Review: Dirt Candy: A Cookbook

Amanda Cohen Dirt CandyAmanda 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 Amanda Cohen Dirt Candygraphic 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.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
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