Cook the Book Challenge!

Marcus Samuelsson Cook the Book Challenge from the #RedRoosterCookbook

Introducing the #RedRoosterCookbook Cook the Book Challenge!

Once a week until the end of the year, I'll be posting a bonus from recipe from the cookbook here on the website. Home chefs can take the challenge by cooking the recipe, instagramming their dish and using the hashtag #RedRoosterCookbook.

Each week I'll pick my favorite shot and regram it on my account. I'll also update this blog post with each week's challenge and last week's winners.

Good luck and happy cooking!

Week 1 - Warm Quinoa with Vegetables and Eggs

Week 2 - Garlic 'N' Honey Roasted Sweets

Week 3 - Slow-Baked Blueberry Bread with Spiced Maple Syrup 

Week 4 - Quick-Cured Trout with Poblanos

Week 5 - Good Old Pound Cake

Week 6 - Iron-Pressed Chicken

Week 7 - Sweet Dog

Week 8 - Chocolate Cherry Cake

"Yes, Chef" Nominated U.S. Winner for Gourmand World Cookbook Award

We are delighted to announce that Marcus has been nominated as the United States winner of the category, Best Food Literature Book, for "Yes, Chef" in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2012. He will now be considered for the Gourmand Best in the World competition in the same category, which will be announced on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the 17th annual awards ceremony, held this year in Paris at Le Carrousel du Louvre. Those attending the event will also be invited to partake in the festivities planned for the Paris Cookbook Fair, which will convene this year from February 22nd-24th.

Every year Gourmand reviews thousands of books in the categories of food and wine in pursuit of finding the select few chefs, vinters, and authors who are able to “cook [vint] with words”. Each year the award ceremony has grown in popularity, and is fast becoming the place to discover and meet the top publishers, journalists, authors, vinters, and chefs in the food and wine realm. The event is always held in a popular location for gastronomic indulgence. In past years, the ceremony has taken place in Sweden, Spain, Germany, Malaysia, China, the U.K, and this year will be the ninth time in France, fourth time in Paris.

Gourmand was founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau, and grows in applicants every year. Cointreau saw the awards as a way to find the best food and wine books among the sea of about 8,000 published each year. He also saw it as a way to increase the public’s knowledge of the industry, and when in a bookstore, lead them in the right direction to those books, which are the best portal to the food and wine world.

This is one of the most prominent events in the food literature scene and we are incredibly thrilled that Marcus is a part of it. We wish the very best of luck to all the competitors, from 136 different countries, and are excited to see the results in February.

The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook and an Interview with Co-Author Brent Ridge

By: Cyndi Amaya

For Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, their philosophy varies a bit from others'; "When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. [For us,] when life gives you goat's milk, you make soaps and cheese."  As two city dwellers who bought a vacant farm in upstate New York, this new philosophy came into play quick, shortly after adopting 60 homeless goats from a 'down-on-his-luck' farmer. With the task of making their newly-purchased farm sustainable, their lives and writing soon turned to helping others achieve their dreams of living a simpler life. Josh and Brent's new cookbook The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Recipe Cookbook features exactly those tips and recipes for simpler, comfort food cooking.

I caught up with co-author of the new cookbook, Brent Ridge and asked him a few questions about the book, their story, and Beekman1802.com. Here's what he shared with us...

Tell me a little bit about yourself and Josh. What made you decide to get a farm?

We were two city dwellers who bought a vacant farm in upstate NY thinking it was going to be a weekend getaway and an eventual home once we retired.  Shortly after closing on the property we were approached by a down-on-his-luck farmer and his heard of 60 homeless goats and just like that we became accidental goat farmers.  8 months later, we both lost our jobs in the city and had to stop playing the role of gentleman farmers and figure out a way to make the farm sustainable.

Our website, Beekman1802.com allows people to follow along with us with life on the farm as well as share their own tips and ideas with everyone else dreaming of living a simpler life.

Tell me a little more about your new cookbook. What inspired you guys to write it?

The recipes we create when we pull things fresh out of the dirt have always been one of the most loved parts of Beekman1802.com.  We enjoy coming up with different dishes and LOVE our library of cookbooks, but when we started thinking of doing our own cookbook, the first question we asked ourselves was:  Does the world actually need another cookbook?

All of the products inspired by our life on the farm are designed to be worthy of passing along to the next generation, just like the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Recipe Cookbook.

The meals we love and that have been passed down through generations of family members are heirlooms in and of themselves and the book includes over 100 recipes that we've adapted from our family archives, each given our own little Beekman 1802 twist.  The recipes are both simple and ingenious.  Comfort food has to be as easy to make as it is pleasing to eat.

Every family has one (maybe many more) treasured family recipe that is hauled out at every family celebration.  Often written on index cards and spiral bound notebooks, sometimes existing only in the recesses of a matriarch's memory, these dishes serve as retrospectives of our lives.

We've also made special room in this keepsake volume for you to include your family's own heirloom recipes.  You can print off additional recipe card templates for free any time you need them by clicking here. The idea is that once the book joins your collection that it is no longer "our" book, but truly becomes "your" heirloom cookbook!

While most are creating cookbooks with new and innovative ideas, why did you two want to focus on heirloom recipes?

