Island Eats cookbook
Max says: I’ve always loved innovating in the kitchen and creating my own recipes. Over the years, I’ve discovered that a generous pinch of catnip enhances any soup. Lasagna is immeasurably improved with a crunchy layer of kibble. And traditional dishes can be transformed with fresh new approaches––which is why my Gerbil Wellington has been such a hit at the frequent dinner parties I host.
I think it’s fair to say that I’ve achieved a level of culinary perfection very few (cats) could emulate. Which is why I was slightly miffed not to be included in the lovely new Island Eats cookbook, written by Dawn Postnikoff and Joanne Sasvari.
This handsome hardback––a perfect Christmas gift for foodies––features 80 whisker-twitching recipes from celebrated chefs and culinary stars on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. And while I now live in Vancouver, my presence in several Nanaimo-area restaurant kitchens back in the day should have qualified me for inclusion––even though I was mostly an unofficial after-hours plate-licker.
I’m not too upset, though. And when I recently poured a glass of Ortega from Blue Grouse Estate Winery (sadly made without any actual grouse) and settled on the back of a cozy armchair, I thoroughly enjoyed perusing the pages and discovering the recipes of some other amazing chefs. It wasn’t long before I was salivating over Tina Windsor’s Chicken Liver Pâté, Richard Benson’s Sea Scallops with Gnocchi and Suzie Bishop’s bowl-drainingly good Salmon Chowder.
Alongside the recipes, I also loved the lively profiles and chef photos in Island Eats––although the inclusion of a cat or two in the background of these images wouldn’t have gone amiss. Which reminds me: the amazing food photos in this book made me extremely hungry and I soon found myself licking the images incessantly. I suggest that future editions have laminated pages.
Naturally, Island Eats would have been improved with some of my own recipes––anyone for Mouse Tartare or my floor-to-table deep-fried Spider Legs?––but that’s a minor quibble. Readers of any culinary proficiency will clearly find plenty of inspiration for their next dinner party in this rapturously delicious book. Just remember to judiciously deploy a few kitchen staples (Whiskas Catmilk and Friskies Party Mix, for example) and you’ll be able to transform any of these near-perfect recipes into a menu fit for a (feline) king.
Where to buy: Available from all good bookstores now. For more information on this title, visit the Figure 1 Publishing website.