That old saw cautions not to judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to our hot-off-the presses cookbook, go right ahead.
After nearly seven years chronicling Brooklyn’s best food experiences, we decided it was high time we birthed a book. So deputy editor Rachel Wharton set to work compiling the most meaningful and mouthwatering bites in the borough. But she didn’t write a single recipe.
Instead Rachel reached out to the greatest food minds in Brooklyn—we’ve got their digits—so the beautiful book is bursting with favorites from farmers, foragers, fishers, brewers, beekeepers and baristas. Together the recipes capture the flavors of a place where butchers are celebrities, chefs work co-op shifts, immigrants cook the flavors of home, culinary grads make candy for grownups and brewers save their spent grain for local livestock.
All of which is why you can judge it by its cover: Those mouthfuls are our culinary coat of arms. The báhn mì is courtesy of Cathy Erway, the Art of Eating In author who inspired many (myself included) to stop spending and love the stove. Naturally, she didn’t just make the sandwich, she also made the pickles—yep, the book includes that recipe—from vegetables she grew on a roof- top farm above the Sixpoint brewery in Red Hook. (If you think I’m joking, you’re clearly from out of town.)
The loaf is the handiwork of Mathew Tilden, the obsessive SCRATCHBread founder who bakes in Bed-Stuy, sells at the Flea and bears a bodacious bakery tattoo on his formidable forearm. The book includes his recipe for his over-the-top focaccia, which requires copious amounts of olive oil and, like Brooklyn, delivers a remarkable rise.
But perhaps that egg cream is the ultimate Edible Brooklyn Cookbook cover girl. If you asked anyone in America for a Brooklyn recipe, they might cite the soda-fountain standby, but this one’s a revolutionary riff. Made by Petey Freeman of the Brooklyn Farmacy, it reinterprets that classic with upstate dairy—swimming in seltzer your grandpa would guzzle.
The cover’s just the beginning, of course. Inside you’ll find Flying Pigs’ chicharrones, Franny’s fresh cucumbers with ricotta and mint, Saul Bolton’s tagliatelle with chanterelles and tarragon, beer-can chicken from the Brooklyn Brewery, Palo Santo’s masa tortillas, a beekeeper’s Trinidadian buljol, the Meat Hook’s lard-kissed burrito beans, the Good Fork’s kimchi rice with eggs, ricotta cheesecake from a Bensonhurst “dairy queen,” and Liddabit Sweets’ bacon-maple-bourbon-coffee caramel corn. all for just $18.95.
So join us in toasting our new baby, ideally with one of the book’s killer cocktail recipes. May we suggest one by Brooklynite David Wondrich, among the most respected drinks writers in America. He gave us a whopping seven recipes for that old cocktail called—you guessed it—the Brooklyn.