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Dirt Candy: A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food from the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant Paperback – Aug 21 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (Aug. 21 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307952177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307952172
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 18.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #78,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By Luc Racine on 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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By A. Soares TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 21 2013
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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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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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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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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