Review: Dirt Candy: A Cookbook
Amanda Cohen is the chef-owner of Dirt Candy, an all-vegetable restaurant located in New York City’s East Village that is recommended by the Michelin guide. Cohen, who has written about food for Saveur, Eater, Salon, and Esquire, was the first vegetarian chef invited to compete on Food Network’s Iron Chef America. That’s where our paths first crossed.
Amanda’s approach to her all-vegetable restaurant Dirt Candy is based on her motto, “Anyone can cook a hamburger, but leave the vegetables to professionals.” In case you haven’t figured it out yet Cohen is an individual. She doesn’t fit into most people’s molds. She’s an original.
Take for instance her first cookbook. Dirt Candy: A Cookbook is more than just a cookbook. It is also a graphic novel (smart people talk for comic book) about how she built her groundbreaking New York City eatery into one of the toughest reservations in the Big Apple.
The overall feel of Cohen’s opus is cool and fun. Telling her story in the form of a graphic novel (with the help of artist Ryan Dunlavey and her husband Grady Hendrix) is very interesting. This would be a wonderful book to share with a child but don’t kid yourself, Cohen’s recipes are far from childish. They are innovative and whimsical recipes like her Smoked Cauliflower and Waffles with Horseradish Cream Sauce or the Zucchini Ginger Cake with Zucchini Cream and Zucchini Candy.