We all have cookbooks on our shelves that seduced us with exotic ingredients or pretty photos and once we got them home we never cooked a single recipe from them.  We wanted to create a book that had recipes that were simple and comforting and delicious enough that you would go to them over and over again.  We want them to be a part of your seasonal repertoire.

I see a general shift in a lot of cooking towards more traditional styles and a more rustic Americana-style of cuisine, as well as in other aspects of art like music, writing, etc. Why do you think this is? Does your writing, cooking, and way of life fall into that same movement back to the traditional?

Yes.  This is definitely rooted in the country's current economic climate.  For so much of the 90s and first decade of the 21st century, our culture was focused on quantity over quality.  The return to tradition artistry and craftsmanship is really about added value.  We need things that are tested and have longevity.

What tips can you give for those who want to start their own heirloom recipes?

The holiday season is when so many treasured heirloom recipes come to the table.  When you've got your family gathered, it's a perfect time to share these recipes and the stories behind them.  One thing we are encouraging people to do is use the blank recipe cards you can download for free from beekman1802.com and have people record the recipes and stories as part of the holiday festivities.  You could even use the recipes and stories as name cards around the table.

There's an entire section of beekman1802.com devoted to the cookbook, and cooks are encouraged to share their adaptations to the 100+ recipes.  Recipes are really living cultural documents.  They evolve based on the tastes and norms of a particular era in time, and we want to capture that. We also want to develop a community of cooks who want to share tips and ideas on how they have used our recipes as a starting point.

Each recipe in the book has a column for writing your own notes.  You can then visit that recipe's page and contribute your ideas to the online community of cooks who are all using the cookbook.  In this way, each recipe becomes a thousand different recipes. You can even upload a photo of your own version of the dish.  We want you to brag!

For more information about Brent and Josh's new cookbook, click here. You can also purchase it here. 

To read more interviews on MarcusSamuelsson.com, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks) for updates. 

El Bulli: Documenting the Legacy

BY MATT ESSERT

If you're a foodie or just into restaurants or cooking, you've probably heard of the culinary mastermind Ferran Adria  and his highly acclaimed restaurant El Bulli in Spain. After opening in 1964, the restaurant grew in popularity and acclaim, eventually gaining its third Michelin star in 1997, an honor only 81 restaurants in the world hold.

For as long as he's been at the helm of El Bulli, Ferran Adria  has been an all-star in the culinary world and a pioneer of the "molecular gastronomy" movement. But Adria  doesn't like that label. Instead, the chef calls what he does "deconstruction" and has said that "the ideal customer doesn't come to El Bulli to eat but to have an experience." Ferran clearly had a vision for the perfect restaurant and spent many years working towards it.

All that work has paid off and for several years, El Bulli has been talked about as one of the, if not the, best restaurants in the world. In recent years, the restaurant only operated seven months a year and of the two million reservation requests, the restaurant could only accommodate 8,000 diners each season. The extreme popularity has helped to create an aura about the restaurant that is well deserved. Diners get to enjoy an epic tasting menu that will sometimes feature as many as 30 separate courses, each with its own delicious twists, flavors, and surprises.

After nearly 50 years of forward-thinking service, Ferran announced that El Bulli would officially close on July 30, 2011. While striving to attain culinary perfection, Ferran and his kitchen suffered massive monetary loses and eventually decided to close the kitchen doors. The restaurant's website announced that El Bulli would take a few years off and re-open in 2014 as a culinary creativity center. It will be, according to the website, "a think-tank for creative cuisine and gastronomy and will be managed by a private foundation." After so many years creating wonderful and whimsical dishes like the liquid olive, it will be quite exciting to see what kind of research and innovation the culinary center will be able to produce.

Along these lines of learning and sharing knowledge, several books have been written by or about El Bulli and its legacy. Journalist Lisa Abend recently released "The Sorcerer's Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adria 's elBulli" which offered a glimpse at the life of an entry-level chef, or stagiaire (a cook who agrees to work for a small wage in return for a season as one of Adria 's apprentices), at El Bulli. Additionally, the restaurant itself has released a number of cookbooks and the work "A Day At El Bulli," in which Chef Adria  chronicles 24-hours at the restaurant.

While a lot of the El Bulli cookbooks are beautiful but daunting in offering many complicated recipes, this October, Ferran is releasing "The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria ;" a more accessible cookbook that aims to offer home cooks the ability to cook with some of the same spirit as the chefs at El Bulli. Getting this kind of insight into the mind of Ferran and the work that goes on behind the scenes at El Bulli will be invaluable to all chefs of any level that are trying to improve their culinary skills.

If you want to learn even more about El Bulli and Chef Adria , a new documentary is premiere's tonight at the New York City's Film Forum  titled "El Bulli: Cooking in Progress." The film chronicles the life and work of El Bulli and takes a deep look the behind of the scenes of the restaurant. It reveals the secrets behind the doors of El Bulli that would be otherwise inaccessible to the public. To get a sneak peek of the doc, check out the trailer below.

[vimeo video_id="23583166" width="490" height="300" title="Yes" byline="Yes" portrait="Yes" autoplay="No" loop="No" color="00adef"]

Want to Win a Signed Copy of New American Table?

Want access to many more of my recipes? Well you're in luck, we're giving away a free autographed copy of my latest cookbook, New American Table on Twitter. Simply retweet our contest post to be entered to win a free copy. We will announce the winner on Twitter, so enter soon to win! To see our contest tweet, click here.

Good luck!

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