you want to join in the crossover fun:
  • Read the book and watch the film, make a dish inspired by both, and post it by our joint event deadline of Monday, November 30th
  • If you have one post for both the movie and book, email both Deb & Camilla (debinhawaii@gmail.com & constantmotioncamilla@gmail.com) with your entry and let us know that you are doing the combined event.
  • Or, if you prefer to make two separate dishes and have a post for each event--one inspired by the book and one inspired by the movie, send each of your entries to the event's respective host. (Send your Cook the Books posts to debinhawaii@gmail.com & your Food 'N Flix posts to constantmotioncamilla@gmail.com) by Monday, November 30th. 
  • I will be rounding up crossover posts and Cook the Books only posts here on the CTB site & Camilla will be rounding up crossover posts and Food 'N Flix only posts on her blog shortly after the joint deadline.

Again, watching the film and joining in Food 'N Flix is optional, so if you just want to read the book, that's perfectly OK--just send your CTB entry to me by Monday, November 30th.
Makes sense?! If not, feel free to email me or leave a comment on this post with your questions. 

We look forward to seeing what The Hundred-Foot Journey inspires you to create!


Kahakai Kitchen

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson Roundup

Welcome to the roundup of posts for the latest Cook the Books selection, Marcus Samuelsson's memoir, "Yes, Chef". It was a book about the extraordinary life that the restaurateur and chef has led so far and which has taken him to many countries around the world. I thought I would arrange the roundup of contributors' posts according to the different stages of Samuelsson's life that he described in this memoir.

I - Ethiopia

Our author began life in a small Ethiopian village. Sadly, his mother died from tuberculosis after trekking with him and his older sister to a hospital in the capital city of Adis Ababa.

Foodycat's Injera, Doro Wat and Lentil Salad made one Yes, Chef-inspired meal and then later she used some injera batter to make little injeras topped with creme fraiche and salmon roe with a nod to Samuelsson's Swedish heritage.

Deb at Eliot Eats, one of the four Cook the Books cohosts in the rotation, made several dishes for an Ethiopian Feast based on a restaurant meal they enjoyed on a recent trip to Denver.

Terri joins us for the first time here at Cook the Books, writing from her blog Our Good Life. Terri contributed an Omelet with Berbere seasoning, an Ethiopian seasoning blend that she used for the first time.

Vicki blogs at I'd Rather Be Reading at the Beach and also joins Cook the Books for the first time. She made one of Samuelsson's recipes, a West African Chicken and Peanut Stew.

Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm made a tasty dinner of Injera and Msriat.

II - Sweden

Marcus and his older sister were adopted by a Swedish couple and grew up in a much different culture, playing soccer, helping Mormor cook the weekly family meals and helping his Dad catch fish.

Simona of Briciole, a Cook the Books cohost, liked the passages about catching fish and made a batch of  Kokoda, an eye-catching marinated raw fish salad.

Blogging from Hawai'i at Kahakai Kitchen, another of my wonderful Cook the Books cohosts, Deb, drew on her own Swedish heritage to produce a luscious looking That's A Good Life Smorga - a smoked fish sandwich with homemade pickled cucumbers.

III - European Hotels and Restaurants

After studying food preparation in high school and at a local restaurant in Sweden, Samuelsson struck out for Austria and Switzerland and apprenticed in several fine dining establishments.

Amy's Cooking Adventures was inspired to tackle these lovely Classic French Croissants.

Cathy at Delaware Girl Eats paid homage to Chef Samuelsson's achievements in these highly demanding hotel and restaurant kitchens by making a Peach Nectarine Tart.

IV - Chasing the Flavors in New York City

Samuelsson moved to New York City and rose to be head chef at Aquavit, before setting out on his own with his Red Rooster Cafe.

Claudia of Honey in the Rock was inspired by Chef's description of exploring Puerto Rican cuisine, and whipped up a savory Pork Mofongo.

Over at my blog, The Crispy Cook, I layered on some more flavors to the Grilled Whole Chicken recipe that my husband and I have been tinkering with all barbeque season.

Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla was inspired to chase some flavors around with her Bourbon-Pecan Pralines.

Please consider joining us as we read and cook from our next book selection, The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard Morais. This next round will be hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen and entries are due November 30th. There is also a tie-in with Food n' Flix, to watch and cook from the film version of this book, starring the divine Ms. Helen Mirren.