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Dirt Candy: A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food from the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant [Paperback]

Amanda Cohen , Ryan Dunlavey , Grady Hendrix
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 23.99
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Book Description

Aug. 21 2012
Amanda Cohen does not play by the rules. Her vegetable recipes are sophisticated and daring, beloved by omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan diners alike. Dirt Candy: A Cookbook shares the secrets to making her flavorful dishes—from indulgent Stone-Ground Grits with Pickled Shiitakes and Tempura Poached Egg, to hearty Smoked Cauliflower and Waffles with Horseradish Cream Sauce, to playfully addictive Popcorn Pudding with Caramel Popcorn. It also details Amanda’s crazy story of building a restaurant from the ground up to its currently being one of the hardest-to-get reservations in New York City—all illustrated as a brilliant graphic novel. Both a great read and a source of kitchen inspiration, Dirt Candy: A Cookbook is a must-have for any home cook looking to push the boundaries of vegetable cooking.
 

Frequently Bought Together

Dirt Candy: A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food from the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant + Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes
Price For Both: CDN$ 46.16


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Review

“The book . . . is chock-full of recipes and is an entertaining read. You’ll feel as if you know Cohen personally by the end of it, you’ll probably want to eat more vegetables, and you’ll certainly have a lot more respect for any professional chef in the kitchen, and vegetarian food, for that matter.”
TheDailyMeal.com
 
“Rarely do I find a cookbook that not only is instructional and precise in its teaching, but funny, emotional, smart, and graphically thrilling. That cookbook is Dirt Candy. . . . Why has no one written a cookbook like this before? It’s BRILLIANT! . . . This is a book I could not put down once I opened it.”
TheStrongBuzz.com
 
“The writing is breezy and Dunlavey’s art is amusing and animated. This would make a terrific gift for the cooks in your life, even if they aren’t comics readers. Not only will they enjoy it, but it’s a way of leading them through our comics door.”
Comics Buyer’s Guide
 
“Now Cohen is sharing her secrets for taking vegetables to whole new heights, in her recently released Dirt Candy cookbook. The book is unique in that it’s also a graphic novel that tells the story behind the restaurant and conveys the frenzy of opening an eatery in New York City.”
Today.com
 

About the Author

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. She and her restaurant have been featured in the New York Times, Food & Wine, and The New Yorker.
 
RYAN DUNLAVEY is a New York City–based artist whose work includes The Comic Book History of Comics, MODOK: Reign Delay, Tommy Atomic, and the Xeric and ALA award-winning Action Philosophers.
 
GRADY HENDRIX has written for Variety, Slate, Playboy and is coauthor of The Magnolia League, a young adult series from Little, Brown. He is married to Amanda Cohen.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! Aug. 15 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Innovative, funny, original! I thought I would dislike the comic strips but, surprise!, I loved it. I would have preferred more recipes though...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Comics and Cooking? Why not Jan. 21 2013
By A. Soares TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've never been a comic book person. In fact, this is the first "comic book" I've purchased and I did so with many misgivings. Surprisingly, it works. The format is intriguing. The recipes are well done. For the cook that requires many color photographs, this may not be the book for you. For the cook who wants to experiment - give this book a try. I have sampled some of the simpler recipes from this book, but have many more I wish to try. I've loved the portabello mousse (though it was somewhat too rich for my tastes it was delicious with well balanced flavours). The grapefruit pops were fun but messy (and I recommend reducing the syrup - 95% of mine was left over to be thrown out. You need excess for dipping evenly, but perhaps not that much excess). Also liked the balsamic vinagrette recipe. I've always made my own, but never thought of infusing in the oil.... All in all, an excellent purchase. Next on my list to try, the carrot risotto...
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Comic Book *Can* Be A Cookbook Dec 3 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Amanda Cohen, a chef specializing in vegetable cooking (she shrinks back from the word "vegetarian" due to its sociological use), qualifies as a celebrity chef. But "Dirt Candy" doesn't go the usual "sleb chef cookbook" route. Instead, she and comics creator Ryan Dunlavey turn what she wants to say into a comic book, interspersed with recipes. And the results are amazing.

The big one is that Ms. Cohen now gets to claim "geek cred" among a specific potential customer base. Her character, "Comics Amanda," is decidedly unglamourous, somewhat paranoid and plagued by fits of self-doubt interspersed with tantrums of frustration -- in other words, a character that comics and fandom can identify with. She's rendered simply and rough-sketchily by Dunlavey but gains a high degree of facial expressiveness as a result. When she sets her arm on fire (to illustrate to an reporter character how her work has affected her health), it communicates far more about the stresses of working life in a restaurant than mere words in a paragraph by Anthony Bourdain.

This is perhaps the real value of Dirt Candy the book: it tries to "sell the place" (which is, after all, what most restaurant-based cookbooks do) not by piling on the glamour and philosophy, but by trying to demythologize (i.e. in contrast with traditional food writing) and present an honest view of the trials and tribulations of a small place with a big reputation.

As for techniques and recipes, well, some of the basics are incorporated well in the main text, and more than a few of the recipes get artwork on their own. Here Dunlavey's art takes on the role of diagrams in an instruction manual: when it comes to plating some of the dishes, the ingredients become separated components which are directed in placement by arrows.
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5.0 out of 5 stars awsome cookbook!! Oct. 1 2012
Format:Paperback
truly an innovative cookbook!
presidential gourmet fine catering catered the toronto book launch party, we used the book's recipes to recreate amanda's food and they worked perfectly.
loved the comic book motif of the book, an engaging read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I am absolutely in love with this book Aug. 29 2012
Format:Paperback
I will totally admit I have yet to make anything from this book but the style and layout and voice of this book has me in love with it. The recipes all sound amazing and I love that the recipes include a plating diagram and most have instructions on how to make it vegan. I am really looking forward to cooking something special from this book but I will admit just as a book to read it is impressive. The recipes are a little more complex than I usually cook everyday but I love the challenge of it and that they include things I never would have thought to try. I can't wait to try the French Onion Soup and the Fennel Funnel Cakes. It's definitely a book I would recommend.
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