Books for Cooks: Breakfast by George Weld
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Ten years ago, George Weld opened Egg
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
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, a happy, no-nonsense restaurant serving honest Southern breakfast to the groggy denizens of Brooklyn. Weld's elegant new book shares his formula for sunny breakfast fare like biscuits, eggs, grains, and hash, including a standout smoked bluefish version.
Rizzoli, $35, 208 pages
Buy Breakfast by George Weld.
Occasions : Breakfast and Brunch
Now home cooks can enjoy scrumptious restaurant-quality sweet and savory waffles. To say that waffles are enjoying a moment is an understatement. The Waffle House sells 145 waffles per minute - 877 million waffles and counting since they opened - and almost 10 percent of North Americans eat waffles at least once a week. But the really hot trend in waffles is taking the experience beyond breakfast to create savory sandwich-style meals for lunch, dinner and beyond. If the lineups outside waffles-only restaurants are any indication, waffles are here to stay in a big way. As bestselling authors and highly respected recipe developers, Marilyn and Jennifer have created 150 delightfully delicious and inspired waffle recipes, from the classics and delectable breakfast and brunch options to snacks and light bites, grab-and-go burgers and sandwiches, main dishes for one or two, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free waffles, and tantalizing desserts and treats. Breakfast dishes such as hearty Huevos Rancheros with Cornmeal Waffles or the indulgent Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Coconut Cream are guaranteed to get anyone's day off to a perfect start, but if you're ready to take it up a notch, try innovative options like Pico de Gallo Chicken Quesadillas, Black Bean Burgers with Creamy Avocado or a Club Wafflewich - a club sandwich taken to all-new heights. Throughout the book, Marilyn and Jennifer offer up ingenious tips and techniques that will have you making waffles like a pro in the same time it would take you to go out to a restaurant!
Author: HAUGEN AND MACKENZIE
Publication date: 01/05/2021
Brunch: The Complete Cookbook features over 100 sweet and savory brunch recipes! The greatest benefit of brunch is that there is something for everyone, from kids to vegans, those with a sweet tooth and those who prefer something savory - The Brunch Book covers it all. From lighter fare that features the best of summer produce to stick-to-your ribs comfort food that hits the spot on a winter morning, you’ll never be at a loss for what to make for brunch. Host brunch with ease by following set menus that pair multiple recipes that create a sumptuous spread, or mix and match to really personalize the meal. Not only will people remember the food you make - eggs galore, savory oatmeal, cheesy casseroles, flavorful scones, and so much more - the wide range of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drink recipes will make family and friends feel like they’ve eaten at a restaurant, not at your kitchen table.
Dimension: 254mm X 203mm
Publication date: 01/09/2016
"John Currence is one of the most celebrated and well-loved chefs in the South. Among his string of highly successful restaurants in Oxford, Mississippi, Big Bad Breakfast holds a special place in diners' hearts- It is a gathering place where people from all walks come together to share the most important meal of the day, breakfast. Southerners know how to do breakfast right, and Currence has elevated it to an artform- dishes like Banana-Pecan Coffee Cake, Spicy Boudin and Poached Eggs, and Oyster Pot Pie are comforting, soulful, and packed with real Southern flavor. Big Bad Breakfast is full of delicious recipes that will make the day ahead that much better--not to mention stories of the wonderful characters who fill the restaurant every morning, and a meditation on why the Southern breakfast is one of America's most valuable culinary contributions."
Dimension: 263mm X 211mm
Author: CURRENCE, JOHN
Publication date: 01/06/2018
Breakfast didn’t earn its ‘most important meal of the day’ moniker by mistake. One of the best things about breakfast is that you can actually eat it any time of day and there would be zero complaints. The day’s first feast cannot be underestimated and by no means, is it boring! Breakfast varies wildly around the world but for many of us, we choose ‘familiar’ and eat the same breakfast day in & day out.
This cookbook will change all that with 50 breakfast recipes from around the world to get your day started differently & deliciously. Bridget Davis has spent a life in professional kitchens.
Dimension: 230mm X 200mm
Author: DAVIS ,BRIDGET
Publication date: 01/07/2013
The appeal of a lovingly made, satisfying breakfast has never been higher. Its the best meal of the day--and can be made at any time of day! Dorset Cereals show you how to make delicious omelettes, pancakes, pastries, smoothies, breakfast bars, porridge and so much more, for every possible occasion and mood. Chapters include Mood Lifting, Power Breakfasts, Lazy Sundays, Big Brunch, Romantic Mornings, Outdoors, Takeaway and Comfort. Every recipe is easy to follow, and dishes range from classics such as Rosti with crispy bacon and Chocolate brioche to more unusual breakfasts such as Strawberry breakfast risotto and Cheese and bacon popcorn. Throughout each chapter are suggestions for simple pleasures, ranging from making jam to the thrill of wild swimming, emphasising the importance of having fun outdoors and in. Specially commissioned photography of food, people and places help reaffirm the joy of a good breakfast.
Dimension: 218mm X 182mm
Author: DORSET CEREALS
Publication date: 01/03/2015
In Breakfast: Morning, Noon and Night, Fern Green encourages readers to enjoy their most-loved meal at any time of the day. Covering all the morning favourites, and often adding an indulgent or inspired twist, she shares recipes for sweet and savoury dishes that you won't be able to confine to just the morning hours. Simple but satisfying, and super easy to prepare, these recipes will suit any time of day. Try smoked salmon and eggs served with quinoa crackers, apple, sorrel and crispy capers cheese on toast gets upgraded to griddled halloumi served with basil, tomato and ciabatta and waffles get a delicious side of maple and blueberry butter. Fern also takes inspiration from breakfasts with more exotic flavor combinations, such as the Adai Indian crpe with coconut chutney, and Mexican corn and zucchini hash with fried egg. These mouth-watering dishes show how you can make breakfast favorites work at any time of the day.
