Joe Brown's Melange Cafe Cookbook

Joe Brown's Melange Cafe Cookbook

by Joe Brown


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The youngest of ten children, Joe Brown was born to feed a crowd. And he does so nightly as chef/owner of Melange Cafe in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. His first cookbook, Joe Brown’s Melange Cafe brings the restaurant’s assertive and imaginative Louisiana-Italian cuisine into America’s kitchens.

The cookbook and the restaurant buzz with Big Easy spirit, Southern hospitality, and great food. All of the 100 original recipes in Joe Brown’s Melange Cafe Cookbook feature clear directions, easy to find ingredients, and a casual, happy approach to cooking. Sepia-toned photos of Joe in action as well as personal anecdotes and stories capture the lively spirit of Melange Cafe and its crew.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780966120073
Publisher: Small Potatoes Press
Publication date: 09/28/2002
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 8.02(w) x 8.16(h) x 0.35(d)

Table of Contents

Party Foods
Appetizers and Salads
Soups and Stews
One Pots and Pastas
Plated Entrees
TidBits and Biscuits


I have always been the type of person who feels that as long as you are happy, then I am happy too. I think I became a chef because I saw a special look on people’s faces after they enjoyed a great meal. That look said “happy” and “satisfied.” I realized then that food changes your every emotion. When I found out that I had the ability to do that with food, that I could effect my friends and family in such a positive way, it was then that I fell in love with cooking.

My mother was good at this. When she cooked for us, it was like she knew exactly what we needed, and she delivered in her food. I still smell my mother’s yeast rolls and cornbread. My brothers and I would wake up in the middle of the night and sneak downstairs to see if there was just one more piece left. (Keep in mind that I was the youngest of ten kids, so leftovers were a precious commodity!) Often I was too late, and someone else had already beaten me to the punch. The next morning we’d all laugh about who got the goods. No one would confess, but you could always tell who the lucky kid was — the one with crumbs in the bed.

My mom didn’t really use recipes. She had learned what worked and what didn’t, and she went from there. I go by instinct and experience as well. Recipes are only guidelines, not commandments, so you are welcome to change these recipes and adapt them to your own preferences. When you cook, think about more than taste. Consider texture, appearance, and how all the ingredients work together. And don’t forget aroma! Smell is very important. That’s why the nose is above the mouth. When something smells good, your taste buds are activated, and you get the full flavor of the food.

Just remember, I have prepared all these dishes the long and complicated way, and I have already made all the mistakes there are to make. You’ll see that the recipes are very simple, very easy. There’s nothing to be afraid of here. Read the recipe one or two times before you start; get everything together; follow my directions; and most of all, enjoy yourself in the kitchen. Soon you’ll see that you can make yourself and your guests very happy. I learned very early in the business that my goal as a chef was to make you happy. That’s what my mother and father taught me, and that’s what you’ll learn from these recipes.

Good food makes people happy.

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