Archive for the ‘Book’ Category

Read: It’s Finally Here… La Tacopedia


TacoDirect from Mexico comes this delightful taco encyclopedia, La Tacopedia, the first of its kind. The amusing and thorough  book covers 19 typical types of tacos, with additional information about enchiladas, quesadillas and tlayudas (a crunchy, flat tortilla topped with beans, meat, lettuce and cheese). Authors Débora Holtz and Juan Carlos Mena also write about the mighty taco’s origins; list recipes, sauces and recommend some of Mexico’s tastiest taquerias.

La Tacopedia is in Spanish, so hopefully you speak a little. If not, it’s time to call on those Spanish speakers you know. If you’re feeling antisocial,  there is always google translate.

If you need daily taco tweets, you can follow @LaTacopedia (in Spanish); you can order La Tacopedia from Amazon.


Read: Calling All Saarinen Fanatics!


SaarinenSMIf the term “Womb chair” makes you feel like you are comfy cozy in one, you’ll be delighted to know a beautiful new book featuring the furniture designs  of Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen has been published. Saarinen is primarily remembered for his buildings, such as the iconic TWA Terminal at JKF Airport and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, however if you crack open this mammoth coffee table book, you’ll discover Saarinen also designed furniture–chalk it up to sisu.

Author Brian Lutz weaves together an interesting story of Saarinen’s evolution as an architect and designer, augmented by historic photographs that include Saarinen’s “frienemy” Charles Eames and childhood friend Florence Knoll; not the mention his father, Eliel. The forward is written by the industrial designer Niels Diffrient.

Order a copy through Pointed Leaf Press or Amazon.

Eat: Let the Beef Knuckles Roll!


Pierre Thiam of Le Grand Dakar in Fort Green, Brooklyn has just written the first Senegalese cookbook in English. “Yolele!” translates to, “let the good times roll,” in Wolof, one of the languages spoken in Senegal. This gorgeous cookbook–designed by Luke Hayman of Pentagram and shot by Adam Bartos–is available in most bookstores and Amazon. There are plenty of recipes for those who are not ready for Tripe Stew with Beef and Calf’s Feet, such as Five-Spice Duck, Shrimp and Sweet Potato Fritters, or Steamed Black Eyed Pea Puree with Eggplant.

Contrary to a recent New York Times article that quoted a restaurant critic claiming that “Africans vastly prefer tough, tough meat,” Thiam’s meat dishes are tender and succulent. The story continues, “They [Africans] will eat tree snails that are so tough you would have difficulty distinguishing it from a section of rubber tire. For them, eating something for dinner is not an appreciation of tenderness. It is an appreciation of toughness, and they want to really chew on the meat and enjoy it because meat is so rare.”

Not only does Yolele! educate readers about Senegalese cuisine, a mix of West African, French, Portuguese and Vietnamese, it’s a glimpse into Senegal itself, a country that has not shared such a bloody past as many of its neighbors. “We were blessed with no natural resources,” the affable Thiam joked recently, “no oil, no diamonds.”

When he’s not writing letters to the editors at The New York Times, he’s cooking outstanding meals at his intimate restaurant that should not be missed. Don’t forget to try the Roasted Mango and Coconut Pudding.

Le Grand Dakar
Pierre Thiam Catering

Buy the book: Amazon