Dimension: 280mm X 175mm
Author: GREEN, FERN
Publication date: 01/05/2015
A delicious ode to morning foods, featuring eggs, biscuits, meats, and pancakes you'll want to start every day with. Breakfast brings beauty and enthusiasm to the morning meal. George Weld draws on his passion and Southern roots to create the fresh, satisfying dishes his Williamsburg restaurant, Egg, has been serving for ten years. Breakfast begins with simple techniques that transform familiar ingredients into transcendent meals. A pantry section shows the ingredients to have on hand for whipping up delicious morning meals. Following are recipes for eggs (including the restaurant's signature Eggs Rothko), grains, meats, produce, sauces and syrups, juices, and pastries. Among the beloved recipes from Egg's kitchen are dishes adapted for meals at any hour, such as salads with eggs and smoked fish, fried chicken and biscuits, and toast with greens. Running through the book are contributions from farmers, fishermen, and athletes on the nourishing meals they fuel themselves with in the morning. Accompanied by images from Weld's own farm (which supplies Egg with many of its ingredients), this book will make breakfast the meal you dream about at night, and the most anticipated part of your morning.
Dimension: 248mm X 197mm
Author: WELD, GEORGE
Publication date: 01/05/2019
Start the day with the definitive cookbook of authentic home-cooking breakfast dishes from around the world
Breakfast is the most important – and comforting – time of day for billions of people everywhere. Here, for the first time, a collection of hundreds of home-cooking recipes celebrates morning meals as they're prepared in kitchens across the globe. Each recipe is accessible and straightforward, with notes offering cultural context and culinary insight. Whether it's sweet or not, classic or regional, it's here: Egyptian Ful Medames (stewed fava beans) Mexican Chilaquiles Chinese Pineapple Buns American Scones Scottish Morning Rolls and so much more.
Dimension: 270mm X 180mm
Author: MILLER, EMILY ELYSE
Publication date: 01/10/2015
"Known for his skills at the grill, since 2010 Bobby Flay has also been sharing his other passion with television viewers: brunch. In Brunch @ Bobby's, he includes recipes for his all-time favorite breakfasts. Starting with the lip-smacking cocktails we have come to expect from Bobby along with spiked and virgin, hot and iced coffees and teas he then works his way through eggs pancakes, waffles, and french toast (including flavored syrups and spreads) pastries (a first for Bobby) and breads salads and sandwiches and side dishes all in signature fashion. Eggs Benedict head to the Gulf Coast for an upgrade, served atop homemade johnnycakes and crab cakes with Old Bay hollandaise sauce. Pancakes get a double dose of chocolate before being drowned in salted caramel sauce. English popovers come stateside when made with cracked black pepper and Vermont cheddar. And salmon definitely benefits from a bright and crunchy Brussels sprout-apple slaw. Pull up a seat at the table, grab a glass, and enjoy the Sangria Sunrise! This is how Bobby does brunch."
Dimension: 234mm X 208mm
Author: FLAY, BOBBY
Publication date: 01/09/2018
For lazy days off or mid-week cravings, Brunch Life brings that bigger-than-brunch restaurant experience home with mouth-watering recipes that will ensure every day gets off to a great start. Leisurely weekend brunches have become the most anticipated meal of the week, and no two people know that better than Matt Basile and Kyla Zanardi. With their token humour, Matt and Kyla share their passion for this midday spread and showcase indulgent and creative takes on their favourite dishes. Sometimes, brunch is a comforting routine, where simple ingredients are whipped into fuss-free OG Buttermilk Pancakes, a Mascarpone Soft Scramble, or Good ol' Hash Browns. Then there are irresistible dishes taken to a whole new level, like Coconut Fried Chicken and Pineapple Waffles, S'mores Pancakes, and Family-Style Chimichurri Steak and Egg Tacos. Incredibly satisfying, easy to prepare, and perfect to share, these recipes will be dished out and devoured by friends and family.
Whether you're hankering for a nostalgic bite--think Western Omelette Grilled Cheese--or looking for something on the lighter side, like Hearty Granola with Grilled Peaches, or you need a boozy drink to cap it all off (perhaps an Aperol Spritz Mimosa), Brunch Life has something for everyone. More than just food, brunch is also a culture. Featured throughout, Matt and Kyla share their travel adventures in six cities across North America--San Francisco, New York, Nashville, Seattle, Vancouver, and Toronto--and explore how this epic meal is enjoyed far and wide. Brimming with over 70 delectable recipes and gorgeous photography, it's time to serve up a fresh take on this favourite weekend tradition that will inspire you to gather around your table any chance you get.
Dimension: 254mm X 203mm
Author: BASILE, MATT
Publication date: 01/05/2020
For the first time London’s legendary champions of brunch share the recipes that have made Primrose Hill’s Sunday Café a runaway success. Covering everything from quick and easy staples to fabulous feasts, and taking inspiration from a global list of ingredients, this book will take you all the way from cracking an egg to flipping pancakes and roasting pork – all with spectacularly Instagrammable results!
Dimension: 210mm X 160mm
Author: TURNER, ALAN
Publication date: 01/06/2012
Warren Brown, in this his third cookbook, focuses on delicious and inventive breakfast recipes. He includes everything from Stuffed French Toast and White Chocolate Waffles, Cherry Walnut Scones and Amaretto Butter Cake to a Meat-lovers quiche. The recipes are highlighted by fun and informative sidebars and eye-catching photographs.
