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Seamus Mullen's Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better Hardcover – Apr 24 2012
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About the Author
Raised on an organic farm in Northeastern Vermont, Seamus Mullen learned early on the value of working with the land to bring a meal to the table. It was while living and studying in Burgos, Spain, that he developed a life-long love affair with the country's language, culture, and food.
Following his passion for food, Mullen moved to California to work with Chef Mike Fennelly at Mecca in San Francisco, where he was exposed to the bounty of West Coast seasonal produce. After relocating to New York City, he went on to open Crudo, where he conceptualized and created its Mediterranean-inspired menu. In 2003, Mullen returned to Spain and worked for six months at Mugaritz, Andoni Luis Aduriz's forward-thinking Michelin two-starred restaurant in the Basque country.
When Mullen returned to New York, he worked as executive sous chef at New York City's Brasserie 8 1/2, alongside executive chef Julian Alonzo. In 2006, he left to open Boqueria, an accessible Spanish tapas restaurant, and then expanded to Boqueria Soho in fall 2008. He plans to open Tertulia in the West Village in Fall 2011.
Top Customer Reviews
With Hero Food a colorfully illustrated recipe rich chapter is devoted to each of these ingredients from Chapter 1: Olive Oil to Chapter 18: Good Meat. In between are found Beans, Almonds, Eggs, Anchovies, Berries, Fish, Mushroom, Squash and a host of other ingredients that are not only healthful but deliciously served.
Mullen spent time in Spain working in restaurants, so many of his recipes have a decidedly Spanish flavor. Pea Tendrils a la Caralana is a personal favorite - pine nuts garbanzo beans and golden raisins result in a wonderful blend of sweet and salty. Warm Mushroom Salad is not to be missed nor is Blackberry and Almond Crumble. For that matter you'll find many "keepers" in this generous volume.
As Mullen writes, "I know there's no silver bullet, but I have discovered that some foods can make dramatic differences." Those foods are his Heroes. They may well be yours, too.
- Gail Cooke
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What I found in this book was one man's journey through the culinary world, with his rheumatoid arthritis a stumbling block, but really secondary to the theme. It was an autobiography, with great thoughts about food, wonderful text and photos, and recipes that read very well. The book is beautifully done.
However, it is NOT a book about cooking to help your body with autoimmune dieases. And many of the ingredients are unobtainable to the average person. I google searched for lots of the ingredients in the recipes I thought looked really great - and could not find a source for them.
It is a beautiful book - and I am not sorry to have it. I will try the recipes with substitute ingredients - but I wish I only had one copy.
I also have an RA diagnosis and, like our cute author, I have found food to be the best medicine (well, you know, after methotrexate, hydroxychloroquinine and prednisone). I could relate to his introduction on how his flares came with stress and poor self-care. The writing was touching without being whiny.
The organization of the book is perfect and eye catching. Each section celebrates a "Hero" with recipes that clearly illustrate how to create his dishes along with some pictures that are above and beyond what I expected. To the photographer, Colin Clark, excellent work! The books that use a blurry lens to fuzz out mishaps just make me mad. I can tell that you took the time to stage slightly without taking so long as to lose the sheen of oil or the feel of the moment.
As to those who cook, like me, this book is inspirational. I'm not a recipe follower, rather I'm a gleaner that takes the ideas and moves them into my own meals.
Parsley made a quick appearance after this book arrived to much success and accolades in the house. Then, baked and roasted root vegetables followed. I made the Tortilla Espanola because it's similar to something I already make frequently. I subbed sweet potatoes because I like them more! I began adding more fish to my meals too.
I'm looking forward to trying more of the egg dishes and I'll surely have a blast doing that.
Ok, now for the proof: did it help?
Yes, somewhat. Anytime I know I'm not the only one still working and living with RA is a good time. I know that foods that he used sparingly or not at all are the foods that cause me issues. Everyone's RA is different, and I know many of my triggers, so I shy away from those anyway. He did give me ideas for what to eat!
I increased my olive oil intake (didn't think it was possible) and I did notice less morning stiffness. I got a tremendous amount of joy from cooking and planning the meals inspired by the book, this decreased my stress. Less stress=less pain. I added more flavor to my food which made me want to eat more. This is good because I'm sick from the meds and sometimes food is just plain gross but I have to eat.
So, in conclusion: I love this book! And, judging by the already worn pages, it will be loved for a very long time!