PVD Food News: Local Authors, Local Recipes
By Grace Lentini
It was only a matter of time before our embarrassment of culinary riches made its way onto bookshelves. Perhaps it’s in the water. Perhaps it’s the scent of what’s cooking downtown and throughout Johnson & Wales. One thing’s for sure, the high degree of culinary talent is not restricted to those who work in area restaurants. I’m talking about the authors down the street from us; the ones who turn their delicious meals into easy to understand recipes; and the ones who share their skills of turning nothing into something. There are two new culinary books that have recently come out, and they have Providence written all over them.
The first book, Kitchen Creamery: Making Yogurt, Butter & Cheese at Home, is written by Brown graduate Louella Hill. Known as The Milk Maid and the cofounder of the Narragansett Creamery, Louella has been charting her own course to the top of the cheesemonger pyramid. A decade ago she visited a sheep dairy farm in Tuscany. This was the beginning of her cheesemaking journey. Since then she’s visited multiple farms, taken on various apprentices and taught extensive classes on cheesemaking. “The process of cheesemaking is surprisingly similar to baking bread or growing a garden: it’s working with living things (seeds, bacteria, yeast, etc) and patiently guiding them to a desired outcome,” Louella explains. “Anyone who brews beer, ferments pickles or keeps a sourdough mother will love home cheesemaking.” And if you’re only going to make one recipe from this book, she recommends that you make the Creme Fraiche. “It’s so painfully easy – you’ll make it for the rest of your life with your eyes closed.” Available at www.chroniclebooks.com
The second book is Little Bites: 100 Healthy, Kid-Friendly Snacks. Written by Christine Chitnis, based in Providence, and Sarah Waldman, based out of Martha’s Vineyard, it’s a seasonal, vegetarian cookbook with plenty of gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free options. Let me tell you, it is just so darn cute and interesting. Even as an adult, reading this cookbook intended for tiny hands and tummies, I found myself drawn to the alternative and healthier ingredients that can be substituted into beloved meals. “Our goal with Little Bites is to offer recipes for simple, wholesome food made from ingredients that everyone can recognize, and to leave families with the feeling that making their own snacks is easy and enjoyable,” Christine says.
Christine worked on Little Bites for a year with Sarah. As Sarah worked on the recipes, Christine would focus on photographing the seasons and the food, along with helping her test the recipes. They felt strongly about writing and cooking with the seasons, instead of trying to rush the process. She also wrote each chapter in season, which really helped her to capture the feelings that she wanted to convey. “I can honestly say that I love every recipe in the book so it makes it tough to pick favorites,” Christine says. “I really love cooking in the summer when produce is at its peak and farm stands are overflowing. On the sweet side I love the [recipe for] Peach Frozen Yogurt, and for a savory bite I adore the Summer Corn Fritters.” Now that I have my hands on this book, I can tell you one thing, I will be snacking to my heart’s content season after glorious season. Available at www.roostbooks.com
Capital Grille’s New Location
After 25 years in its 1 Union Station location, The Capital Grille has moved to the Ruth’s Chris Steak House location. And what a move it is. The contemporary location manages to maintain its cozy atmosphere while being able to seat 376 guests. The horseshoe shaped bar gives you ample opportunity to chat with a neighbor or enjoy a solo beverage and snack. To top it off, there’s outside dining available with perfect WaterFire views. Truly the only change is the venue. The dry aged steaks, seafood and award-winning wine list remain the same, because why mess with a good thing? 10 Memorial Boulevard, Suite 101, Providence. 521-5600,