Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Dirt Candy Cookbook! And a Giveaway!

It's no secret that Dirt Candy is my favorite restaurant in this city. Not only is the food outstanding - each dish is executed with a level of thought and skill that you'd find in four-star restaurant kitchens - but when we're there, it's like being at an old friend's place.  So needless to say I was pretty excited when I learned that the very talented chef/owner of Dirt Candy, Amanda Cohen, was working on a cookbook.  And that cookbook, which was a long time in the making, is finally out (it was released in late August).

But it's not like any other cookbook you've read (or, probably more accurately, used, because let's be honest, most cookbooks don't get read from front to back, much less in one sitting).  This one is, to the best of my knowledge, the first graphic novel cookbook.  It's funny, offbeat, wacky, snarky, sentimental, and above all, informative.  I read every word on every page of this book (and yes, in one sitting), which is something I can't say for any other cookbooks on my large and overstuffed bookshelf - and I loved every page of it.  Amanda's distinct voice comes through so clearly and if you don't laugh at least a few times, then you have no sense of humor, and if you don't learn anything about cooking, well, then you should go back and read it more carefully.

Nestled among the fabulous illustrations by Ryan Dunlavey and the clever, sharp writing by Amanda (which will be familiar to those of you who read her blog) are a slew of recipes and sections on technique, because this is, first and foremost, a cookbook.  The recipes range from Dirt Candy classics (like the creamy dreamy portobello mousse and the popcorn pudding that everyone including me loves so much that it's not allowed to leave the menu) to retired dishes (including the love-it-or-hate-it carrot risotto and the salad that single-handedly made me stop hating celery).

In addition to the cooking education, the book also provides some insight into how Dirt Candy came to be, what it was like being on Iron Chef, and what it's like serving Martha Stewart.

Because this book is super awesome, I'm giving away not one, but two copies that have been signed by both both Amanda Cohen and Ryan Dunlavey.  (Both of them were nice enough to sign both of these copies at the book launch party a few weeks ago.)

I agree!

What do you need to do to make one of these books yours?   Visit the Dirt Candy website for their current menu and lots of hilarious, enlightening blog posts on dishes that are not currently on the menu (as well as on topics ranging from Canada Day to food-related tattoos) and then do any or all of the following:

  1. Leave a comment below with the name of a current (or previous) Dirt Candy dish that you'd like to learn to make from the cookbook.
  2. Like Raspberry Eggplant on Facebook and leave a comment on this Facebook post with the name of a current (or previous) Dirt Candy dish that you'd like to learn to make from the cookbook.
  3. Follow me on Twitter and tweet the following: "Hey @rspberryeggplnt I want learn to make (insert dish name here). Count me in for the @dirtcandy cookbook giveaway http://bit.ly/RdChZ9"
You can do each of the above once; each one gives you one entry into the giveaway.  I'll accept entries until noon ET on Friday, September 28 and winners will be notified that afternoon so I can mail out the books this weekend.  Sorry foreigners, but I can only ship to addresses the United States.  And please make sure that I can contact you - either by including your email address in your blog comment, through a message on Facebook, or by following me on Twitter so that I can send you a direct message.

And if you live in NYC and you haven't yet been to Dirt Candy, well, what are you waiting for?  Go!!!  

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