Chefs make restaurant dishes accessible through cookbooks
There is nothing better than being able to enjoy delicious, restaurant-quality food at home without having to pay the price for high-class dishes. Luckily, several New York City restaurants have cookbooks that include their signature dishes.
Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook ($16.95 on amazon.com)
Junior’s Restaurant co-owner Allen Rose has transformed the restaurant’s intricate cheesecakes into recipes with just a few simple steps. The detailed directions and easy-to-understand language make the cookbook popular among dessert bakers. Not all cakes are photographed, but many have clear pictures that help the home cook with the presentation of scrumptious desserts. The Junior’s cookbook offers more than just cheesecakes — its coffee cake recipe is also a reader favorite.
“This cookbook looks amazing,” said Naomi Kadish, a CAS freshman and die-hard cheesecake fan. “I would be interested to try the Skyscraper Cheesecake, it sounds like a cool new twist on traditional cheesecake.”
Union Square Cafe Cookbook ($13.32 on amazon.com)
Union Square Cafe
21 E. 16th St.
Just a 15-minute walk from Washington Square Park, this Union Square restaurant is a go-to spot for many NYU students. Ironically, the decades-old cookbook is known for mastering contemporary dishes such as sandwiches, gnocchi, pastas, tarts and even bar nuts. Written by restaurant owner Danny Meyer and former executive chef Michael Romano, the cookbook recipes rely on very simple ingredients. The directions are explicit, but the book only consists of a few black and white pictures.
Readers have their own favorite recipes from the cookbook.
“I can guarantee that you will love their take on dreamless potato and spring onion soup,” CAS junior Ayesha Ruprell said.
Eat Me: The Food and
Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin
($16.88 on amazon.com)
120 Essex St.
Kenny Shopsin, often referred to as having a loving hippie heart, is known for his food philosophy and the eccentric way he describes it. The recipes in his book make use of simple ingredients, available to every home cook. His pancake recipes are a favorite among the cookbook’s readers. Not only does his cookbook provide simple and elegant recipes for delicious meals, but also it gives great insights into Shopsin’s food philosophy. The book explores his ideas about matters, such as how he believes a restaurant should be run and how important cooking is.
Steinhardt freshman Anna Springer is appreciative of how Shopsin links his food to his real life experiences.
“‘The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin’ reads more like a conversation between friends than a cookbook,” Springer said. “The book itself is full of personality and great recipes.”
The Babbo Cookbook
($25.69 on amazon.com)
110 Waverly Place
In his cookbook, restaurant owner Mario Batali delivers recipes for famous Italian dishes that can be found at his well-known restaurant, Babbo Ristorante. The clear and concise directions in the cookbook are complemented with lovely visuals of the finished dishes, which help readers get a taste of what they will prepare. The book is known for its pastas and delightful Italian desserts, but it should be kept in mind that some dishes use ingredients that may not be readily available for all home cooks.
CAS freshman Alice Zhu appreciates the book’s simplicity.
“His recipes are quite easy to understand and utilize in real kitchen, which makes it one of the popular cooking books,” Zhu said.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Oct. 7 print edition. Email Dhriti Tandon at [email protected]