Dimension: 229mm X 203mm
Author: BROWN, WARREN
Gen’s Lit List: March Faves
It’s the beginning of the month which means it’s time to gather up some of my favorite new reads. This month I am tackling cookbooks. I love being in my kitchen and trying out new recipes. One of my absolute favorite things to do is scour pages of cookbooks for inspiration . I love cookbooks because I feel they are a small (or big–depending!) window into the life of a chef. With beautiful mouthwatering pictures and directions from the hand of the chef, a good cookbook provides something tangible that is missed in the digital realm. Food nourishes, encourages, replenishes, comforts, consoles, and brings people together. A good meal can brighten any mood. So, for all you fellow foodies out there, here is a roundup of some of the cookbooks I’ve been coveting lately.
Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat by Chrissy Teigen
What is n’t there to say about Chrissy Teigen? She’s stylish, gorgeous, smart and outspoken, has a wicked potty mouth to boot, and loves to eat. What isn’t to love? And her cookbook is nothing short of what you’d expect from such a dynamo woman. Her cookbook has recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and truly everything in between. Chrissy’s humor and personality fill the pages, and the book is as entertaining as it is instructional. My favorite section? “Sh*t On Toast.” Just like Chrissy, her cookbook is fun, insightful, and completely on point.
Plenty: Good, Uncomplicated Food by Diana Henry
Plenty is all about using food economically and to its fullest extent. The recipes are simple and cost-effective but are also incredibly delicious. Plenty teaches you how to eat locally and seasonally, and proves that sometimes less can definitely mean more. The cookbook has recipes from around the world and each is super adaptable in terms of ingredients. There are sections in the book on how to shop for the best cuts of meat and fish at the market which is so useful. Plenty is perfect for those cooking on a budget.
Night + Market: Delicious Thai Food to Facilitate Drinking and Fun-Having Amongst Friends by Kris Yenbamroong
My favorite type of takeout is Thai, so learning to cook it in my own kitchen is a huge bonus. Kris Yenbamroong has one of the best Thai restaurants anywhere, and every time I go to LA I try to stop by the original Night + Market location on Sunset Boulevard. I was so excited when I learned Night + Market was finally coming out with a cookbook that I had to pick it up right away. The cookbook has recipes for authentic Thai foods and most are spicy, spicy, spicy.
Breakfast: Recipes to Wake Up For by George Weld and Evan Hanczor
Breakfast, the most important meal of the day. I am so grateful for this cookbook. Author George Weld owns a restaurant aptly named Egg in Brooklyn, and I can attest, his food is pretty good. I love the variety of this cookbook. Everything from eggs (of course) to juices, this cookbook runs the gamut of breakfast. The book also has recipes from local farmers, fishermen, and athletes, and teaches exactly how to pump up your mornings. Also, Weld reminds us that breakfast isn’t just for the beginning of your day. Breakfast for dinner? I love.
Sarabeth’s Good Morning Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch, and Baking by Sarabeth Levine
Did I mention I’m really into breakfast? If you’ve ever traveled to NY, at least one person will mention Sarabeth’s as a morning (or lunch!) destination. This book is beautiful . The photographs are exquisite and mouthwatering. The cookbook is geared towards home cooks like me, and the recipes are so well detailed with tips and tricks, that all of Sarabeth’s delightful treats are nearly impossible to mess up. Sarabeth offers quick recipes for weekdays and more intricate ones for weekend brunch. You have no idea how thankful I am to have Sarabeth’s recipe for her lemon ricotta pancakes right at my fingertips.
EGGS GO WITH JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING!
A soft boiled egg, buttered toast sticks, and good sea salt make the perfect breakfast (along with strong coffee). Swap the toast sticks with asparagus, and it turns into a light dinner. Hard boiled and “pickled” in soy sauce and rice vinegar and I’ve got a nice afternoon snack. I could eat eggs at every meal, probably. —Leanne Abe
My favorite childhood comfort food was sunny-side up eggs on buttered toast, the yolk spread over the toast under the egg, dusted with salt and pepper and each slice cut into precisely 16 pieces. —Nancy
My favorite way to eat eggs is soft scrambled in butter, sometimes with a bit of cheese and then make a sandwich with some tomatoes and mayo.
A beautiful, runny egg yolk is nature’s best sauce over almost anything, though. Some of the best things to put an egg on are asparagus with a shaving of cheese, or over re-fried beans with salsa, chunks of avocado, grated cheese and plenty of hot sauce.—Joan
Shakshouka (an Israeli/Middle Eastern dish) with the whole eggs cooked in a very spicy tomato sauce and properly served in the small cast-iron skillet that it’s cooked in.(Editor’s Note. Check out Susan Dworski’s recipe here.) —Sue Epstein
This is my all time favorite…I am dreaming of it at this very moment. Take a biscuit cutter and cut out a circle in a slice of bread. Melt a pat or so of butter (or if you are really daring, a bit of duck fat) in a skillet, add the slice of bread, the circle cut out, and crack the egg in the hole in the bread. Fry until the golden brown and the egg sets. Flip once and serve with the cut out covering the egg and top with fresh herbs—fried bread and a fried egg—how can you go wrong? I think I must have this right now! —Beth Price, LC Recipe Testing Director
Very, very favorite—softly scrambled in clarified butter with a generous sprinkling of freshly-grated white truffle and a tiny pinch of minced chives and a few Maldon sea salt flakes.—Brenda C.
Three preparations spring to mind:
1) The all-time favorite comfort egg: fried egg and cheese on a roll, from the neighborhood diner.
