Bring out the mistletoe, menorah, myrrh and mulled wine. Start sipping the latter. It’s time to shop.
Last year, I rounded up a bunch of cookbooks written by the women of Skirt Steak (http://theskirtsteakfiles.tumblr.com/post/13780152530/cookbooks-a-holiday-shopping-guide-the-skirt-steak). This year, we’ve got some newbies, and a few extras, just ‘cuz.
1. Amanda Cohen is the vegetable chef who brought New York City Dirt Candy (http://www.dirtcandynyc.com/), which, four years later, finally, last week, had its day in New York Times restaurant review court and came up with two sparkly stars. Congrats. That’s a feat, sure. But, some might say Dirt Candy: A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food From An Upstart New York City (http://www.amazon.com/Dirt-Candy-Flavor-Forward-Vegetarian-Restaurant/dp/0307952177/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354505068&sr=1-1&keywords=dirt+candy) is the biggest accomplishment of all. It’s a cookbook in graphic novel form, and it’s a bold, gutsy, hilarious mold-breaker.
2. Elizabeth Falkner has just opened Krescendo (http://www.krescendobrooklyn.com/), her version of a pizza parlor on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. She’s also competing on the current season of The Next Iron Chef, and has a new cookbook out. Cooking Off The Clock: Recipes From My Downtime (http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Off-Clock-Recipes-Downtime/dp/1607740303/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1354503536&sr=8-3&keywords=falkner). It’s her second. The first, Elizabeth Falkner’s Demolition Desserts: Recipes from Citizen Cake (http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Falkners-Demolition-Desserts-Recipes/dp/1580087817/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1354503536&sr=8-4&keywords=falkner) is a reminder of her former, sweet life in California.
3. Susan Feniger brings us a cookbook that celebrates her first solo-effort (i.e. a non Mary-Sue Milliken collaboration) restaurant, STREET (http://www.eatatstreet.com/) and the food served there. Introducing Susan Feniger’s Street Food: Irresistibly Crispy, Creamy, Crunchy, Spicy, Sticky, Sweet Recipes (http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Fenigers-Street-Food-Irresistibly/dp/0307952584/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354503933&sr=1-1&keywords=susan+feniger). Two words for you: KAYA TOAST.
4. Carla Hall has somehow managed to juggle life on the daily weekday talk show, The Chew, performing cookie-making magic with her company Alchemy by Carla Hall (http://alchemybycarlahall.com/) and writing Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You [http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Love-Comfort-Food-that/dp/145166219X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354504065&sr=1-1&keywords=carla+hall].
5. Allison Vines-Rushing and her husband Slade Rushing are the co-chefs behind MiLa (http://marriottmarketing.com/ord/production/MSYBR_MilaNewOrleans/) in New Orleans. In Southern Comfort: A New Take on The Recipes We Grew Up With (http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Comfort-Take-Recipes-Grew/dp/1607742624/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354504398&sr=1-1&keywords=allison+vines-rushing), they put their nouvelle Southern cuisine on the home-cook-friendly page.
6. Adam Roberts, the mastermind who gave us the Amateur Gourmet (http://www.amateurgourmet.com/) before everyone and her aunt had a food blog, has written what I think is one of the year’s best cookbooks. Secrets of the Best Chefs: Recipes, Techniques, and Tricks from America’s Greatest Cooks (http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Best-Chefs-Techniques-Americas/dp/1579654398/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354504625&sr=1-1&keywords=adam+roberts) takes you into the kitchens of some of the greatest culinary talents in this country, many of whom happen to be members of team Skirt Steak. Let them, via one “amateur,” teach you to become better cooks.
7. April Bloomfield is that British import who delivered (to those of us lucky enough to call NYC home) The Spotted Pig (http://thespottedpig.com/), The Breslin (http://www.thebreslin.com/), The John Dory (http://thejohndory.com/) and this (http://ny.eater.com/archives/2012/08/ken_friedman.php). I consider her an honorary Skirt Steakette and hope she doesn’t mind. Her first cookbook, co-written with J. J. Goode, is A Girl and Her Pig: Recipes and Stories (http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Her-Pig-Recipes-Stories/dp/0062003968/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354505560&sr=8-1&keywords=april+bloomfield) and it’s sitting on my kitchen bookshelf as I type.
8. Reminder: There is a certain newly released book about chefs, who happen to be women, and the restaurant industry, and it’s called SKIRT STEAK: Women Chefs on Standing the Heat & Staying in the Kitchen (http://www.amazon.com/Skirt-Steak-Standing-Staying-Kitchen/dp/1452107092/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354505677&sr=1-1&keywords=skirt+steak). It too makes a lovely holiday gift, if not the loveliest of all.