Got friends who love to cook?
Tis the season to shower your pals — and yourself too (you’ve been good, right?) — with a cookbook or two. And to show your New Jersey bona-fides and pride, make that book one penned by a Garden State chef.
Perhaps your friends have eaten at the chef’s restaurant and have wanted to recreate a dish. With your gift, they can. Or maybe, they’ve been told (by you? by The Record?) how good a certain dish is but, alas, have never had the pleasure of eating it. Your gift solves that problem; they can enjoy the dish at home.
Besides, cookbooks make a terrific gift. Not only because they last forever (unlike — insert sad face emjoi here — food) but because they’re full of drool-worthy inspirations. Inspirations happily don’t spoil.
Here are NJ-chef written cookbooks that would make a lovely gift. As an extra bonus, we threw in some recipes to give you a cooking head start.
‘New American Classics’ by David Burke
Celebrity chef David Burke needs no introduction. But just in case you’ve been out of the dining scene for the past 30-plus years, know that the New Jersey-born (Hazlet) and current New Jersey resident (Fort Lee) was the first American ever to win the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Diplome d’Honneur, was twice nominated for James Beard Best Chef award, and owns or heads kitchens in a slew of New Jersey restaurants including Ventanas at The Modern in Fort Lee, Red Horse in Rumson and recently opened 1776 by David Burke in Morristown.
“I love New Jersey,” Burke said.
Burke has written two cookbooks. The first is “Cooking with David Burke.” “New American Classics” (Knopf, 2009) is his second. The conceit of the book is that once a cook gets the hang of cooking an American classic, she can use it to cook a more elaborate dish, and then use the leftovers to make something completely different. So every dish has three versions.
“I always thought that people could do more with leftovers,” Burke said when asked what provoked him to write this cookbook, published in 2012. “It’s a good book.”
Why hasn’t he written any since? “I got famous and too busy to write.” The book is available for $19.99 on Amazon.