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Dirt Candy: A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food from the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant

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Dirt Candy: A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food from the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant [Paperback]

Amanda Cohen , Ryan Dunlavey , Grady Hendrix
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 21, 2012
Amanda Cohen does not play by the rules. Her vegetable recipes are sophisticated and daring, beloved by omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan diners alike. Dirt Candy: A Cookbook shares the secrets to making her flavorful dishes—from indulgent Stone-Ground Grits with Pickled Shiitakes and Tempura Poached Egg, to hearty Smoked Cauliflower and Waffles with Horseradish Cream Sauce, to playfully addictive Popcorn Pudding with Caramel Popcorn. It also details Amanda’s crazy story of building a restaurant from the ground up to its currently being one of the hardest-to-get reservations in New York City—all illustrated as a brilliant graphic novel. Both a great read and a source of kitchen inspiration, Dirt Candy: A Cookbook is a must-have for any home cook looking to push the boundaries of vegetable cooking.

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Dirt Candy: A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food from the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant + Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking + River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes
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Editorial Reviews


"The recipes are totally savvy and mouthwatering. Cohen's advice, including the realities and vicissitudes of opening your own place, is professional and instructive, and sometimes very funny."  - Rozanne Gold, The Huffington Post

"Thanks to Cohen, eating your vegetables has never been so fun - or delicious." - Michael Menna, New York Daily News

"...a first-person account of Ms. Co- hen’s campaign to liberate cauliflower and mushrooms from their predictable spot as a side dish and make them the main event — altering the entire perception of the vegetable in the process." - Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal

About the Author

AMANDA COHEN is the chef-owner of Dirt Candy, an all-vegetable restaurant located in New York City’s East Village that is recommended by the Michelin guide. Cohen, who has written about food for Saveur, Eater, Salon, and Esquire, was the first vegetarian chef invited to compete on Food Network’s Iron Chef America. She and her restaurant have been featured in the New York Times, Food & Wine, and The New Yorker.
RYAN DUNLAVEY is a New York City–based artist whose work includes The Comic Book History of Comics, MODOK: Reign Delay, Tommy Atomic, and the Xeric and ALA award-winning Action Philosophers.
GRADY HENDRIX has written for Variety, Slate, Playboy and is coauthor of The Magnolia League, a young adult series from Little, Brown. He is married to Amanda Cohen.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307952177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307952172
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vegetarian Comic Book August 23, 2012
By Eilie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was looking for some new and unusual vegetarian recipes and thought I'd try this book, although I'd never heard of the restaurant. When I received the book, I was sort of pleasantly surprised to find that it was in a graphic novel format. The book relates a number of the restaurant owner's personal stories, including among other things, why we should cook with oil and why she charges $14 for a plate of salad. The book is interesting, and the recipes are innovative and original (they include a few vegetable desserts), but they are really rather secondary to the owner's story. If you are the sort of person who is looking for a cookbook with lots of recipes and pretty color photographs, this is not the book for you, but if you're a fan of graphic novel art and unusual cooking memoirs, this will be a good fit.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Much More Than a Cookbook August 21, 2012
By Gwynne
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been a big fan of the Dirt Candy restaurant since my sister-in-law got my husband a gift certificate to there as a birthday present. So needless to say where I heard that they were coming out with a cookbook I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Their food is so unique and fun that I couldn't wait to see if I could make it myself.

When they announced that it would be a graphic novel cookbook I was a bit disappointed, but after finally getting my copy in the mail I can't begin to tell you how wrong I was. This is hands down the best cookbook I have ever read. She has made the most complicated dishes so easy to understand, and I can't wait to try them out this weekend.

Such a great story. It really does feel like I am getting two books for the price of one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book right now! December 3, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I rarely write cookbook reviews, but this book is so awesome that I felt compelled to write one. I had seen the author on an episode of "Easy Chinese," so I was familiar with the Dirt Candy restaurant. When I first saw the cookbook, I was unsure about whether or not I would like it - a graphic novel? Was that just a novelty approach that would provide little content? Absolutely not! In fact, the illustrations are my favorite part of the book. They explain the recipes and techniques in such a fun way. I actually read this entire cookbook the day I got it.

The recipes might be more advanced, but they are presented in such a way as to not be intimidating. Yes, you might spend all day Saturday making one of the recipes, but you'll have fun doing it!

