Cook the Book: Food and Wine's 'America's Greatest New Cooks'


Often when a shiny new cheffy restaurant cookbook slides across my desk, I take a glance and add it to my growing pile of "pretty-but-un-cookable" stack on my bookshelf. To be honest, the recipes in the chef cookbooks are usually too convoluted, tricky, and (let's face it) not tested in home kitchens. It would certainly be nice to reproduce some of the food but isn't always worth the struggle.

But when Food and Wine magazine gets involved, the cookbook is worth more than a second glance.

Such is the case for F&W's new release America's Greatest New Cooks. Sure, they've pandered around the "greatest" and "best" and "top" chefs for years now, but there's a reason these chefs are getting attention. In this take, F&W chose 12 relatively young chefs, both NYC-popular names (Alex Stupak) and lesser-known (Sarah Simmons). Each chef is credited with 10 recipes, usually ranging from appetizers to dessert, and each recipe itself was tested in the F&W kitchen.

The testing process shows. Each recipe can easily be recreated in the home kitchen. In addition, there are lovingly written essays about the chosen cooks along with high-gloss beauty shots for the chef groupie in all of us. And in true Food and Wine fashion, there is a wine suggestion for every recipe with enough description to allow you to pick the particular bottle (and price point).

We'll have a star-studded week of recipes, starting with Brussels Sprouts from Bar Tartine in San Francisco and Parmesan Cheese Grits from City Grit in New York. Next, we'll sup a comforting bowl of Smoked Fish Chowder from The Market Restaurant in Gloucester, MA and then assemble Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria's Pasta with Shiitake, Peas, and Goat Cheese. We'll crown the week with Stupak's Green Chorizo Tacos--a fine finish to the week.

Win 'America's Greatest New Cooks'

Thanks to our friends at Food and Wine, we have five (5) copies of America's Greatest New Cooks to give away this week. All you need to do is tell us about the most inspiring restaurant meal you've eaten recently in the comments section below.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer out of Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, Berkeleyside NOSH, and blogs at

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