2)Eggs for dinner: Fry up a couple of eggs Greek-style in a bit of olive oil, with sliced tomatoes and olives in the skillet at well. A pinch of oregano over all.
3) Shamelessly indulgent (and not fried), a New Year’s Day tradition with my husband: eggs soft-scrambled, with generous amounts of shaved black truffle folded in. If I remember correctly, Monet ate scrambled eggs this way. Not for the starving artist. —Allison Parker
When I go to eat eggs for myself, I like them with the yolk that is rare. I usually toast some bread and I like to dip it into the yolk. I have really great memories of eating eggs in Italy as a child, with the yolk really loose.
—Massi Boldrini, chef and owner of Riva Cucina in Berkeley
I love crispy-fried eggs with a splash of lemon. First, I gather the eggs from my chickens in the backyard. Then, using ultra-fresh eggs I cook them in a good dose of extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high to high heat. The eggs bubble and the edges curl and start to brown. I then squeeze a dash of lemon juice, cover and cook for another minute or until the whites are cooked through but the yolks are still soft and runny. Perfection: crispy egg whites with lacy brown edges with golden soft yolks. —Janice Cole
Oh, oh, oh….. And then there is leftover pork barbeque chopped cooked right into the top of an over-easy egg.
And, and, and….. crumble one cooked sausage into about 1/4 cup of black beans, add a little sauteed onion and eat it with fried eggs on a soft corn tortilla. Something about it reminds me very much of Brazilian feijoada. —Bill in Alabama
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Most popular fiction and nonfiction books at Albany Public Library in 2016
1 of 45 These were the top 15 most popular fiction books at Albany Public Library in 2016:
2 of 45 2) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins Riverhead Books Show More Show Less
4 of 45 3) My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout Show More Show Less
5 of 45 4) Extreme Prey by John Sandford Show More Show Less
7 of 45 5) Cross Justice by James Patterson Show More Show Less
8 of 45 6) The Crossing by Michael Connelly instagram.com/michaelconnellybooks Show More Show Less
10 of 45 7) Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben Show More Show Less
11 of 45 8) A Moment of Silence by Sister Souljah sistersouljah.com Show More Show Less
13 of 45 9) Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen facebook.com/annaquindlen Show More Show Less
14 of 45 10) Find Her by Lisa Gardner facebook.com/LisaGardnerBks Show More Show Less
16 of 45 11) NYPD Red 4 by James Patterson amazon.com Show More Show Less
17 of 45 12) Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline scottoline.com Show More Show Less
19 of 45 13) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Scribner Show More Show Less
20 of 45 14) A Girl's Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber Show More Show Less
22 of 45 15) Off the Grid by C.J. Box amazon.com Show More Show Less
23 of 45 These were the top 15 most popular nonfictionbooks at Albany Public Library in 2016:
25 of 45 2) Gratitude by Oliver Sacks Show More Show Less
26 of 45 3) Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates Show More Show Less
28 of 45 4) Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe amazon.com Show More Show Less
29 of 45 5) The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson goodreads.com Show More Show Less
31 of 45 ?) The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime?” by Ree Drummond Courtesy photo / Courtesy photo Show More Show Less
32 of 45 7) Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik notoriousrbg.tumblr.com Show More Show Less
34 of 45 8) When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi Show More Show Less
35 of 45 9) The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School by Ed Boland Show More Show Less
37 of 45 10) Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling Show More Show Less
38 of 45 11) In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri amazon.com Show More Show Less
40 of 45 12) Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo facebook.com/konmarimethod Show More Show Less
41 of 45 13) Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond amazon.com Show More Show Less
43 of 45 14) Breakfast: Recipes to Wake Up For by George Weld amazon.ca Show More Show Less
44 of 45 15) SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard Show More Show Less
Which books did you read in 2016? Because we know what everyone else has been reading.
Data shared from Albany Public Library (APL) shows which fiction and nonfiction books were the most popular at their locations in 2016.
In an email interview, Jendy Murphy, head of APL's Collection Management Services Department and Katie Farrell, a librarian in that department, discussed some of this year's reading trends and what has changed from last year's list.
The kinds of books APL patrons borrow:
"Perennially popular authors&mdashlike David Baldacci, Harlan Coben, James Patterson, and Janet Evanovich&mdashare highly represented on the popular fiction list. All of these authors have multiple books that charted in our top 100 borrowed titles. These authors get a lot of promotion from the publishing houses, as well as recognition in the media, and our patrons have a high awareness of when their new books are released." &ndash Katie Farrell
"We are definitely aware that people like to read what is new and popular. That's why we are buying more copies of new titles, so we have the books on our shelves that people really want." &ndash Jendy Murphy
Crossover from 2015 to 2016:
"Some of the books on our 2016 list were also popular last year. The Girl on the Train is one of them. The book was released in 2015 and made it to number two on our list that year. The movie came out this year, and the book is still on our list in the number two position. Another novel, All the Light We Cannot See, was number one on our 2015 fiction list. The book won a Pulitzer Prize and remains on our list this year at number 13." &ndash Katie Farrell
19 Great Restaurants to Work For
Meet the chefs and restaurateurs who are making restaurant jobs better.
When it comes to working in the average restaurant in America today, there is good news, and there is bad news.
The bad news probably won’t surprise you. As an industry, food preparation and serving post the lowest wages in the country, with half of workers earning well under the median living wage. Sexual harassment, brought to center stage with the #MeToo movement, has been more commonly reported by workers in restaurants than any other industry over the past two decades. When Just Capital, a survey group dedicated to corporate accountability, ranked 890 publicly traded companies in 33 industries based on worker treatment, “restaurants and leisure” as a category ranked second to last.
