Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Review: Kitchen without Borders by The Eat Offbeat Chefs

Title: Kitchen without Borders: Recipes from Refugee and Immigrant Chefs and Stories of the Journey to Make a New Home
Authors: The Eat Offbeat Chefs
Format: eARC
Pub. Date: February 18th 2020
Source: Netgalley / Workman Publishing Company

Book Description:

A cookbook with wide-ranging roots and a very deep heart: 80 authentic, off-the-beaten-path recipes for delicious dishes from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Eritrea, Venezuela, and other countries are shared by chefs who arrived in the US as refugees and found work at the Eat Offbeat catering kitchen.



What a charming, wholesome cookbook! This book is half recipes, and half stories from the chefs. They're stories of immigration, of refugees, of family and traditions, and the importance of food as a way of bringing people together and sharing with one another. There's little bio chapters for the chefs with their personal stories as well as why they included the recipes that they did and things like personal/family photos. It was touching and I really loved they way that all these chefs from radically different walks of life come together over their love of nourishing others with their home cooking. These recipes are exotic and from a wide variety of countries, including Sri Lanka, Eritrea, Iran, Algeria, Afghanistan, and way more than listed here.

The cookbook is divided into sections by course: Appetizers and Dips, Salads and Soups, Rice and Grains, Vegetarian Dishes, Meat Dishes, and Desserts and Drinks. There's also a section in the beginning that talks about ingredients and potential substitutions, as a lot of the spices and ingredients here may be difficult for your average reader to find locally. Helpfully, there are websites included in this book, should you wish to chase these harder-to-find ingredients down for yourself.

The steps are written well and are easy to follow, and there are a lot of pictures included in this book. That's a good thing for me, since I haven't eaten- let alone made- most of these dishes. It's nice to have a reference to see if what I'm doing looks even a little bit right.

Some of the recipes that sounded the best to me include zeytoon parvardeh (olive, pom, walnut tapenade), narges kebabs (almost like a scotch egg), and fesenjan (stewed chicken).

If you're looking for bolder recipes or to become a more well-rounded home cook, or if you just want to spice things up, this is a great cookbook to add to your collection.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

1 comment:

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