Breakaway Cook

Marin County Fair, Anyone?

This year my friend and extraordinary culinary whirlwind chef  Rachelle Boucher is spearheading a “Global Kitchen” series of talks and cooking demonstrations at the Marin County Fair in San Rafael. My talk and demo starts at 5:30 on Friday — if you’re at all tempted, please come! I even have a few extra admission tickets, so let me know asap if you’d like them.

(And yes, this poster is seven years old, but it’s so cool I couldn’t resist)

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Fat is Flavor (Within Reason) + How To Make Ghee

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And we continue with our ghetto breakaway cooking video series with a quick run-through of my favorite fats: a few grades of olive oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, duck fat, butter, and ghee. I also demonstrate my simple method of making ghee. Enjoy!

Are there any fats not included that you can’t live without?

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The Breakaway Vegetarian Cook, Phase I Videos Done!

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Happy to report that we finished a slew of dishes for the filming of the new cookbook, The Breakaway Vegetarian Cook, and had a blast doing it. Here’s what we made and filmed:

  • Ginger Syrup
  • Dutch-Indian Baby
  • Gingery Oatmeal
  • Dukkah
  • Easy Picked Onions
  • Yuzu Kale Chips with Flowers
  • Green Tea Soba with Vegetable Medley
  • Fragrant Umami Noodle Soup
  • Three Ginger Salad
  • Winter Citrus Salad with Gingery Yogurt
  • Roasted Fingerlings with Saffron Breadcrumbs

It’s all very exciting for me, and finally becoming real. Now it’s time to put the finishing touches on all the recipes, and to start writing the intro, which will focus on why umami is so key to vegetarian (indeed all) cooking. Dishes are just a million times more satisfying when the umami factor is amped up. To me, dishes without umami are every bit as unsatisfying as dishes without any salt — something is sadly, and wrongly, missing.

The book is going to first appear as a digital product: it will be available as an Ipad/iphone app, and as an e-book, both for less than $10. Every recipe will have a video attached to it, with me demonstrating and commenting on the dish. Concepts, ideas, and mini-recipes within dishes will be linked to various writing I’ve done on those subjects, a feature that’s just not possible with a regular paper-based book. It will make the book vastly richer as a result, and will cost about a third the price of a paper cookbook. But for folks who still prefer a “real” book, no worries: I’ll still issue it in paperback. I just can’t help but feel the digital product will outshine the paper one by several orders of magnitude at a fraction of the price.

Here are some of the dishes we’ll be shooting next:

  • Triple Tomato Eggs
  • Daikon Wafuu Salad
  • Green Papaya Salad, Breakaway Style
  • Nutty Herby Tofu
  • Freshness Itself Herb Soup
  • Lotus Crack
  • Breakaway Tomato Spread
  • Umami Vegetarian Burger
  • Ginger Potstickers
  • Persimmon Udon
  • Vegetarian Pad Thai with Extra Umami
  • Herbed Kabocha
  • Carrot Cookies with Matcha Creme

All of these are new — it’s been very difficult NOT to blog about them!

I’ll be giving regular progress updates. I can’t wait to share all of this.

In other breakaway news, I was JAZZED to get a phone call from the Commonwealth Club of California (in SF); they invited me to give a talk! It’s going to concentrate on the cult on of authenticity, why blind tasting is the shortest and best route to becoming a better cook, and why blind tasting is an excellent metaphor for living an examined life one’s own way, to not simply accept what is considered authentic to others. It will take place on November 30 — it would be fantastic if we filled the place, so please do come if you can!

And today’s last bit of news: I’m the featured chef at Cookstr on Thursday — do check it out if you can.

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