In America’s more than 640,000 restaurants, most workers, whether in award-winning fine-dining kitchens or massive corporate chains, know that it is bad. In 2017, the turnover rate in accommodation and food services was 72.5 percent, compared to a total private employment turnover rate of 47.4 percent—putting restaurant turnover rate at 53 percent higher than the national average. When worker advocacy group Restaurant Opportunities Center United surveys restaurant workers, they find that “the biggest issues [workers] confront is wages first, benefits like paid sick leave, and mobility𠅎specially on the basis of race, but also gender,” says Saru Jayaraman, the group’s cofounder and president.
Much of this has been par for the course for decades, with an origin story in the brigade system that defined renowned European kitchens. When Anthony Bourdain wrote a tribute to Marco Pierre White’s 1990 genre-defining White Heat for the book’s 25th anniversary, he called the industry’s work conditions 𠇊 cycle of abuse that passed as learning one’s trade.” It makes a certain kind of sense that cooks made their work’s lawlessness and cruelty into a badge of honor. And yet, some operators are beginning to suspect that the rock-and-roll kitchen tales may have been something else: a myth that helped make the unbearable, bearable.
And this brings us to the good news.
Today, an increasing number of restaurateurs have set out to improve restaurant jobs. Some have done this for decades others are new to the effort. Either way, they are boosting wages and expanding benefits. This is happening in the liberal enclaves of Brooklyn and Seattle, but it’s also bubbling up in conservative bastions, like Boulder, Utah, population 200, and Indianapolis, too. (And it is happening even as the federal government has ignored calls to raise wages for the past decade.)
Some of the improvements are happening for practical reasons. America’s tight labor market is tighter still in restaurants, the country’s third-largest industry, and kitchens have been particularly hard-hit by immigration restrictions. Restaurants now work harder to attract and keep good workers. They cast wider nets in hiring, and some restaurateurs now seek out returning citizens (people coming home from prison), for both kitchen work and the well-paid front of the house. And they seek to reduce turnover, a goal that many who’ve dropped the traditional tip model𠅋y pooling tips across workers or by replacing tips with a living wage—say they’ve achieved.
But there is passion, too, some of it long-standing. “You are not allowed to pick up a baguette and pretend it’s a dick in my restaurant,” says Martha Hoover, who helms Indianapolis’ 13-outlet Patachou Inc., now in its thirtieth year, which runs employees through implicit bias training and has a zero-tolerance policy on harassment and discrimination. And for chefs who came up in rough-and-tumble kitchens, there can be a drive to make it better for the next generation. “I’ve worked in places you dreaded to be,” says F&W Best New Chef 2016 Edouardo Jordan, of Seattle’s JuneBaby, Salare, and Lucinda Grain Bar restaurants, who starts workers well above the state’s $12 minimum wage he also pays 50 percent of health insurance premiums and covers paid vacation for anyone working 30 hours a week. “I was never able to have insurance as a young cook I think only one time I had vacation pay,” he says. 𠇊nd I don’t want to put anyone through that life.”
In the profiles that follow, you’ll learn about 19 American restaurants that are creating better workplaces for staff. So what does a great restaurant to work for look like? It may have an open kitchen, which operators say promotes better professional conduct, and open books, which helps workers learn the business. It may have set schedules and pooled tips, which take guesswork out of the job and promote stability. And there is almost assuredly a dedication to treating restaurant workers as something they have rarely been given credit for: professionals.
A History of Penang in 10 Dishes
From curry-drenched rice dishes to superlative laksa to fried chicken, the meals that tell the rich story of Penang.
When the sun starts to set in George Town, bathing the colonial buildings in orange and pink, we step out into the street to hunt for dinner. Visitors to Penang never just have dinner they hunt it, as if the meal were hiding in some darkened nook, guarded by a grey-haired auntie frying noodles.
We squeeze into the the open-air Line Clear restaurant, famous for one of Penang’s signature dishes: Nasi kandar, a heaped meal of rice with various curries and sides. Big metal trays and pots of curry grace a metal trolley along the wall, the oil congealing around the rims. A slim Indian man loads a plate with rice and begins ladling the contents of the pots over it.
“Won’t the sauces run together?” my friend asks.
“That’s kind of the point,” I say. The curries—red, orange, pink, and green—flood the long-grain rice in a muted rainbow, giving each bite a distinct and unexpected flavor.
Nasi kandar makes a messy but perfect allegory for Penang’s cultures and peoples, all splashed together on this island, fusing in some places, remaining more distinct in others. These cultures—Malays, Indian Muslims and Hindus, Thai, Chinese Hokkien, Cantonese, Teochew, Hakka, and Hainanese, and of course British colonialists—each contributed to Penang’s distinct cuisine, one that has made the island a hunting ground for the food-obsessed.
Pasembur at Kareem’s Pasembur Cart on Union Street
On July 17, 1786, the first man to step off the British sloop and wade through the surf—to the spot where Fort Cornwallis now stands—was an Indian sailor employed by Captain Francis Light, an unscrupulous trader and businessman working with the East India Company. For 15 years, Light had been negotiating with the Sultan of Kedah (the Malaysian province adjacent to Penang island) to make Penang a trading port, hoping to get filthy rich in the process.
