This Cookbook Aims to Capture a Snapshot of American Food

This Cookbook Aims to Capture a Snapshot of American Food

The United States has a truly diverse food scene.

Not only are we lucky enough to be in a country that has fostered a creative epicenter with resources that help both chefs and amateur cooks specialize in different culinary areas (from seafood and barbecue, to forging and plant-based cooking), but we are also known as a nation of immigrants, full of people with different backgrounds, traditions, and palettes.

Joe Yonan, the two-time James Beard Award-winning Food & Dining editor of “The Washington Post,” set out to capture a snapshot of America and what better way to do this, than through food?

In Yonan’s introduction to the book, he states: “...when we ask the question, ‘What is American food?’ we might as well be asking, ‘What is America?’ Because the answer is every bit as complex...”

Well, the outcome was America The Great Cookbook.

The West Texas-native decided to ask America’s best chefs a personal question: What do you cook for the people you love?

The cookbook, which will go on sale the last day of October, will feature recipes and stories from over 100 food personalities, producers and home cooks representing all 50 states.

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The Female Chefs Reigning Over the Culinary Industry

The Female Chefs Reigning Over the Culinary Industry

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Out of the top 100 on our Social Chefs list, 15 are women. 

This just demonstrates that restaurant kitchens are still dominated by the male sex. Not to mention, male chefs earn an average of 28.1% more than female chefs, according to Glassdoor.

But, why is that? Is it an issue of sexism in the kitchen? Or is it that women often have to pick between advancing their careers or having children?

Nonetheless, the world is changing and now there is a new generation of female super star chefs who are changing the culinary landscape for the better.

So, we decided to highlight some of the top ladies on our list.

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Lamb and Spices Take Center Stage at Boston’s Oleana

Lamb and Spices Take Center Stage at Boston’s Oleana

“About 16 years ago, I was invited to go to Turkey for the first time and study with a couple of women there,” said James Beard Award-winning chef Ana Sortun. “When I tasted and saw the food in Turkey, it changed the course for everything. It’s become a real passion and study of mine.”

The trip ultimately led to the opening of Oleana, a Top 25 restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., now in its 15th year, a clear indication of its long-standing success. “We cook Mediterranean food, but with a huge focus on Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Turkish.”

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A Taste of Mediterranean at Boston’s Oleana

“We cook Mediterranean food, but with a huge focus on Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Turkish,” says James Beard Award-winning chef Ana Sortun, chef and owner at Oleana. The restaurant, located in Cambridge, Mass., is in its 15th year, a clear indication of its success.

Known for its inventive cuisine, Oleana’s menu features dishes like octopus and potatoes bravas with smoked aioli and Turkish spices; Vermont quail kebob with Baharat spice, barberries, and pistachio; and duck with spring dug parsnips, walnut tabouleh, and smoke honey labne. But it seems Sortun is most excited right now about lamb. And spices.

“Spices and lamb, to me, go naturally hand in hand. They really bring depth and richness to dishes without making them heavy. And they’re a perfect match.”

There are three lamb dishes on Oleana’s menu at time of publish: a lamb and grape leaf tart with cumin, orange, orzo, and spicy feta; lamb shoulder with chickpea, fried artichokes, turmeric, and cilantro; and a moussaka (lamb and eggplant pie) with tahini, fava beans, and fried peas.

Check out the sneak peek above, and stay tuned for the full “Table 42” episode, coming soon!