In Damn Good Food
, Mitch Omer reveals the recipes that have made his restaurant a pleasure seeker's destination, including inventions like his tart, ethereal Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes; dark, wild Bison Sausage Bread; and sweet, creamy Mahnomin Porridge. These dishes have the hungry and eager queued up out the doors of Hell's Kitchen, often for hours, and now you can make them at home.
Food writer Ann Bauer also gives us a glimpse behind the scenes, revealing Omer's darker side, the side responsible for the decor of Hell's Kitchen, described as the "nightmare side of Sesame Street." Bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, and a former addict, Omer's roller-coaster ride of a life has taken him through many towns and love affairs, numerous jobs, and even more controlled substances. But through it all, there has been food--recipes inspired by places and people, including Omer's own close-knit family, reworked and made his own. He beats back his demons every day with his dad's caramel rolls and coleslaw, locally raised bison burgers smeared with his mom's mustard, and his own famous homemade peanut butter, and he invites you in to share it all.
"Mitch makes extraordinary food. But even more important, he makes extraordinary life. And he knows what one has to do with the other--how food is only part of the equation. This is a man who wakes up every day curious, full of gale-force curiosity and joy."
–from the book
"If you have time for only one meal in Minneapolis or Duluth, we strongly urge you not to go to Hell's Kitchen. Coming for just one meal will be insanely frustrating. There are too many outstanding things to eat. You will walk out yearning for the likes of hand-pulled corned beef hash, char-broiled pit ham, baked huevos rancheros, and a dozen other items for which there was no space on the table."
–Jane and Michael Stern, Gourmet, December 2008
Mitch Omer is the chef-owner of Hell's Kitchen in Minneapolis and Duluth. Ann Bauer was food editor at Minnesota Monthly and is the author of the novel Wild Ride up the Cupboards.