It's official: Sameh Wadi of Saffron and World Street Kitchen is now the proud papa of a cookbook, The New Mediterranean Table, featuring "modern and rustic recipes inspired by traditions spanning three continents."
The prolific young chef has had a cookbook up his sleeve since forever; his parents actually planted the seed when the family was all still living together in Palestine. Wadi's mother is an accomplished cook in her own right, and she and Wadi's father embarked on a mission to gather all the recipes and lore that they could about Palestinian cooking. But then the country erupted into political conflict and there was no opportunity to publish it. One could say that Wadi has picked up the torch.
But this book is not just a place where his parents left off, and it is also not simply a Saffron recipe book, though some beloved recipes from the nine-year old restaurant will be there. Wadi has always been inspired by the whole of the Mediterranean (he worked for Tim McKee at Solera before going off on his own to open Saffron), and this book reflects his entire experience.
"I hope you fall in love with these flavors as well as the romance and tradition of this amazing cuisine," he says, like a man in love himself.
He adds that the book is perfect for the ambitious home cook, and while there might be unfamiliar ingredients (Arak, aleppo chili, labneh) there are even dishes with a Western approach, like spring "farrotto," blending asparagus, English peas, and fava beans, which sounds like just the thing for spring.
The book will available at all booksellers, at both of Wadi's restaurants, and on Amazon.com.
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