Since 1984 Share Our Strength has targeted hunger in this country. Of the 33 million people who live with hunger in the US, 40% are children. Most of the adults have jobs. So there's more to Share Our Strength events like Taste of the Nation or the Great American Bake Sale than chefs and food enthusiasts meeting to display taste treats and stuff their faces. This ongoing process raises the millions of dollars that Share Our Strength delivers to programs that combat hunger. Cooking from the Heart is another element is this grand scheme. One hundred chefs have contributed some recipes and their own reminiscences about food in their life. Chefs are often distant, mysterious beings, some with celebrity status, many simply working out their creative demons back in the kitchen. Cooking from the Heart is an outsider's opportunity to peek inside, to get as close as family--if only for a page or two, a recipe or two. But it is telling and worthwhile.
This is a warm book. Heartfelt warmth. And the recipes are terrific for being so personal. Seattle's Tom Douglas, for example, provides Shrimp Remoulade on Molasses Toasts, while explaining that his mother's idea of spicy seasoning was a silver-dollar size piece of onion cooking in a pot roast for 12. Chpaters covering "Starters," "Brunch and Lighter Dishes," "Soups and Stews," "Pasta and Rice," "Seafood, Poultry, Meats," "Salads and Side Dishes," "Desserts"--they are all here. So too are Seeger, Van Aiken, Schlesinger, Boulud, Traunfeld, Milliken, Waters, Bastianich, Yan, Lagasse, and many many more. Like all Share Our Strength projects, a portion of the cover price of Cooking from the Heart will end up feeding the hungry. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
To support the Share Our Strength anti-hunger agency, 100 of the most notable American-based chefs have contributed recollections and recipes to this fundraising volume. A whiff or taste of food evokes love, hate, comfort or amusement as food heritage and memories are intertwined. Whether of Italian, Jewish, Chinese or any of the other cultures that form the American melting pot, a mother's or grandmother's cooking has always been a display of love. Drawing on the reminiscences of many American food notables, such as Emeril Lagasse, Alice Waters, Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller, the book offers a format for each chef to provide a dish and its corresponding memory: Gordon Hamersley brings to the table Slow Roasted Duck, in honor of his own wedding; Martin Yan's Home-style Clay Pot reminds him of China before the Cultural Revolution; and Nancy Silverton bakes Coconut Cupcakes for her third-grade son's birthday. Ranging in complexity from Lisa Schroeder's simple Moroccan Poached Halibut to Joyce Goldstein's more complex Chocolate-dipped Custard-filled clairs, many of the dishes are made up of several parts. While sometimes challenging for the inexperienced cook, these components provide additional recipes that are excellent in themselves, for example the aromatic Curried Tomatoes that goes with Susan Feniger's Bombay Chicken. The book's quality recipes will fill the stomach and inspire the inner chef, while providing a delightful read.
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