At Blanchard's Table: A Trip to the Beach Cookbook

At Blanchard's Table: A Trip to the Beach Cookbook

4.6 6
by Melinda Blanchard, Robert Blanchard, Ben Fink

The next best thing to actually living on an island paradise is being able to bring a bit of paradise home. Bob and Melinda Blanchard shared their own “paradise found” in their book A Trip to the Beach, the true story of the couple’s adventures as they escaped civilization to open a restaurant on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. Now in At


The next best thing to actually living on an island paradise is being able to bring a bit of paradise home. Bob and Melinda Blanchard shared their own “paradise found” in their book A Trip to the Beach, the true story of the couple’s adventures as they escaped civilization to open a restaurant on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. Now in At Blanchard’s Table, the couple extends the celebrated warmth and hospitality of their acclaimed restaurant, and its delicious menu, to our homes. The happy result is a cookbook that’s as much a pleasure to read as it is enjoyable to follow.

Writing with the same humor and charm that made their first book such a success, Bob and Melinda share recipes drawn from their New England roots, their early years in the gourmet food business, and their life in the Caribbean. At Blanchard’s Table is a delectable collection of more than 160 recipes perfect for get-togethers of family and friends, illustrated with glorious photographs that reveal how lucky they are to have homes in both Vermont and Anguilla.

Although the Blanchards’ restaurant gets rave reviews for the food, Melinda was never trained formally as a chef, so her recipes are for true homemade meals that are appealing and easy. Caribbean-influenced dishes like Calypso Chicken with Lime, Grilled Lobster Anguilla Style, and Jamaican Jerk Shrimp are complemented by New England–inspired fare such as Vermont Cheddar Soup, Balsamic-Glazed Veal Chops, and Vermont Picnic Ham Baked in Dark Beer.

Sections include Casual Starters, Soups, Salads and Dressings, Seafood, Meat, Pasta, Vegetables and Sides, Desserts, and Drinks. Throughout the book, there are dozens of mini-recipes that allow people in a hurry to toss together just a couple of ingredients for a quick and tasty dish. The Blanchards also offer expert cooking tips, as well as more delightful stories about some of their favorite Anguillians.

With simple, eclectic, and flavorful recipes—along with sound cooking advice, charming anecdotes, and the same warmth that made people fall in love with A Trip to the Beach—At Blanchard’s Table is truly a pleasure to cook from and nearly as enchanting as an actual trip to the beach.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Blanchard’s was just about the first Caribbean Island restaurant I ever dined at without saying afterward, “That was really good—for a Caribbean restaurant.” Bob and Melinda’s place is good for anywhere. The welcome is warm, the ingredients fresh, and the flavors are at once sophisticated and accessible. I’d want their cookbook just for the desserts, and would turn the page right to the White Chocolate and Apricot Bread Pudding—a dish I order seconds of whenever I’m at Blanchard’s.
—Danny Meyer, coauthor, The Union Square Cafe Cookbook and Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe

Any two people who have managed to combine lives that are as richly lived in places as different as Vermont and Anguilla have my attention! The recipes that Bob and Melinda Blanchard offer here are very tempting and very doable. Some are true Vermont, some are true Caribbean, but occasionally ingredients merge, just as the book includes photographs of Jersey cows and New England farmers’ markets alongside island boats and beaches. Somehow it all works, and I think it’s because of the heart that the Blanchards give to all the worlds they’ve lived in.
—Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

What a delicious story! At Blanchard’s Table is honest home cooking with stylish flair and a great tropical background. These wonderful recipes obviously come from Melinda’s love for cooking, and the pictures of Bob and Melinda’s restaurant give the food a true sense of place. I’m glad they’ve shared their paradise with us.
—Allen Susser, chef/owner of Chef Allen’s and author of Allen Susser’s New World Cuisine and Cookery

Publishers Weekly
Peppering their volume of straightforward recipes with amusing stories and photographs of the goings-on at both their eponymous restaurant in the Caribbean and their life in Vermont ("we commute"), the Blanchards present a down-to-earth, personal cookbook that makes a nice follow up to A Trip to the Beach, which chronicled their experiences opening Blanchard's Restaurant on the tiny island of Anguilla. The recipes here, which represent no particular cuisine, are simple, homemade dishes from self-taught chef Blanchard and her staff at the restaurant, and will delight hungry palates and cooks who are interested in straightforward but pleasing recipes for friends and family alike. Half of the cookbook is devoted to colorful, casual starters and soups, and tasty salads and dressings with a zesty twist. Starters such as Crusty Grilled Shrimp with Soy-Sesame Sauce and Blanchard's Lobster Cakes with Tomato Tartar Sauce (popular with restaurant customers), and salads and dressings such as Spicy Vegetable Slaw and Potato Salad with Lime and Sun-Dried Tomatoes are all easy to prepare. Main dishes include seafood, meat and pasta dishes, from Coconut Curried Chicken to Vermont Picnic Ham Baked in Dark Beer to Calypso Chicken with Lime. The authors also include "In a Hurry" recipes to turn to when time is short supply, and the culinary tips from devoted workers of the restaurant make this charming volume practical as well. 50 full-color and 15 b&w photographs. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
After developing several specialty food businesses, the Blanchards decided to get away from it all and open a restaurant on the small Caribbean island of Anguilla. They chronicled their adventures on their way to the now-successful Blanchard's Restaurant in A Trip to the Beach, which included descriptions of favorite dishes; here they provide the recipes. Though she lacks formal training, Melinda has always been the chef. She serves up the same sort of casual food that she likes to prepare for entertaining, adapting the recipes as necessary for the restaurant and the Caribbean lifestyle: Chicken and Green Bean Salad with Olive Dressing, B.L.T. Fusilli, and Grilled Salmon in Corn Cream. The recipes are uncomplicated, and most chapters also include ideas for dishes "In a Hurry." The authors have a nice style, and there are color photographs of the local scenery, along with dozens of snapshots of the loyal restaurant staff. For most collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet the Author

Married for nearly thirty years, Melinda and Robert Blanchard divide their time between Norwich, Vermont, where they built their own home, and Anguilla, where they operate Blanchard’s Restaurant. They are the authors of A Trip to the Beach.

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At Blanchard's Table: A Trip to the Beach Cookbook 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
stacels More than 1 year ago
This cookbook is filled with delicious recipes and gorgeous photography! I'm not a cook and have found most of the recipes easy-to-make and quite tasty. The recipes are all used at Blanchards, Bob & Melinda Blanchard's restaurant in Anguilla.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I am an avid cookbook reader. I check them out from the library by the dozens and pour through them like novels. Yes, I sometimes even cook. This is the only cookbook I liked well enough to actually purchase. The recipes are orginal, fresh and creative, but at the same time practical and simple enough not to intimidate a basic cook like myself. Please believe me when I tell you their recipe for cornbread is absolutely amazing. On second thought, don't believe me, try it for yourself and impress your friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The recent issue of MORE magazine featured the Blanchards and printed 3 of the recipes from the cookbook. I made Calypso Chicken with Lime last night and my husband and I were knocked out! Absolutely delicious! Weary of stuffy recipes with glossy photos that look good in other books but come up short in taste, I think lack of formal culinary training may actually be a real PLUS, at least in this case! I can't wait for the arrival of this book so I can try other Blanchard's fare!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best cookbook out there. Since I've been to Anguilla, I can definitely relate to it too. You don't have to have visited Anguilla to appreciate it though. This is a definite 'must have' in every kitchen. We haven't stopped making things out of it since we purchased. Love it all! Keep up the great work!