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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 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.

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