So far I have made the carrot buns and the radish ravioli, both of which were amazing (but especially the ravioli)!

Also, while this book is vegetarian, almost all of the recipes can be made vegan (some already are). Kudos for that!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything in here is the best thing I've ever made! January 8, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While I was very excited about this cookbook prior to release, because I mainly cook vegetarian meals and I had seen Cohen on Iron Chef and liked her style, I was at first skeptical about the "comic book" aspect of it. Not because I don't like comics, because that's not at all the case, but simply because I really enjoy a cookbook with good, full-color food photography... But I was delighted to find that the black and white comic illustrations have actually helped my fancy plating, immensely, since instead of just a photo of the finished product, you are actually given a diagram for how to assemble each dish.

I will say that this book is not really for beginners. Not that anything is terribly difficult, but pretty much every dish has at least four components that all need their own special preparations. I'll commonly spend over four hours making recipes from here, and my kitchen will be a disaster area, but the results are definitely worth it. So if you're a vegetarian who loves to cook and wants some VERY unique dishes that are heavily vegetable-based (as opposed to a fake meat as the bulk of each entree...) and doesn't mind putting in the work to get them, then this is for you. The graphic novel sections are actually really great, too. Aside from being way cute, they offer a lot of insight into not only the strange world of restaurant work, but also the difficulties one happens upon by being a vegetarian.

Easily the best cookbook I own, and every recipe is an eventual must-make.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but the recipes are insane February 26, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the cook book. The comic book part of it was really great!

However, most of the recipes are completely insane. The concept of doing a soup recipe that takes 3 days after you dehydrate some of the ingredients on a silpat and also then smoke some of the others with a homemade smoker, then some of the other things seems daunting to me. However, one of these long weekends it is on my bucket list to do at least one of them.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! September 5, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
LOVE this cookbook/graphic novel. While I will probably never make most of the recipes in this book as it's filled with fine dining recipes that take A LOT of time (except the pickles chapter, I will make EVERYTHING in that chapter), I still adore this book. Here's what it's got going for it:

-There's a chapter on pickled veggies. Need I say more?
-There's a recipe for popcorn pudding!!
-The style of this book is awesome. I found myself actually reading this like a graphic novel instead of just as a cookbook. There are actual plots and stories. So cool.
-It truly is a celebration of vegetables. Her description of her "philosophy" of vegetable cooking is so accessible and refreshing. I feel like she's the kind of vegetarian that wouldn't cause non-veggies to roll their eyes while she talks.
-It's funny.
-You know that introduction in every cookbook that's all "here's what boiling is" and "here's how you braise something" that you completely ignore? This one has it rolled into the story of her and her team training for Iron Chef America that makes it actually fun to read. I'm an avid home cook and some of her tips were clever and new to me.

Check out this book. Especially if you're a veg head.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It is more of a comic like story with some recipes
Kind of corny. It is more of a comic like story with some recipes. It is hard to read. I just wanted some good wholesome vegan recipes to try. Read more
Published 6 days ago by amazonjuncky
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it! Great book in a hundred ways.
Worth your time, will teach you the basics all the way to the more advanced levels. Also really funny and clear instructions.
Published 23 days ago by Tea Marl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by JUSTA READER
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great service and product
Published 1 month ago by larry fraley
1.0 out of 5 stars Book sucks in my opinion
Book sucks in my opinion. would not recommend the book to anyone And I love to cook but not with this book
Published 1 month ago by allen colley
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read. Great Recipes.
I bought this book because I am always looking for new ways to prepare vegetables. I live in Phoenix where produce grows year round (ok, maybe a little less in the summer, but you... Read more
Published 1 month ago by MarciaF
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and yummy
A charming book.I saw her as a guest on a Create TV show and was intrigued to buy her booked. It is a no punches pulled look at starting a business plus innovative veg recipes all... Read more
Published 1 month ago by pat blackmon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by clair gardner
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute but not for someone looking for a full vegetable cookbook.
This book has good insights to processes that are used in some unique restaurant preparations. It starts off with cute cartons about how the restaurant came about, however I felt... Read more
Published 2 months ago by JMC
2.0 out of 5 stars GOOD AMAZON........BAD BOOK!
Amazon is great. Just this book is a dude with its hand drawings of food. REALLY!
Published 2 months ago by Patricia Davis-Rainey
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