Aboard his three ships were 100 Indian soldiers, known as sepoys, 30 Indian sailors from Madras, and 19 British officers and craftsmen. That first night, they likely ate something with curry. Within days, another group of Indians arrived Muslim traders who had lived on the coastlines of Kedah for centuries, called Chulias, who were looking for new opportunities. They stayed, inviting friends and family to come and build the docks and work in the new port. Nasi kandar was invented at lunchtime down on the docks, when a man would carry two baskets—one of rice (nasi), one of curry—over his shoulder on a pole called a kandar .
Precisely when or where these Penang-based Indian Muslims invented pasembur is unclear, but that’s what I’m hunting when I leave touristy Fort Cornwallis and wander around the Queen Victoria Clock tower to a small, blue cart.
Kareem, the cart’s owner, is busy at lunch hour chopping fried tofu, egg, and a selection of fried seafood with a cleaver. He tosses the chunks onto a plate and mounds it high with shredded cucumber, jicama, and white potatoes, then floods the mixture in a bright red, curried tomato-peanut sauce, made thick and creamy by the addition of sweet potatoes. It’s a curried, creamy spin on rojak, a crunchy mix of vegetables and acidic fruits with peanut-shrimp-paste sauce found in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Assam Laksa, Everywhere
The day after Captain Light set foot in Penang, a wealthy Chinese merchant named Koh Lay Huan paid him a visit, offering a gift of three fishing nets. Koh and other Chinese merchants were unhappy with the Dutch trading monopoly over Sumatran ports and the increasing violence in Kedah and southern Thailand. They wanted to set up in Penang. Light realized he needed Koh’s help, and invited him to stay as the first leader, towkay or Kapitan , of Penang’s new Chinese community.
Koh was a pepper and shipping tycoon who had fled the Hokkien-speaking part of China and settled in Kedah decades before. With local wives in many ports, he was plugged into a community of wealthy Malaysian-born Chinese merchants, known as Peranakans or Baba-Nonyas, who had been living on the Thai and Kedah coasts for centuries—long enough to develop a fusion cuisine distinct from the Malaccan Peranakans living further south.
Even their laksa, a soupy noodle dish common throughout Southeast Asia, is different, made not with coconut milk but with tamarind. Penang’s assam (tamarind) laksa is a sweet-and-sour broth, infused with flaked mackerel and tinted fire-engine red by a mixture of chili and shrimp paste. Slippery, fat rice-noodles swim alongside handfuls of colorful herbs—lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, ginger flowers, shallots—all topped with a sprig of Vietnamese coriander (or laksa leaf) and finely sliced pineapple. The best way to sop up leftover broth is with popiah , a crunchy spring roll originating in Koh’s native Fujian province.
Hokkien Mee: Hae Mee and Loh Mee at Jelutong Market
Hokkien Hae Mee and Loh Mee are types of noodle soup that immigrants brought to Penang from China’s Fujian Province—and possibly also, in the case of Loh Mee, from neighboring Guangdong province.
In the early 1800s, this southern region of China was deeply troubled. The rebellion against the Ming dynasty, the British Opium Wars, and the Taiping Rebellion encouraged Hokkien men to seek work in the tin mines in Phuket, or further south in Perak. When the Sultan of Kedah went to war with Thailand in 1821, local Thai-Malays, Peranakans, and new Hokkien refugees flooded into Penang. Eventually, the Sultan himself sought shelter on the island.
As the violence continued through the 1850s and 1860s, more refugees arrived directly from China, bringing with them the comforting noodle soups of their home. Hae Mee and Loh Mee use the same mix of noodles for extra slurpiness, but have different broths. Hae mee, known in Penang as “Hokkien Mee,” or “Hokkien Prawn Noodle,” is a thin broth of simmered shrimp heads, tails, and pork bones with onions and garlic, tinged orange from chili paste. The broth is ladled over the noodles with a random selection of hard-boiled egg, smoked pork belly, fried mantis shrimp, a token handful of local water spinach, kangkung , for color, and sometimes chicken feet or intestines. Loh Mee is thickened with corn starch, darkened with soy sauce, and flavored with Chinese five spice. It’s sold right alongside Hokkien Mee, and it’s totally fine if you want to mix the two kinds of broths together for a local-style bowl of Hokkien cham lor .
Chee Cheong Fun outside Seow Fong Lye Café
Malaysia’s traditional coffee shops, kopi tiams , don’t serve food. They serve about a dozen kinds of coffee and tea, and the food comes from the independent stall-holders who pay rent to cluster their stalls around the coffee shop, making each kopi tiam more like a food court or hawker center.
When I go with friends to chat over a hot cup of coffee, I like to order chee cheong fun . The rubbery rice noodles, thick like spring rolls and doused with a Penang-specialty sauce, owe their popularity to the Cantonese, a minor (in number) but important immigrant group, who brought with them wonton noodle soup, dim sum, and chee cheong fun. Elsewhere, chee cheong fun comes with simple soy sauce, sweet bean paste, or even curry, but in Hokkien-influenced Penang, the chee cheong fun can only be paired with prawn paste, sugar, dark soy sauce, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Many Cantonese migrants had been powerful merchants based in Guangzhou. After the British captured the city in 1841, many of them fled to Penang, and eventually became embroiled in the tin-mining wars, which pitted groups against each other along clan lines and secret societies. The Hokkien tin tycoons fought the Cantonese. The Cantonese fought the Hakka-Chinese, and so on. Nowadays, though, everyone seem to get along just fine over a plate of chee cheong fun.
Roti Canai with Teh Tarik at Sri Ananda Bahwan
Although Indians were present in Penang from its inception, until 1884 the majority were Muslim: South Indian sepoys and Chulia merchants, shop-owners, moneylenders, and dockworkers. It wasn’t until after 1884, when the British finally legalized Indian immigration, that more South Indian Tamils—both Muslim and Hindu—started arriving in Penang to work as laborers on the coconut, sugar, coffee, and opium plantations.
