By focusing on local foods, Edible Communities has stealthily grown into a national media venture. With an array of print and online magazines, blogs and podcasts, it covers the regional eats scene from Boston to Seattle. This cookbook is the first in a series due from Sterling that aims to "celebrate those areas where Edible magazines exist." It does so here by employing crowd-sourcing, pulling in recipes not only from neighborhood chefs and restaurant owners but from the foodie neighbors who do the eating. Thus NPR radio personality John Schaefer's offering of chili con carne is nestled between a recipe for Trinidadian buljol, a ceviche-like dish from beekeeper Gemma Garcia, and a cheddar, pepperoni, and egg quesadilla sandwich, provided by John Stiers, cofounder of the Brooklyn Winery. This is surely not your grandfather's Brooklyn. In this new frontier of culinary hipsters surrounded by food co-ops and green markets galore, there is not a meatball to be found, and when the talk turns to pizza, the shining example is not Grimaldi's but Franny's, a small farm-sourced restaurant in the Prospect Heights sections of the borough. Wharton does go old school briefly, in presenting six variations of the Brooklyn cocktail that span the years 1883 to 1945—though trend setters might prefer the white Manhattan, which calls for moonshine produced at one of three micro-distilleries currently operating in Williamsburg. (Oct.)
Through a wide variety of unique and delicious recipes, editor Wharton draws a blueprint of Brooklyn's storied locavore food culture.
Anyone who regularly picks up Edible magazine knows what they're going to find: profiles of culinary trailblazers, articles about innovative food ideas and techniques and recipes that stress local, organic ingredients and a bold DIY philosophy. This title, the first in a series that will feature different cities, admirably furthers this noble endeavor. Nearly 100 people from all aspects of Brooklyn's food culture were asked to contribute a favorite recipe, among them legendary restaurateurs, founders of CSAs and the farmers who supply them, rooftop gardeners and home picklers. The book is organized into five sections—small plates, finger food, mains, light suppers and soups and drinks and desserts—and each recipe is accompanied by a brief profile of the contributor and the inspiration behind the dish. There are also tips on cooking techniques and where to find the best ingredients and equipment. Peppered throughout the recipes are intriguing full-page profiles on subjects that deserve extra attention: Ian Cheney, who has a farm in the bed of his pickup truck; Brooklyn Brewery, which single-handedly revived the rich brewing culture of Brooklyn; and The Brooklyn Kitchen, a paradise for foodies in Brooklyn and beyond.
Clearly most valuable to those lucky enough to benefit from its local food knowledge firsthand, but will also inspire out-of-town foodies to book the next flight to JFK.