“Food is not about impressing people – in fact it’s just the opposite; it’s about making them feel comfortable. The perfect meal is simpler than you expected and better than you remembered.”
~Chef Michael Schwartz in the intro to his book
I love getting new cookbooks in the mail and last week I got a sweet surprise when I received a review copy of chef Michael Schwartz’s new cookbook: Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat, on sale February 15. I suppose that this one is a little more special because it’s by a local chef and one that I admire not just for his restaurant but for his commitment to working with local farmers and schools.
Divided much like the restaurant’s menu, the book has recipes for snacks, small plates, salads, pizza, pasta and sandwiches, sides, large plates and extra-large plates. You’ll also find Hedy Goldsmith’s desserts. The photos are beautiful and the recipes are approachable. Schwartz includes ingredient notes and a section in the back has useful recipes for maple-cured bacon, “killer barbecue sauce,” pizza dough and other basics that could come in handy even when not cooking from the book.
The first recipe I’ll be preparing is kingfish escabeche, which I’ll serve at the book’s launch on February 19 at Books & Books in Coral Gables. Don’t worry, I’ll be doing a test run at home. The evening starts off with a reading and Q&A with the chef at 7 p.m. and continues with a potluck prepared by a group of people invited by the restaurant to cook from the book. Great idea, right? You can find more information here.
Now about that giveaway, leave a comment telling me about your favorite Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink memory (a first date, a great birthday, a memorable dish, an embarrassing moment) by 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, February 5. The chef will pick his favorite answer and I will announce the winner next week. Good luck!
Update Feb. 7 – And the copy of Michael’s Genuine Food goes to … ChadC! Thanks to all who participated and to chef Schwartz for choosing our winner.