Tamil Muslim and Tamil Hindu cuisines are very different, the former meat-heavy, but both Mamaks (Tamil Muslim restaurants) and Hindu “banana leafs,”—vegetarian-friendly restaurants that traditionally used banana leaves as plates—serve the quintessential Penang breakfast: roti canai and a mug of teh tarik, a mixture of Black English tea and condensed milk.
Sri Ananda Bahwan is a banana leaf in George Town’s Little India. The serving counter is laden with spicy vegetable scrambles, daals, coconut sambal, and mint chutney, as well as chicken curry and paneer, the air fragrant with mustard and anise seeds. In the front behind a glass window, a man is bare-knuckling the spongy roti canai dough, getting ready for the breakfast spread.
In the Malay language, canai means to flatten, smooth, or thin. The man slaps and whirls the dough, dusting his apron with white flour, and tosses the large discs onto a hot-oiled griddle, where they sizzle and begin to swell under their browned spots, drying into a flakey, buttery flatbread. We tear it into strips to soak up the sauces and wash it all down with the teh tarik.
Char Koay Teow at Siam Road Charcoal Char Kway Teow
Outside Hock Ban Hin coffee shop, an old man fans flames with his left hand as his right whips noodles around a blackened wok with a metal spatula. He pushes the noodles to one side and adds an egg, breaking the yolk apart and stirring it into the glistening noodles. A handful of bean sprouts, a squirt of dark soya sauce, a pinch of chives, and then he scrapes the steaming soft mess onto a pink plastic plate and starts all over again. He makes each batch separately and serves it piping hot, glistening, and butter-soft with pork lard and chili paste.
The Teochews, a Chinese immigrant group from the region between the Hokkien and Cantonese homelands, fled the same wars and violent unrest. But they were farmers, and they came to Penang to farm. This pleased the British, because someone had to grow food and tend the coconut, sugar, opium and coffee plantations.
In 1855, a group of six Teochew men opened a lodging house on Beach Street to help newly-arrived Teochew immigrants get a foothold. Even though their numbers were never large—today Teochews comprise just 18 percent of Penang’s Chinese population—they brought to Penang their respect for vegetables and egg dishes (such as oyster omelets), and their own type of noodle, called kway teow . Teochew noodles are slim, slippery flat rice noodles with an elastic bounce. Stir-fried over the high heat of a charcoal fire, the paper-thin noodles caramelize and sweeten, releasing a tantalizing aroma known as wok hei . It’s why the best char koay teow stalls still use a charcoal fire, even if a gas flame would be more convenient. Char koay teow is the ultimate comfort food for many Penangites, served late in the afternoon and into the wee hours of the night with an iced cup of iced coffee.
Kopi-C and Kaya Toast at Toh Soon Cafe
Ordering a cup of coffee in Malaysia can be complicated. A traditional kopi tiam typically offers a dozen variations of a dark, syrupy roast that hits the back of your tongue with the richness of chocolate. The basic cup comes loaded with condensed milk, while kopi-c adds sugar, kopi-peng ice. To make it vegan, say kopi-o . Watching your carbs? Say kopi-kosong . Want it black? Get a kopi-o-kosong .
The Hainanese began opening kopi tiams at the turn of the century. The story goes that, as the last Chinese immigrants to arrive in Penang, there wasn’t much work left for them. The Hokkiens and Cantonese controlled the ports and the mines, the Teochews had the plantations on lockdown. But the Hainanese could cook. Many found work as cooks in British kitchens and military outposts, while others mastered local dishes and opened food stalls and kopi tiams. Although they comprise only 1.8 percent of today’s Chinese population, many Penang dishes have a pinch of Hainanese influence, and Penang’s contemporary obsession with coffee, chic cafes, and a unique type of roast is likely thanks to the Hainanese, who started to arrive in Penang in the late 1880s just as Malaysia’s budding coffee industry reached its boom years.
Malaysians grew Liberica beans, a sturdy species grown almost nowhere else. Today, Liberica comprises just 2 percent of the world’s harvest, almost all of it grown in Indonesia or Malaysia. Liberica is smoky, nutty, rich and exceptionally bitter, like baker’s chocolate. But it’s not just the Liberica beans. Hainanese coffee is special, roasted in margarine and sugar until the beans cling together like tar, then ground and placed into a muslin bag through which hot water is poured. It’s served alongside thick slabs of fluffy white bread, grilled over an open fire and smeared with kaya , a fluffy coconut jam sold at any Hainanese kopi tiam or restaurant, where Penangites got their first taste of Western-style cuisine.
Hainanese Chicken Chop at Yeng Keng
In 1867, Britain took direct control of Penang from the East India Company, and more British citizens came to British Malaya, as the British-controlled territories in the Malay peninsula were then called. Then in 1915, during World War I, 850 Indian sepoys in Singapore mutinied. The British fired the sepoys, sent more British troops to the region , and hired more Hainanese cooks.
The cooks had a challenging job—devising meals palatable for the newly arrived British soldiers, who complained bitterly about the lack of English meat and the strangeness of the local fare, heavy with chicken feet, intestines, offal, and too many spices. The one thing that made them happy was fried chicken—a dish now known locally as chicken chop. It’s simply battered and fried chicken, served with brown gravy and sides of fries, baked beans, and a mayonnaise-rich salad.
