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Damn Good Food: 157 Recipes from Hell's Kitchen Hardcover – October 1, 2009
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Food writer Ann Bauer also gives us a glimpse behind the scenes, revealing Omer's darker side, the side responsible for the decor of Hell's Kitchen, described as the "nightmare side of Sesame Street." Bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, and a former addict, Omer's roller-coaster ride of a life has taken him through many towns and love affairs, numerous jobs, and even more controlled substances. But through it all, there has been food--recipes inspired by places and people, including Omer's own close-knit family, reworked and made his own. He beats back his demons every day with his dad's caramel rolls and coleslaw, locally raised bison burgers smeared with his mom's mustard, and his own famous homemade peanut butter, and he invites you in to share it all.
"Mitch makes extraordinary food. But even more important, he makes extraordinary life. And he knows what one has to do with the other--how food is only part of the equation. This is a man who wakes up every day curious, full of gale-force curiosity and joy."
–from the book
"If you have time for only one meal in Minneapolis or Duluth, we strongly urge you not to go to Hell's Kitchen. Coming for just one meal will be insanely frustrating. There are too many outstanding things to eat. You will walk out yearning for the likes of hand-pulled corned beef hash, char-broiled pit ham, baked huevos rancheros, and a dozen other items for which there was no space on the table."
–Jane and Michael Stern, Gourmet, December 2008
Mitch Omer is the chef-owner of Hell's Kitchen in Minneapolis and Duluth. Ann Bauer was food editor at Minnesota Monthly and is the author of the novel Wild Ride up the Cupboards.
From the Publisher
"I started out wanting this book for Mitch Omer's Sausage Bread recipe, that would be worth the price. Then I dug into his story as told by Ann Bauer. Expecting same old, same old warm fuzzy little chef's memoir, instead I got the story of a man living life full blast, wrestling with reality, compulsively open hearted, and cooking for all he is worth. Nothing about this book is what you'd expect -- from recipes that defy fashion and taste great, to writing that literally keeps you flipping the pages. This one's a keeper of the first order."
--Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of The Splendid Table®, public radio's national food show from American Public Media
"If the `same old' food is haunting you, turn up the heat and put the sizzle back into your cooking! You won't have to sell your soul to the devil to get your hands on these damn good recipes. Award winning chef/owner Mitch Omer of Minneapolis' own Hell's Kitchen has assembled his most requested concoctions and potions in his new cookbook. `Heaven's Just A Sin Away!' I love the food in this cookbook--it is so sinfully tasty you'd swear it's almost heavenly. Buy this cookbook now or you'll go straight to hell!"
--"Famous Dave" Anderson, Founder of Famous Dave's of America
Legendary Real Pit Barbeque!
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
to Minneapolis. And I just might try to make the peanut butter myself!
Love all the photos too... good shots of the food, but also good photos of Mitch's family and friends in and out of the restaurant, gives you a great sense of what and who's behind the magic!
I didn't make much use of it until I moved away. I craved many of the dishes that one could get there. I would say the recipes I use most are: Maple-Glazed Bison Sausage, Mahnomin Porridge, Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes, and the condiment recipes (ketchup from hell, world famous PB, etc.). I can attest that the recipes in the book are true to their in restaurant counterparts. Because of this, because they is really the truly real recipes from the restaurant (so to speak), they can be complex or require ingredients that likely will need to be ordered online (like Carbon's Golden Malted Pancake and Waffle Flour). A number of reviewers have complained about the complexity, but I absolutely do not mind. I appreciate that Mitch chose to share the real deal...to give us readers/cooks the benefit of the doubt in terms of our abilities and not dumb it down or oversimplify them. In my mind, as long as you know going in that these are the actual restaurant recipes scaled down, one gets this book to savor something they experienced and want to recapture at home.Read more ›
Omer's fascinating story of mental health, drugs, and gluttony fill the pages of this cookbook. From rebellious son to drug-filled bouncer to backroom cook, the storyline is intermingled with recipes acquired during the many stages of Omer's turbulent life.
"He started snorting blow every night and then zipping through the dining room, making funny, charming small talk with the guests. When cocaine got too expensive, Mitch switched to crystal meth. And eventually, when even meth failed to send him, he started smoking PCP."
Damn Good Food is a meat-lovers wet dream. Carnivorous taste buds will salivate with recipes like "Biscuits with Rabbit Gravy," "Antelope Stroganoff," and "Bison Benedict." The mashed potatoes even sport an impressive `2 cups rich chicken broth." Vegetarians shouldn't shy away from dishes, like "Mahnomi Porridge," "Hot Damn Buttered Pretzels," and "Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes." In addition to its range of recipes, another distinguishing factor to this cookbook is the completeness. There are directions for tartar sauce, curries, rubs, and even peanut butter. If a recipe calls for mayo or Jamaican jerk rub, you have a reference to that recipe.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A cookbook withsome really good stoies and glimpses into the author's/writer's lives.Published 2 months ago by Threebarrs
Bought the book because I had eaten well at the restaurant. What I liked is that the authors were not afraid to give you the recipes you actually see plated when you eat there. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Judith N. Alger
Best damn breakfast place after Al's Breakfast.
All the wonderful food is featured in this book.
The lemon ricotta pancakes are to die for.
My wife bought me a signed copy of this book several years ago and we've enjoyed it ever since. Mitch weaves in his incredible life story right in with the recipes, which makes... Read morePublished 22 months ago by rallstrom
get it, if you want you can swap ingredients to match sensitivities or balanced body needs. The wild rice porage and benedicts are to amazing and beyond expectation. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Addy Schwab
It is a wild ride story that captures Omars passions good and bad and his extraordinary love for good food for all and the recipes are very good and easy.Published on December 9, 2013 by Pankster
Huge plus to get the key recipes from this excellent restaurant. Chef Mitch does assume you know how to cook, so not much hand-holding in the instructions. Read morePublished on November 19, 2013 by Nancy J Nyberg
I judge all breakfasts everywhere on Hell's Kitchen and nothing comes close. The recipe for the lemon ricotta pancakes is worth the price of the entire book - but there is so much... Read morePublished on September 14, 2013 by Francie