Everything that they served to the British, the Hainanese introduced in their kopi tiams. They brought in buttered toast, chicken pot pie, and dozens of other staples that both British citizens and Penang’s rock-and-roll-obsessed youth grew to love in the 1940s and 50s. But yesterday’s youth are old today, and the old-style Hainanese kopi tiams are becoming a thing of the past, replaced by the newest fads and trends.
Nasi Lemak at Ali Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang, Sri Weld Food Court
On Aug. 31, 1957, Malaysia declared independence from Britain. Penangites weren’t sure what they wanted to do. Penang was culturally different from the rest of Malaysia, with a population 73 percent Chinese and about 10 percent Indian. Some wanted to remain autonomous, or join forces with Singapore. Some worried Penang would change. Of course, it would.
Penang’s population has doubled since 1957. In 2010, Malays outnumbered the Chinese for the first time in Penang’s history. Penangites today identify more as Malaysian than as Hokkien or Cantonese or Tamil. They are as proud of their heritage, and their diverse cultures and cuisines, as they are of the Malaysian national dish: nasi lemak.
This being Penang, where hunting the best version of each dish is something of a local pastime, people have opinions on the ‘right’ way to make nasi lemak, and the ‘best’ stall to hunt down, compare, and argue over good-naturedly with friends. My local friends prefer Ali’s, a food cart at the Sri Weld Food Court.
At Ali’s, the base of the dish is a triangle of coconut rice, steamed to salty perfection, with a twist of pandan leaf, and topped with a thick, spicy shrimp sambal that stains the rice red. Half a hard-boiled egg and salty anchovies go on top, packed so tightly inside the banana leaf that the ingredients hold together in a perfect pyramid when you unfold it.
Others may argue that the best nasi lemak is in the Taman Perak neighborhood, where it can sell out as early as 7 a.m., or at Red Hat Auntie’s—either in spite of or because of her infamous moodiness—or the little stand on the corner of Love Lane and Chulia Street. But that’s the fun of the hunt: in Penang, there’s always the promise of something tastier just around the corner.
Did You Know? (Lobster Edition)
That in 1880s Massachusetts servants went on strike so they wouldn’t have to eat lobster more than 3 times a week?
I found this information on page 215 in the book Good Eats, the Early Years by Alton Brown. This book is based on his TV series that explains the science of different foods, with lots of tidbits and trivia facts. Alton also gives very good instructions for preparing and cutting up a lobster, as well as a recipe for Stuffed Lobster.
The New York Times Seafood Cookbook edited by Florence Fabricant has many lobster recipes. I actually can’t wait to try my hand at making the Lobster Thermidor or risotto. For those of you who don’t have the opportunity to get or use fresh lobster, 200 Best Canned Fish & Seafood Recipes by Susan Sampson has recipes for Lobster Newberg, Lobster in Américaine Sauce and Shortcut Lobster Thermidor.
We mainly think of lobsters as an expensive delicacy but, back in the day, they were plentiful and cheap. As yummy as any one food can be, too much of a good thing can be very tiresome. Craving: Why We Can’t Seem To get Enough by Omar Manejwala, M.D. explains the science of why we crave certain things. Let’s just say it has a lot to do with neurotransmitters, serotonin, enkephalins, and norepinephrine. The author has lots of advice on how to break the cycles of addiction and craving.
Lobsters are crustaceans that belong to the larger family of arthropods. There are more than a million species of animals, and 3/4 of them are arthropods. Lobsters and other Crustaceans is a good book from the World Book’s ‘Animals of the World’ series. This children’s book explains all about lobsters being decapods (10 legs), their exoskeletons, molting, breeding and almost everything else you ever wanted to know about them! Animals Without Backbones by Ralph Buchsbaum gives even more details about these fascinating creatures.
And lastly, The Lobster is a funny movie about finding love… The story centers on David, as he searches for love at an exclusive resort. But, there’s a catch: you have 45 days to find love or you will be turned into an animal of your choosing!
5. Apom Balik (Stuffed Pancake)
Apom balik is a sticky rice-flour pancake with creamed corn(!) inside. This vendor at Tan Jetty spoons corn straight from the can into the cooking batter—eggy and fluffy—then deftly extricates the whole thing and folds it over like a loose taco, a shape that makes it possible to get both crispy edge and sticky interior in a single bite.
Where: This stall was at Tan Jetty.
What Is Filet Mignon?
A filet is a boneless cut of meat or fish, and mignon is a French word that means cute or dainty. A filet mignon, then, is a "dainty filet." It&aposs pronounced fih-LAY meen-YAWN.
A filet mignon is cut from the tenderloin, which lies in the middle of the animal&aposs back. Because the muscles in this area are not overly exerted, their tendons do not toughen (which is why a tenderloin is so tender). Strictly speaking, filet mignon comes from the tail end (the smaller end) of the tenderloin it is generally only 1 to 2 inches in diameter. However, you can use beef filet mignon and beef tenderloin steaks (cut from other parts of the tenderloin) interchangeably. Both are usually cut 1 to 2 inches thick, though beef tenderloin steaks tend to be larger in diameter (2 to 3 inches). Try our Grilled Steakhouse Filets with Lemon-Grilled Asparagus which calls for beef tenderloin steaks to see what we mean.
Note that what you gain in tenderness, you lose a bit in flavor. The lack of marbling, fat, and bone diminishes the beefy taste of these cuts. That&aposs why tenderloin steaks are often served with sauces, toppings, or pan juices. Steak houses also often serve beef tenderloin steaks wrapped in bacon to keep them moist while cooking and add meaty flavor.
Due to its higher price point, we know you&aposre likely only cooking filet mignon on special occasions and holidays, but now that you know how to prepare it so many different ways, you know how simple it is to whip up even if you don&apost have much time for cooking.